5 Movies Based on Jane Austen's Novels

5 Movies Based on Jane Austen’s Novels

5 Movies Based on Jane Austen’s Novels

The internet is cluttered with movies based on novels by Jane Austen, which ones are worth watching? Check out my list


Jane Austen has won hearts of many generations with her works. Her strong female leads were groundbreaking for her time. Although Jane Austen herself never got her happy ending, she has left behind many tales to cherish this February.

5 Movies Based on Jane Austen's Novels
Jane Austen

Her works have been brought to life via many movies and TV series. If you were to Google them, a huge list of movies pops up. Which one is the best one to watch? To help you with that, I have combined a list of Top 5 Movies Based on Jane Austen’s Novels . This list has two things in common- they are all based on Austen’s original work and most importantly, they all have a happy ending.


5. Persuasion

Anne Elliot’s family has fallen on hard times. They let their house to earn an income. Anne is shocked when she discovers that the new tenants staying in their house are closely connected to Captain Wentworth, a man she had been engaged to 8 years ago.

Long buried wounds resurface and Anne questions her strength to reacquaint herself to Mr Wentworth.

When the two cross paths, it is evident that the Captain hasn’t forgiven what happened all those years ago.

Will wounds heal with time or with love?

5 Movies Based on Jane Austen's Novels
Title Page of Persuasion

Persuasion starts of on a rather grey note.

Anne Elliot is not the best of Jane Austen’s characters. I like my female characters to have some boldness of their own. Unfortunately Miss Elliot has none of that. She seems to be too timid and easily convinced. You almost think that she is scared of her own breath. She says little and takes everything upon herself.

If you are looking for strong characters, this is not a movie for you. However as a Jane Austen fan or a history buff, Persuasion can be a decent movie to spend an hour and a half on.


4. Northanger Abbey

17 year old Catherine Moreland is a voracious reader. The thrilling and adventure stories she reads are a constant diet for her overactive imagination.

One day, her neighbours the Mr and Mrs Allen pay a visit to the Morelands asking if Catherine could accompany them to Bath. Whilst in Bath she makes new acquaintances amongst them is Henry Tilney. Henry Tilney’s father is wrongly informed that Catherine is the daughter of the Allens. Assuming Catherine to be from a wealthy family, he invites her to Northanger Abbey.

5 Movies Based on Jane Austen's Novels

Looking at the humungous mansion with the long corridors and closed secret rooms, Catherine cannot help but be curious. As she again lets her imagination run wild, she is caught between secret and fiction. She then begins to ponder on Henry Tilney’s words- Maybe there is something like reading too much.’ As the saying goes curiosity killed the cat, maybe Catherine lose someone dear too.

The romance is Northanger Abbey is enough to satisfy yet doesn’t have a grip that pulls you in. The story line might be a little similar to toady’s soap operas. However you must remember that Jane Austen wrote this story down centuries ago and her imagination did run wild.

With a stellar cast starring Felicity Jones as Catherine Moreland, Northanger Abbey can be a part of your 14 February Movie List.


3. Emma

The principal reason to choose the 2009 BBC TV series is that it is of a better quality. One of the most important aspects to enjoying a movie is its picture quality. The 2009 version is but obvious of a better picture quality than the older movie version. Secondly, a TV series also helps explain the story better than a short two hour movie.

The story talks about a young girl Emma who is bought up with love. As a young lady, she discovers that she has an innate ability for good matchmaking. After she successfully sets up two couples together, Emma can’t stop. Her childhood friend Mr.Knightley warns Emma that the tables might soon turn and she would regret her matchmaking ways. Emma pays no heed. At long last, Mr. Knightley’s prophecy does come true. Emma finds asking her own heart- who’s in there?

5 Movies Based on Jane Austen's Novels
A scene from Emma

This classic Jane Austen romance is rather fun to watch. This mini TV series have just 4 episodes and a magnificent backdrop to gawk at. The manor houses and lush green grass emits a good aesthetic of what Austen herself might have imagined.

The exuberant Emma rubs off on you and lifts up the spirits. However as the series progresses, she comes of as a rather high-handed girl. As for me, I enjoyed the series but for the annoying high-handedness of the main character. Emma’s constant distinction of superiority or her snobbish remarks do get to you once you surpass her naive bubbly behaviour. Furthermore, some  behaviour amongst the characters in the series seems to be a little too forward for the times. Something that might not have occurred in Jane Austen’s time.

All in all however the end makes up for the character’s disposition. After all don’t they say- all’s well that ends well!!



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2. Mansfield Park

Jane Austen again surprises us with her talent of creating unique characters.

Fanny Price is a girl who’s family falls on hard times. With about ten children to cater to, Fanny is sent away to relations at a young age. She loves in Mansfield Park with them. As time passes, she grows up to be a gentile girl with a vigour. She loves to write stories and read.

Soon company arrives at Mansfield Park and the dice begins to roll. New suitors, fun and some shocking truths are revealed. Amongst all this, Fanny realises that her heart hurts every time she thinks of a life without someone. Who has managed to trap Miss Price’s affection?

5 Movies Based on Jane Austen's Novels
Title Page of Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park is perhaps my second favourite Jane Austen novel brought to life. I haven’t read the novel myself however but I definitely found the characters in the movie amiable. The story may not be as full of life as that of Emma nonetheless it is intriguing. There is a right amount of scandal, humour and of course good old classic love.

The character of Fanny Price is unique to the time it was created. Fanny Price’s love for story writing and reading was not something common amongst girls back then. However Fanny does have a quiet nature. She frequently and openly talks to her friend Edward Bertram. In return, Edward is a supporter of Fanny’s writing work and encourages her to publish her literary work.

What sets this movie apart form the other works is that it has a relatively strong female lead, isn’t too sombre and the ending montage is fun to watch!


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1. Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice is probably the most famous romance novel ever written. The characters of the novel may also be equally famous. What is so engrossing and groundbreaking about this novel is the variety of the characters in this story.

Jane Austen has created characters that resonate with today’s youth. The lead character of Elizabeth Bennet is a very steady head on her shoulders. She is in no way delusional and has a habit of speaking up her mind. As is the case with Fanny Price from Mansfield Park, Elizabeth Bennet is a much a stronger and confident young lady. On the other hand, her elder sister is naive and docile. Elizabeth has 3 more sisters and no brothers. Her mother is desperate to get her daughters married off before their father dies and the estate is taken over by their distant cousin Mr Collins.

The entire town begins to stir at the news of a wealthy Mr Bingley coming to town. Its almost Christmas for Mrs.Bennet when she realises that Mr Bingley and her eldest daughter Jane hit it off rather well. However Mr Bingley’s friend Mr Darcy is not much liked by the town.

5 Movies Based on Jane Austen's Novels
A scene from Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth Bennet as is her nature, comments on his lack of cordial behaviour and thus their acquaintance starts of on the wrong foot. As the characters intermingle and Elizabeth receives further news of Mr Darcy’s rude disposition, she becomes sure that he is indeed a horrid man.

But what were to happen if Elizabeth had been wrong all along? And what if her strong feelings towards Mr Darcy turn into something a bit more positive?

There are many movies and TV series right from HD quality to silent films about Pride and Prejudice. The ones I recommend are the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley or the 1995 TV series. I myself have watch the 2005 movie a couple of times. At the end you do realise that prejudices might lead to big disasters in understanding a person and pride may keep you from admitting your mistake. The two things combined are indeed a disastrous combination and so are the main couple from Pride and Prejudice- an explosion of hot headedness!

What did you think about my ‘ 5 Movies Based on Jane Austen’s Novels ‘ list? Have you seen any of these movies or do you know any other movies that are better? Comment below, I’d love to know


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Post Author: GiGlee Magazine

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