The latest version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
comes to DVD this month. And with Keira Knightley’s performance as
Elizabeth Bennet gathering her an Academy Award nomination for best
actress, perhaps we should take a moment to look at exactly where
her suitor, Matthew McFadyen, stands when it comes to playing the
infamous Mr. Darcy. Here are our five favorite portrayals of
1. Colin Firth (1995 BBC miniseries): When Firth emerged fully
clothed and wringing wet from the lake at Pemberley, millions of
hearts broke across the globe.
2. Laurence Olivier (1940 film): Not even the questionable
liberties of the screenplay — penned by Aldous Huxley — could
overshadow Olivier’s sparkling performance.
3. David Rintoul (1980 BBC miniseries): Dark, brooding, and
introspective; a fine performance from someone who has since become
a U.K. small-screen veteran.
4. Peter Cushing (1952 BBC miniseries): The first of the BBC
miniseries. Cushing offers just a hint of his dark side, long
before he went on to harass Princess Leia in Star Wars.
5. Matthew McFadyen (2005 film): Maybe a little too prissy to be
a true Darcy, but adequately charming. His tempered dissolution
serves this warts-and-all rendition well.