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Matthew Macfadyen (Mr. Darcy) has very poor eyesight. In the misty morning shot, director Joe Wright was behind the camera waving a red flag so Macfadyen knew where to walk.
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At the beginning of the movie, Elizabeth is shown reading a novel titled "First Impressions" - this was Jane Austen's original title of her novel before she altered it to "Pride and Prejudice". Additionally, the text of the visible pages is readable when paused; it is the last chapter of "Pride and Prejudice", with names changed.
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Director Joe Wright managed to cast Dame Judi Dench reportedly by writing her a letter saying "I love it when you play a bitch", and petitioned Donald Sutherland to take the part of Mr. Bennet. As Wright said in an interview in 2005, "We ended up having a long e-mail correspondence about everything from eighteenth century agriculture to my relationship with my father. I cast Donald a) because he's a god, and b) because you needed someone of that strength to handle those six women." On a similar note, he mentioned he was "reluctant" to cast Simon Woods as Mr. Bingley, as he had previously been in a relationship with Rosamund Pike: "I tried very hard not to cast Simon, but I knew he was perfect. Finally I rang Ros and asked if she'd mind, and she said, 'Absolutely not'. They hadn't seen each other for two years, but the next day they were dancing together. It was lovely."
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Director Joe Wright was not initially keen on Keira Knightley playing Elizabeth, believing her to be too attractive. He changed his mind upon meeting her, deciding her tomboyish attitude would be perfect for the part. Or, as she tells it on The Graham Norton Show (2007) : "He initially thought I was too pretty, but then he met me and said 'Oh, no you're fine!'."
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Rosamund Pike was director Joe Wright's first choice for the role of Jane. She turned down the role of Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) for this movie.
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This movie is set in 1797, the year that Jane Austen wrote the first draft of "Pride and Prejudice". This is unusual, as most movie adaptations set it in 1813 when it was revised and finalized.
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The actresses who make up the Bennet family (Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Talulah Riley, and Carey Mulligan) went to the Bennet house location, in Kent, before the crew, and played Sardines (similar to Hide and Seek in America) in order to get better acquainted with the house and each other before filming began.
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According to the director's commentary, Tamzin Merchant (Georgiana Darcy) did her own piano playing in this movie.
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Dame Emma Thompson did an uncredited and unpaid re-write of the script. She received a "Special Thanks" credit at the end of this movie. One of the two scenes that Thompson wrote was the scene in which Charlotte Lucas tells Elizabeth Bennet that she will marry Mr. Collins. The other one is the scene in which Elizabeth Bennet tries to tell Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner and Mr. Darcy about Lydia's elopement with Mr. Wickham. Here, Keira Knightley's walking in and out of the room was Thompson's idea, according to Joe Wright's DVD commentary.
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Jena Malone, who is American, and Donald Sutherland, who is Canadian, are the only non-English cast members in the movie.
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The last scene of this movie that shows the newlyweds Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy outside of Pemberley showing affection for each other was absent in the U.K. release.
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The scene where Mr. Bingley rehearses proposing to Jane was improvised. Initially, it was supposed to be shorter, but Simon Woods was so good that the scene was lengthened.
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Director Joe Wright specifically instructed Keira Knightley never to pout throughout the whole movie. There is, however, one scene in where she does, but that scene was shot by the second unit without Wright present. According to Knightley, Wright still complains when watching this movie over her breaking this "pout ban".
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While editing the scene with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's first dance, Joe Wright discovered that they had inadvertently gotten the entire scene in one take via a camera in place to take establishing shots. The single take version is in the finished movie.
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The movie's U.S. ending was ranked as one of Entertainment Weekly's greatest movie endings of all time.
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In the book, Elizabeth visits a portrait gallery in Pemberley. This was changed to a sculpture gallery for the movie in part because they were filming at Chatsworth, which has a spectacular sculpture gallery, and also because Joe Wright felt it was a more dynamic way to stage the scene.
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When Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) is at the lake after rejecting Mr. Collins' (Tom Hollander's) proposal, a flock of geese flew off the pond immediately after Director Joe Wright yelled, "Action!" This was unplanned.
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Simon Woods, who is a natural blond, had to dye his hair red for the role of Mr. Bingley. Oddly enough, it continued to grow red after filming, something for which Woods resents director Joe Wright.
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The importance of how much characters earn as interest on their inheritance is a key element to the story. Each of the Bennet girls will only inherit £1,000, which would mean they would only have £40-50 a year to live on. By comparison, that is roughly $5,000 U.S. in 2017 figures. This makes Mrs. Bennet's desperation to marry off her daughters far more imperative.
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All the exterior Pemberley sequences and some of the interior, including the sculpture gallery, were shot at Chatsworth House, property of the Duke of Devonshire. As the house functions as a private home and is also the most visited stately home in England, several of the interior shots could not, however, be done there and were instead shot in Wilton House, Wiltshire.
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Joe Wright cast Donald Sutherland after seeing him in Cold Mountain (2003). Sutherland reminded Wright of his father.
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The almost-kiss during the rain proposal was unique to Matthew Macfadyen. It came up in his screentest with Keira Knightley due to their chemistry with each other, as is stated by the DVD and Blu-ray commentary.
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Keira Knightley was preparing for her role in Domino (2005) while she was filming this, and had already cut her hair. She had to wear a wig during the last few weeks of filming and long sleeves to hide her muscles.
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Mary Bennet was originally dropped from this movie to leave only four sisters until it was decided at the last minute to leave her in.
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In the scene where Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) is asked to play the piano by Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Dame Judi Dench), she plays a very awkward version of the composition that plays at the beginning of the movie and throughout it. Elizabeth is essentially playing the movie's theme song, but very badly.
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The frequent close-ups of Matthew Macfadyen's hand are a reference to the fact that the ultimate goal of the Bennet sisters' lives is a wealthy man's "hand" in marriage, and a foreshadowing of the fact that Elizabeth does in fact eventually win Mr. Darcy's "hand".
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According to the director's commentary, Carey Mulligan (Kitty) thought of her mother's funeral during her first crying scene (also her first movie). On subsequent takes, when she ran dry, Carey thought of what song would be played at her own funeral. It didn't work quite as well.
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Talulah Riley, who plays Mary, the third Bennet daughter, is younger than Carey Mulligan, who plays Kitty, the fourth daughter. Jena Malone, who plays the youngest daughter Lydia, is older than both of these, as well as Keira Knightley, who plays Elizabeth, the second daughter.
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Knowledge of the income of Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) is seemingly public and goes unexplained. The value of an estate or an inheritance was usually commonly known amongst the aristocracy. In the Georgian period it was usual for people to have their inheritance with a bank that gave them an annual interest rate of four or five percent. Thus, Mr. Darcy inherited two hundred thousand pounds sterling upon his father's death and now earns ten thousand pounds sterling a year in interest.
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The dinner table scene at Lady Catherine de Bourgh's (Dame Judi Dench's) was the first scene shot for this movie. Elizabeth's (Keira Knightley's) conversation with Mr. Wickham (Rupert Friend) under the tree was the last. Filming at that location, Burghley House in Linconshire, lasted from the 18th to the 22nd of July, 2004, according to the house's website. In this movie (and the novel), the house is called "Rosings". Filmed almost entirely on-location. The only set built for the movie was the Meryton Assembly room where Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) and the Bingleys are first introduced, because assembly rooms of the type no longer survive in England, or are at least very hard to find nowadays. Building the set also allowed the crew to build it to their exact specifications. Filming on a real location that was that narrow would have been incredibly difficult anyway.
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The English Country Dances done in this movie are: Young Widow, Wakefield Hunt, The Bishop, Dutch Dollars, Tythe Pig, Black Bess, Duke of Gloucester's March, and Moniek's Maggot (a modern composition done in the traditional style, danced in the movie to a tune by Henry Purcell.)
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When Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) is reading the letter from Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) and Charlotte (Claudie Blakley) comes and asks her if she is alright, you can clearly see the signature on the letter: Fitzwilliam Darcy.
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Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) reveals to Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) that his sister is to have £30,000. This sum is her dowry, given to her upon her marriage from the family. It would amount to an income of £1,500 a year on a 5% interest, making Miss Georgiana Darcy (Tamzin Merchant) a very eligible young woman. In comparison, Mr. Bennet (Donald Sutherland) has agreed to give the married Lydia (Jena Malone) £100 a year, meaning her dowry, as well as those of her four other sisters, is only £2,000.
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Joe Wright set this movie in 1797 because he disliked the empire-waisted gowns of the late regency era. After doing some research, he discovered that Austen wrote the first draft of the novel in 1797, when this style of dress would only be worn by the most fashionable members of high society.
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In the DVD and Blu-ray commentary, director Joe Wright said he was very fond of the Gardiners (Elizabeth's aunt and uncle), so he filled their scenes with warm tones and showed them eating lots of delicious food.
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Theatrical movie debut of Talulah Riley (Mary Bennet) and Carey Mulligan (Kitty Bennet).
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The militia uniforms seen in the parade sequence came from the "Sharpe" television film franchise. There was no unit in the British Infantry at the time with yellow facings on their collars and turn backs. However, Bernard Cornwell, author of the Sharpe series created a regiment from whole cloth called the "South Essex", which he described as having yellow facings on their collars. The uniforms were created for the "Sharpe" film franchise, and were pulled from the wardrobe department for this movie.
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During Mr. Bingley's (Simon Woods') private ball, when Miss Bingley (Kelly Reilly) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) are dancing with each other, Miss Bingley says, "I can't help feeling that someone is going to produce a piglet and make us chase it." The song, to which they are dancing, is called "The Tythe Pig".
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Pemberley exteriors/Pemberley's grand staircase/Pemberley's sculpture gallery were filmed at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England. Chatsworth house has been the family home of the Duke of Devonshire and his family since 1549. Keira Knightley starred in The Duchess (2008) as Georgiana Cavendish, 5th Duchess of Devonshire.
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Keira Knightley and Tom Hollander appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007).
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Composer Dario Marianelli wrote most of the dance music prior to filming.
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Features five actresses nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress: Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike, Brenda Blethyn, Carey Mulligan, and Dame Judi Dench. Of these, Keira Knightley and Brenda Blethyn have also been nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, while Dame Judi Dench won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love (1998).
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Romola Garai auditioned for the role of Elizabeth Bennet. She later played Keira Knightley's sister in Atonement (2007).
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Keira Knightley appeared in several other movies directed by Joe Wright, including Atonement (2007), in which she played Cecilia; and Anna Karenina (2012), in which she played Anna. Dario Marianelli, who composed this movie's soundtrack, also composed the soundtrack for Anna Karenina (2012). Additionally, Matthew MacFadyen appeared in Anna Karenina (2012) as Stepan Arkadyevich Oblonsky, Anna's brother.
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Matthew Macfadyen and Donald Sutherland appeared in The Pillars of the Earth (2010).
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In the "Official Trailer", the first music heard is from Track 13 of the Sense and Sensibility (1995) soundtrack; later it plays part of Track 2 of the same soundtrack (while the voice-over says "from the beloved author of 'Emma' and 'Sense and Sensibility'"); and later it plays part of the Prime Minister's Love Theme from Love Actually (2003) (while the voice-over says "from the producers of Bridget Jones' Diary (2001) and Love Actually (2003)).
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Jena Malone and Donald Sutherland appeared in Cold Mountain (2003) and The Hunger Games film franchise. Carey Mulligan and Rosamund Pike appeared in An Education (2009).
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When Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) approach Longborn, so Mr. Bingley can propose to Jane (Rosamund Pike), all of the Bennet girls are relaxed in the living room. We hear Mrs. Bennet (Brenda Blethyn) humming a song: it's "Greensleeves", a traditional English tune.
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Although not directly stated in this movie, it was Mr. Collins (Tom Hollander) who told Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Dame Judi Dench) that Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) was engaged to Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen).
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