While matchmaking for friends and neighbours, a young 19th Century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love.
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Doran Godwin ...  Emma Woodhouse 6 episodes, 1972
John Carson ...  Mr. Knightley 6 episodes, 1972
Donald Eccles ...  Mr. Woodhouse 6 episodes, 1972
Constance Chapman ...  Miss Bates 6 episodes, 1972
Ellen Dryden ...  Mrs. Weston 6 episodes, 1972
Debbie Bowen ...  Harriet Smith 6 episodes, 1972
Raymond Adamson ...  Mr. Weston 6 episodes, 1972
Timothy Peters Timothy Peters ...  Mr. Elton 5 episodes, 1972
Vivienne Moore Vivienne Moore ...  Williams 5 episodes, 1972
Robert East ...  Frank Churchill 4 episodes, 1972
Ania Marson ...  Jane Fairfax 4 episodes, 1972
Mary Holder Mary Holder ...  Mrs. Bates 4 episodes, 1972
Fiona Walker ...  Mrs. Elton 3 episodes, 1972
Mollie Sugden ...  Mrs. Goddard 2 episodes, 1972
John Alkin John Alkin ...  Robert Martin 2 episodes, 1972
Amber Thomas Amber Thomas ...  Patty 2 episodes, 1972
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Storyline

This BBC production, set in the small town of Highbury depicts the often hilarious attempts of Miss Emma Woodhouse to make proper marital matches for all of her friends. Though often mistaken in her judgement, she is counseled and criticised by her neighbor and brother-in-law, the wise Mr. Knightley whose attentions to her are motivated by more than brotherly love. Written by Teresa B. O'Donnell <sun.moon.stars@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 July 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Emma See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 parts)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sheer turquoise and gold shawl Doran Godwin (Emma Woodhouse) wears at the Crown Ball is the same garment Rosanna Lavelle (Lady Middleton) wears in Sense & Sensibility (2008). See more »

Goofs

The characters are seen playing cards with a modern deck of cards that show both the suit symbol (hearts, clubs, spades, clubs) and a number on each corner. During the time period the movie was set in, playing cards did not show the number of the card in the corners. See more »

Connections

Version of Emma (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

The Twenty-ninth of May
Traditional
From John Playford's 'The English Dancing Master', First Edition (1651)
[theme]
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User Reviews

A very loving and literate adaptation; how Austen would have liked it.
15 October 2009 | by kboddaerdSee all my reviews

The appealing nature of this adaptation is its length and its fun. Characterisaton comes close to the work Davies did in 1996 for A&E, although it differs somewhat. That might be down to the literary criticism of the day, though, and particularly in the judgment upon Harriet as a dull, stupid cow. Davies was a little more nuanced in his judgment upon all characters, but nonetheless, the work Denis Constanduros produced was very true to the spirit of the novel and made use of the comedy elements in the original text. Particularly in costume and the one character of Mr Woodhouse Constanduros produced classic comedy that was about words rather than one-liners and ridiculous situations.

Also the age-difference between Emma and her Mr Knightley is very much apparent. Knightley is not as vigorous as Mark Strong in the role, but this Mr Knightley has not the task of radiating sex-appeal, but rather radiating stability and wisdom through experience, like Austen's version.

Despite the lack of technology to make shots and filming on location truly possible, they did well. There is also no music which made it necessary for the actors and director to truly act and film the characters' feelings so the viewer could comprehend them. It is surprising how they managed to still convey the same emotional tension (or even more of it than they do now) through mainly just close-ups. That, though, might slightly bother the modern viewer. However, through it, viewers are compelled to use their own brain more than with modern adaptations of the novel.

Most of the contents is not toned down, only maybe the complicated business with Churchill and Jane when things are going wrong in the end. The main point of Emma and Knightley's blindness to each other stays upward better than in the Miramax version of 1996. And that without all that Miramx had to their disposal.

It is the only adaptation of the work as well, that uses the wordiness of Austen. It is important as a viewer that one listens more than that one watches. We could easily just make the adaptation in a hear-play, it would make little difference. The language is so expressive and the comedy is so much embedded in it that the physical acting matters less. And that is what Austen is about: it is no slapstick, but pure wordy wit. We have come a long way since the 1970s in comedy.

All in all, a satisfactory adaptation without sex-appeal, but with sweetness. I daresay, how Austen would have liked it.


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