I can’t believe we haven’t done a Woman Candy Wednesday featuring EVERYONE’s favorite (historical) fictional heroine, Elizabeth Bennet! Nobody writes fabulous female characters better than Jane Austen, and none is more fabulous than the heroine of Pride and Prejudice. Sure, we asked you to vote as to whether Jennifer Ehle or Keira Knightley better portrayed our Lizzie (y’all loved Ehle), but there’s still much to appreciate about both, and many other actresses who’ve given her a whirl!
Elizabeth Bennet: she of the sharp wit, (generally) discerning judgement, and (despite it being the Regency era) usually fabulous outfits. Let’s appreciate the major on-screen portrayals of Elizabeth Bennet!
Greer Garson in Pride and Prejudice (1940)
It’s been too long since I’ve seen this version to remember Garson’s take on Elizabeth! For shame!
Daphne Slater in Pride and Prejudice (1952)
An early BBC TV adaptation, which I haven’t yet seen!
Celia Bannerman in Pride and Prejudice (1967)
Another BBC production I’ve yet to see!
Elizabeth Garvie in Pride and Prejudice (1980)
For many people, Garvie IS their Elizabeth Bennet. I was impressed with her wittiness, even if David Rintoul didn’t do it for me as Darcy.
Others prefer Ehle’s thoughtful take on Lizzie (okay, she’s my favorite!). I love how much she can convey with her expressions, and her way with the witty dialogue, and the chemistry she has with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Bride & Prejudice (2004)
Nope, it’s not the least bit historical, but it’s my blog and I wanna! I seriously LOVE Bride & Prejudice, the Indian Bollywood take on P&P, and I think Aishwarya Rai is just gorgeous. So there!
Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Okay, so we like to pick on Keira Knightley. And we don’t have much love for the pig version of Pride & Prejudice around these parts. But you know what? While I didn’t LOVE Knightley’s Elizabeth, I found her performance one of the few redeeming qualities in that pig fiesta. And I’m not going to judge you if you like this movie or like Keira Knightley. So hey, I made an actual effort to find some decently pretty pictures for those that want to enjoy them.
Gemma Arterton in Lost in Austen (2008)
Elizabeth is actually a minor character in this loosely-based-on-P&P TV miniseries, but since I’m a fan of the show, I’m including her!
Anna Maxwell Martin in Death Comes to Pemberley (2013)
Yep, many of you think that Martin isn’t pretty enough to play Elizabeth Bennet in this sequel to P&P, but I loved her, so shut up!
Lily James in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)
James’s take on Elizabeth, if I subtract all the zombie killing, was one of the better aspects of this horror reboot.
Who’s your favorite Elizabeth Bennet on screen?