Sense and Sensibility (1995) Poster


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During filming, the Jane Austen Society telephoned co-producer James Schamus to complain about the casting of Hugh Grant claiming that he was too good-looking to play Edward Ferrars.
The first cinematic Jane Austen adaptation in 50 years.
Whilst working on the script, Emma Thompson's computer developed a problem and she was unable to locate the file. She took the computer to Stephen Fry who, after seven hours, finally managed to retrieve the script.
While writing the screenplay for the film, Emma Thompson had sisters Natasha Richardson and Joely Richardson in mind for the roles of Elinor and Marianne.
There is an ironic twist surrounding the casting of Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson and Greg Wise. Although they portray love interests on screen, Kate Winslet and Greg Wise only dated briefly in reality before Greg took to Winslet's on-screen sister Emma Thompson. Thompson and Wise were together for 8 years before getting married. Together they have one adopted son and one biological daughter. Interestingly, Richard Lumsden who portrays Thompson's on-screen brother-in-law Robert Ferrars, is her brother-in-law in real life. Lumsden is married to Emma's younger sister Sophie Thompson who was also featured in a movie adaptation of Jane Austen's "Persuasion." Sophie Thompson portrayed the younger sister of the story's main character Anne Elliot, who was portrayed by Amanda Root who ironically enough was sought for the role of Marianne in "Sense & Sensibility." Root however, could not appear due to her obligations to film "Persuasion." (In a nutshell, Amanda Root landed a role in a Jane Austen adaptation and was coincidentally asked to star in another one. When she could not appear, another actress who dated the future husband of her on-screen sister's sister was given the role, and her on-screen sister's real life husband portrayed the on-screen brother-in-law of his real life sister-in-law in the same film that she could not star in.)
The Dashwoods moved to their humble cottage when the weather was cold and the sheep still had their long, winter coats. The scenes were in fact filmed in late May, and in one take a sheep keeled over from heat exhaustion. So the sheep were immediately sheared and later appear with their haircuts, despite the wintry setting.
Emma Thompson was asked to write the screenplay by producer Lindsay Doran when she discovered their shared love of Jane Austen when working together on Dead Again (1991).
Emma Thompson has recounted how during the scene where Colonel Brandon, on horseback, approaches Elinor and Marianne in the out-of-doors, many takes were ruined by the horse surrendering to a bout of flatulence. Eventually, they were forced to shoot the scene with the farting horse as the flatulence would not abate, and the rather loud reports later were edited out of the soundtrack.
Emma Thompson's first draft of the screenplay consisted of 350 hand-written pages. The final draft was a culmination of that and 13 other drafts which were written over four and a half years.
The William Shakespeare sonnet quoted through the film is sonnet #116.
In 2010, during an interview on the show "One's Tonight with Jonathan Ross", Emma Thompson said that when he first arrived on the set, Greg Wise actually pursued a romantic relationship with then-19-year-old Kate Winslet, instead of with Thompson. After filming ended, Thompson and Wise did start dating, and they eventually had a baby and got married.
In her book "The Sense and Sensibility (1995) Screenplay & Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film", Emma Thompson writes that after a particularly difficult day filming a sequence that involved a flock of sheep, Ang Lee swore that he would never again use the animals on a movie set. Ten years later, however, Ang Lee went on to direct (and win a directing Oscar for) Brokeback Mountain (2005), which is about two men who meet while sheep herding.
The sheer dotted muslin gown Kate Winslet, (Marianne Dashwood), wears during the lawn bowling scene at Barton Park is the same costume Charity Wakefield (Marianne Dashwood) wears at Norland Park in Sense & Sensibility (2008). The costume is also worn by Amelia Warner (Fanny Price, age 17) in Mansfield Park (1999) and by Jennifer Higham (Louisa Musgrove) at Uppercross in Persuasion (2007).
Amanda Root was originally sought for the role of Marianne, and performed the role at a read-through of an early draft of the script. However, by the time the film was being made, Root could not appear, as she was already working on another Jane Austen film, Persuasion (1995).
The excerpt that Colonel Brandon reads to Marianne near the end of the film ("nothing's lost but may be found if sought...") belongs to Edmund Spenser's epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590). It is part of the second canto in Book V: Justice.
In the DVD extras, Emma Thompson relates how Patrick Doyle was challenged to set Ben Jonson's 'The Dreame' to music. The result is the piece Col. Brandon requests Marianne to play on the pianoforte and the end title music.
Kenneth Branagh was attached to this film at one time.
Director Ang Lee had not read Jane Austen's novel when Columbia first sent him Emma Thompson's script.
The windowpane check gown Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood) wears while explaining Col. Brandon's offer to Edward is the same costume Billie Piper (Fanny Price) wears in Mansfield Park (2007), Rosamund Stephen (Henrietta Musgrove) wears in Persuasion (2007), Victoria Hopkins in The Regency House Party (2004), and Honeysuckle Weeks in the sketch "Plots & Proposals" in Victoria Wood with All the Trimmings (2000). The same costume is also worn by an extra at the London party where Byron meets Annabella Milbanke in Byron (2003).
The black patterned muslin gown Gemma Jones (Mrs. Dashwood) wears when Edward comes to Barton Cottage is the same costume Billie Piper (Fanny Price) wears to Maria's wedding in Mansfield Park (2007), and Janet Dale (Miss Briggs) wears at Park Lane in Vanity Fair (1998). The same costume is also worn by Pauline Moran (Mrs. Curtain) when Byron arrives for the wedding in Byron (2003), and by an extra at the Meryton Assembly Ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005).
The straw bonnet with a pale blue ribbon Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears at Barton Cottage is the same costume worn by Maggie Smith (Betsey Trotwood) in David Copperfield (1999), and by Judi Dench (Miss Matty) in Cranford (2007).
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).
The wine-colored muslin dress, beige pelisse and matching bonnet Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears for the Dashwoods' arrival at Barton Cottage is the same costume Cesca Martin wears for her arrival at Regency House in The Regency House Party (2004). The dress is also worn by an extra at the Meryton Assembly Ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005).
The green velvet Spencer vest Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears walking in the rain at Cleveland is the same costume Elizabeth Berrington (Charlotte) wears in Quills (2000), and Sally Hawkins (Anne Elliot) wears to the concert at the Bath Assembly Rooms in Persuasion (2007).
The tall green military-style hat with a peacock feather worn by an extra at the Covent Garden coffee shop is the same one worn by Christina Cole (Caroline Bingley) at Pemberley during the shooting contest in Lost in Austen (2008).
The green and beige patterned waistcoat Hugh Laurie (Mr. Palmer) wears at the London ball is the same costume worn by Benjamin Whitrow (Mr. Bennet) at Longbourn in Pride and Prejudice (1995), by Mark Foxsmith in The Regency House Party (2004), and by James McAvoy (Tom Lefroy) to Lady Gresham's ball in Becoming Jane (2007).
The jeweled white gown with dark velvet overdress worn by a guest at the London Ball is the same costume worn by Jacqueline Pearce ( Lady Apthorpe) at the Prince Regent's ball in Princess Caraboo (1994), by Embeth Davidtz (Mary Crawford) for the theatrical in Mansfield Park (1999), and by Jane How (Lady Holland) to a ball in Byron (2003).
The apple-green day dress Harriet Walter (Fanny Dashwood) wears trimming hats with Lucy Steele is the same costume worn by Henry's new partner (seated next to Mary's new partner) at the end of Mansfield Park (1999).
The white muslin dress with yellow overdress Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears during the picnic scene is the same costume a farmhouse servant wears in Eroica (2003), and Michelle Ryan wears during the scene in which Sir Thomas asks Maria if she wants to marry Mr. Rushworth in Mansfield Park (2007).
The tan and black print muslin day dress worn by Gemma Jones (Mrs. Dashwood) at Barton Cottage is the same costume worn by Janet Dale (Miss Briggs) at Park Lane in Vanity Fair (1998), Penny Downie (Lady Milbanke) at dinner in Byron (2003), an extra at the Meryton Assembly Ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005), and Alex Kingston (Mrs. Bennet) at Hunsford in Lost in Austen (2008).
The rose lace-covered evening gown that Imelda Staunton (Mrs. Palmer) wears while playing cards at Barton Park is the same costume worn by a guest at the play in Quills (2000).
The green velvet gown with gold and white trimmings worn by Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood) to the ball in London is the same costume worn by Christina Cole (Caroline Bingley) in Lost in Austen (2008).
The dark purple velvet and silk gown Harriet Walter (Fanny Dashwood) wears to dinner at Norland Park is the same costume worn by the theatre guest seated next to deSade's wife in Quills (2000), and by Jane How (Lady Holland) at the London party in Byron (2003).
The pale blue dress with checked trim on the sleeves Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood) wears at Barton Cottage is the same costume Anna Madeley (Lucy Steele) wears when Edward calls at Mrs. Jennings' London house in Sense & Sensibility (2008), and by a guest at the Meryton Assembly ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005).


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Originally, there was to be a scene in which Hugh Grant would kiss Emma Thompson. This scene was deleted, however, because the film was too long already and the scene was felt to be inappropriate for Austen's time. They deleted another scene between Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood because of the length and the belief that it was not necessary for the exposition.
Marianne Dashwood's wedding dress was trimmed with straw.

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