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Sense and Sensibility (1995)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  26 January 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 72,466 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 192 user | 63 critic | 21 from

Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 31 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emilie François ...
Elizabeth Spriggs ...
Ian Brimble ...
Isabelle Amyes ...
Alexander John ...


When Mr. Dashwood dies, he must leave the bulk of his estate to the son by his first marriage, which leaves his second wife and their three daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) in straitened circumstances. They are taken in by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects the marriageability of both practical Elinor and romantic Marianne. When Elinor forms an attachment for the wealthy Edward Ferrars, his family disapproves and separates them. And though Mrs. Jennings tries to match the worthy (and rich) Colonel Brandon to her, Marianne finds the dashing and fiery John Willoughby more to her taste. Both relationships are sorely tried. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lose your heart and come to your senses.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

26 January 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sensatez y sentimientos  »

Box Office


$16,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£5,043,343 (UK) (15 March 1996)


$42,700,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)|



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The tan and black striped gown with a black crepe bow on the bodice Gemma Jones (Mrs. Dashwood) wears playing cards at Barton Park is the same costume Jemma Redgrave (Lady Bertram) wears in the final scene in Mansfield Park (2007), Rosemary Enright wears at dinner in The Regency House Party (2004), and Francesca Annis (Lady Ludlow) wears in Cranford (2007). The costume is also worn by an extra at the Netherfield Ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005), by Wendy Craig (Mrs.Lefroy) in The Real Jane Austen (2002), and by Penny Downie (Lady Judith Milbanke) at dinner, after Annabella returns to her parents' house in Byron (2003). See more »


The scene at Norland where Edward is reading the poem is set in the evening. The following scene where the Dashwoods receive the letter from Sir John Middleton occurs in the afternoon. The next scene between Marianne and Elinor in the bedroom occurs again at night but is referred to as if it had happened earlier the same evening. See more »


Marianne: Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?
Elinor Dashwood: What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering. For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne,...
See more »


Referenced in Charmed: Sense and Sense Ability (2003) See more »


The Dreame
Music by Patrick Doyle
text by Ben Jonson
End title performance by Jane Eaglen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Emma Can Break Your Heart
17 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, here's an emotional story that gets you involved and wears you out by the end. I wears you out not from action, but from watching two good ladies suffer heartbreaks one after the other. This is not my normal viewing fare but I am big fan of two things this movie has to offer: (1) Emma Thompson and (2) incredible visuals.

Few people were better in the 1990s at playing the sensible-sweet-wholesome and pretty and-always unfairly ignored woman than Thompson (see The Remains Of The Day and Howards End). Your heart aches for this woman whose characters always deserve better than what they receive.. Her facial expressions alone convey pain better than anyone I've ever seen on film. This is perhaps her best work and it was justice she was honored for it.

It was refreshing to see Alan Rickman actually place a nice guy and Kate Winslet was appealing, too - a far cry from spoiled brat role in the film that gave her stardom, Titantic.

One tip that I found useful in watching this movie. If you are not British, you might switch on the English subtitles to better understand the dialog and the phraseology of early 19th century England, in which this story takes place.

The only problem with using the subtitles is that it detracts from marveling at these visuals. This is one of the prettiest films I have ever seen, on both the inside and outside scenes. It's just gorgeous cinematography frame after frame with beautiful colors. Nice music score, too.

This kind of story is a bit too soap opera-like for my normal tastes but to watch Thompson and to ogle the colors, sets and scenery makes it all a rewarding experience. For women who like these kind of Jane Austen stories, this must really be a special film. For the rest of us, it's still very much worth seeing, and adding to one's DVD collection. It''s great film-making.

49 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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