I am about to say something controversial.
Wait for iiiiiit!
I dislike this scene intensely.
The 1995 production of P&P was pretty faithful to Austen’s manuscript, with this glaring exception. I’m not contending that it was historically inaccurate for a gentleman to take a dip in the pond. It was historically appropriate. I object to the fact that it was added to an otherwise faithful movie adaptation of the novel.
And apparently this scene made Colin Firth a star, and it is the most memorable scene in the film. Gah! It didn’t even happen in the book!
And I can’t get away from it.
There’s this from Lost in Austen:
And then the scene was “immortalized as a statue“:
And now this?
Not only do I think Austen wrote a better scene, but I also think Colin Firth had far more memorable moments in the film than just playing peekaboo with his nipples.
However, if a damp shirt is all it takes to bring readers to appreciate Jane Austen, well, I guess that’s good. And please, Mr. Firth, take no offense. I enjoyed you in the rest of the movie immensely.