On Mr. Darcy’s Pond Scene

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“:

via http://entertainment.time.com/2013/07/10/colin-firths-wet-mr-darcy-finally-immortalized/
Creepy: via http://entertainment.time.com/2013/07/10/colin-firths-wet-mr-darcy-finally-immortalized/

And now this?

At least this was for charity
At least this was for charity

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.

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Comments

  1. HUZZAH!! While I don’t fast forward through the pond scene, I always seem to be in the kitchen when it happens. It destroys the fictive dream, and IMO, ruins the tension building as Lizzie and Darcy come closer to meeting again.

    If you find you have to hide out, Jennifer, the Anti Pond Network is at your disposal.

    1. The 1995 version is my absolute favorite, but this scene was one of my few complaints. I get the whole baptism and change of heart in Mr. Darcy, and that’s nice. But then there’s the bathing and the dressing and oy. Austen’s scene kept them together right from their first unexpected meeting. They didn’t have time to figure out what to do next.

      My other complaint is the bouncy kissing scene in the carriage. I would much rather have seen a romantic kiss than that closing scene.

      1. You are generous. Your subtext gives the distraction far more weight validity than I ever have. Let’s face, Austenites are not discussing Darcy’s emotional conversion when they talk about The Pond.

  2. Lol! I don’t mind the scene -I never really thought about it in detail, as far as it interrupting the building tension before their meeting. But the statue is creepy, and I don’t find Benedict Cumberbatch handsome anyway. Not that he isn’t a great actor, probably. I think the only thing I’ve seen him in is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, in which I thought he looked a little too much like Stuart from MadTV.

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