17 thoughts on “Apparently I Watched the 1972 Emma?

    1. Yes! Quite a few of those are in the 1980 Pride and Prejudice including the beautiful maroon pelisse.

  1. Mrs Elton is listed as Mrs Weston in her first photos, in the yellow dress. And I agree about Emma’s hair. The actress is very lean and angular, it wasn’t a very flattering hairstyle for her.

  2. The costumes are amazingly detailed,and coloured,otherwise Regency historical suffer a white nightgown syndrome.They seem committed to the flat on top,curls in front,long bun in back aesthetic.
    There is a sort of insta blog of Cristina Lancaster,who collects Regency clothing,and her accessorising work is amazing.Too many things that we see in Regency clothes on film seem to be a result of bad construction,like a tube of cloth gathered a couple of inches from the top.While extant examples burst with lace,bodice draping,shoulder layering,exquisite muslin that moves like smoke,lace insets,stripes running diagonally across the skirt.Maybeactual regency people carried themselves with the flair of a Roman royal?Somewhat like actors who look really childish in 50s clothing without accurate body language.Or Keira who manages to make 18th century look homely but sparkles in 1920-40 stuff.

    1. Someone once complimented me on the nightgown I made. This prompted me to take apart the dress and embroider it to give it a stronger regency look.

  3. Oh, Kendra! I totally feel you on this one. No, I haven’t watched this version of Emma and I haven’t even tried, but I can just tell from the “feel” of your screencaps that I can’t even! It doesn’t look bad it just screams “stilted 70s British TV” and that’s really not my mood right now. Plus, I’m a loyalist for the 96 movie starring Gwenyth Paltrow (which I know doesn’t get much love around here). That version was filled with so much life while the stills from this one just look so dull.

    Costume-wise, it looks like they did a really good job of differentiating the financial status of Emma and Jane Fairfax. The purple outdoor wear on Jane Fairfax looks like it was definitely inspiration for Mariah Gale’s character of Mrs. Younge in the 2013 series Death Comes to Pemberley. I think the prettiest dresses are Jane Fairfax’s in the screencap you have at the top of the post and the cream-colored dress Emma wears with the “plastic pearl monstrosity.” Also, Frank Churchill looks like a dish, albeit one who just left a re-enactment of the Disney version of Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

    1. I started to watch this one too. From the look of it we both made it to about the same cut-off point. I started it because I had heard good things but Doran Goodwin was what made me feel like I couldn’t go on. She’s really just…. just creepy. The crazy eyes! What the hell.

  4. Excellent points, Shashwat. Accuracy in clothing details, body language (and how one researches that I do not know), manners, self-presentation, etc., matter so much in period films, and are so often sacrificed for the damned relatability factor–or plain laziness or lack of time/funds. I never believe Keira in anything pre-1920, even though she was trying her best as Colette, and got to wear those beautiful costumes.

  5. This was my favourite Emma for a very long time (it was the first I ever watched) until the 2009 Romola Garai version. Still think the characterisations in this one are generally among the best, if not the best. Superb Miss Bates and Mrs Elton. Harriet is suitably pretty and featherbrained. Jane Fairfax is lovely, gentle and troubled. Mr. Knightley (whom you barely show) is definitely older than Emma (perhaps a tad too old; he looks more like 45 than 36) and the near perfect gentleman he should be.

    Yes, it is nicey-nice and slow, but that was what Jane Austen was about. Her stories are all in the detail, which is why I have read ‘Emma’ more than thirty times and will continue to read it because I discover something new every time. It isn’t the plot, but the nuances of human nature and interactions that are so awe inspiring. This version captures all of that detail better than any other yet made. The film versions certainly don’t have the time to do much more than plot and in Jane Austen plot is very much secondary to character.

  6. Jeez… who thought it would be a good idea to cast that actress for the part of Emma? She’s like a blond Olive Oil…Which, sorry, is not a good choice for that character.

    1. Watched the mini series (or rather had it run in the background) and on film the actress isn’t quite as gawky as she looks in the screen-shots, I sill wouldn’t have cast her as Emma but she’s not nearly as bad as I imagined.

  7. I remember watching this in high school when I was at home with the worst flu I’ve ever had. I think I was on drugs/asleep/delirious for most of it–I have only vague recollections of random scenes but I do remember the pace and tone being very soothing and easy when I was feeling so miserable. Funny to see it featured here today!

  8. I remember loving this as a schoolgirl, when it was first on the BBC. They clearly went to a lot of trouble to get the costumes right – even those you don’t like are pretty much fine for the period. Bearing in mind we were about to dive into the full-on long skirts and Laura Ashley era of the 70s it’s not so surprising they made some of those choices.

    It’s a bit slow by modern standards, but so much better than that Paltrow effort, which felt like a bucket of treacle had been tipped over the story, removing all the spikiness that makes Austen worth reading and watching.

  9. Sad that you didn’t make it through. It is a truly beautiful & witty adaptation, and the 2009 Emma is heavily influenced by it.

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