Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest Region
Austen’s last complete and most mature novel has rarely been produced in comparison with Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Emma. Many consider the 1995 film to be the definitive version, and — the uncharacteristic running at the end of the 2007 version notwithstanding — the more recent update also has its merits, while the 1971 mini series is heartfelt and faithful to the original. In addition, the novel has inspired a few recent, very loosely updated versions, including a web series.
Left column, from top: Amanda Root (Anne Elliot) and Ciarán Hinds (Capt. Wentworth) in the 1995 film; Rupert Penry-Jones (Capt. Wentworth) and Sally Hawkins (Anne Elliot) in the 2008 television movie; Bryan Marshall (Capt. Wentworth) and Ann Firbank (Anne Elliot) in the 1971 mini series; Captain Wentworth in the 1995 film (Ciarán Hinds) and 2008 television movie (Rupert Penry-Jones)
Middle column, from top: Sally Hawkins (Anne), Rupert-Penry Jones (Capt. Wentworth) and Jennifer Higham (Louisa Musgrove) in the 2008 television movie; Sally Hawkins (Anne) in the concert scene from 2008; Tia Streaty in the web series from 2015; the scene on the Cobb in Lyme Regis from 1995 and 2008; Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth in a scene from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Right column, from top: the concert scene from the 1971 mini series; Keanu Reeves in The Lake House, in which a copy of the book plays a key role; Amanda Root (Anne) and Susan Fleetwood (Lady Russell) in the 1995 film; Sally Hawkins (Anne) and Alice Krige (Lady Russell) in the 2008 adaptation; Samuel West (Mr. Elliot), Amanda Root (Anne Elliot) and Ciarán Hinds (Capt. Wentworth) in the 1995 film; Anthony Head (Sir Walter Elliot), Julia Davis (Elizabeth Elliot) and Amanda Hale (Mary Musgrove) in the 2008 adaptation
This 93-minute version by Clerkenwell Films and WGBH Boston features a bit too much uncharacteristic running at the conclusion but has its merits and a few excellent casting choices.
Director: Adrian Shergold
Screenplay: Simon Burke
Sally Hawkins (Anne Elliot)
Rupert Penry-Jones (Capt. Wentworth)
Alice Krige (Lady Russell)
Tobias Menzies (William Elliot)
Anthony Head (Sir Walter Elliot)
Julia Davis (Elizabeth Elliot)
Amanda Hale (Mary Musgrove)
Sam Hazeldine (Charles Musgrove)
Jennifer Higham (Louisa Musgrove)
Rosamund Stephen (Henrietta Musgrove)
Finlay Robertson (James Benwick)
Peter Wight (Admiral Croft)
Marion Bailey (Mrs. Croft)
Nicholas Farrell (Mr. Musgrove)
Stella Gonet (Mrs. Musgrove)
Mary Stockley (Mrs. Clay)
Maisie Dimbleby (Mrs. Smith)
This well-cast theatrical version is a faithful dramatization of the novel that captures Austen’s tone and never feels rushed, despite the running time of only 1 hour, 47 minutes. It is widely considered the definitive adaptation of Persuasion.
Director: Roger Michell
Screenplay: Nick Dear
Amanda Root (Anne Elliot)
Ciarán Hinds (Capt. Wentworth)
Susan Fleetwood (Lady Russell)
Samuel West (Mr. Elliot)
Corin Redgrave (Sir Walter Elliot)
Phoebe Nicholls (Elizabeth Elliot)
Sophie Thompson (Mary Musgrove)
Simon Russell Beale (Charles Musgrove)
Emma Roberts (Louisa Musgrove)
Victoria Hamilton (Henrietta Musgrove)
Richard McCabe (Capt. Benwick)
John Woodvine (Admiral Croft)
Fiona Shaw (Mrs. Croft)
Roger Hammond (Mr. Musgrove)
Judy Cornwell (Mrs. Musgrove)
Felicity Dean (Mrs. Clay)
Helen Schlesinger (Mrs. Smith)
This five-hour mini series is a faithful adaptation, shot mostly in studio, on videotape, as was the practice during the era.
Director: Howard Baker
Screenplay: Julian Mitchell
Ann Firbank (Anne Elliot)
Bryan Marshall (Capt. Wentworth)
Marion Spencer (Lady Russell)
David Savile (William Elliot)
Basil Dignam (Sir Walter Elliot)
Valerie Gearon (Elizabeth Elliot)
Morag Hood (Mary Musgrove)
Rowland Davies (Charles Musgrove)
Zhivala Roche (Louisa Musgrove)
Mel Martin (Henrietta Musgrove)
Paul Chapman (James Benwick)
Richard Vernon (Admiral Croft)
Georgine Anderson (Mrs. Croft)
William Kendall (Mr. Musgrove)
Noel Dyson (Mrs. Musgrove)
Charlotte Mitchell (Mrs. Clay)
Polly Murch (Mrs. Smith)
Neston Park in Wiltshire stood in for Kellynch Hall for the 2007 TV movie.
Barnsley Park in Gloucestershire served as Kellynch Hall in the 1995 film.
Orangery, Frampton Court
The Orangery, Frampton Court, Gloucestershire, played Kellynch Hall in the 1971 mini series.
Uppercross Great House
Sheldon Manor in Chippenham, Wiltshire, served as Uppercross Great House in both the 2007 TV movie and the 1995 feature film.
Frampton Court, Gloucestershire, played Uppercross Great House in the 1971 mini series.
Lyme Coaching Inn
Manor House, Great Chalfield
The Manor House in Great Chalfield, Wiltshire, served as the Lyme Coaching Inn in the 2007 TV movie.
The George Inn, Norton Street, Philip, Somerset, portrayed the Lyme Coaching Inn in the 1995 film.
Number One, Royal Crescent
Number One, Royal Crescent, portrayed the Camden Place lodgings in the 2007 TV movie.
Sydney Place stood in for Camden Place in the 1995 film.
Another perspective on the Cobb at Lyme Regis
The Cobb at Lyme Regis is a key location for traditional versions of Persuasion.
Check out our Pinterest collection of film location boards!
The Lake House (2006)
While the plot has little similarity with Persuasion, the heroine’s copy of the novel — her favorite and a gift from her father — plays a pivotal role in the action, letters are exchanged by the leads, and the description of Anne and Capt. Wentworth’s compatibility is referenced.
Director: Alejandro Agresti
Screenplay: David Auburn (based on film Siworae by Eun-Jeong Kim & Ji-na Yeo)
Keanu Reeves (Alex Wyler)
Sandra Bullock (Kate Forster)
Christopher Plummer (Simon Wyler)
Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Henry Wyler)
Dylan Walsh (Morgan)
Shohreh Aghdashloo (Anna)
Willeke van Ammelrooy (Kate’s Mother)
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Helen Fielding’s novel, on which this followup to her Bridget Jones’s Diary is based, shares numerous parallels with (or homages to) Austen’s Persuasion.
Director: Beeban Kidron
Screenplay: Andrew Davies, Helen Fielding, Richard Curtis and Adam Brooks
Renée Zellweger (Bridget Jones)
Colin Firth (Mark Darcy)
Hugh Grant (Daniel Cleaver)
Jim Broadbent (Bridget’s Dad)
Gemma Jones (Bridget’s Mum)
Shirley Henderson (Jude)
Sally Phillips (Shazza)
James Callis (Tom)
Celia Imrie (Una Alconbury)
James Faulkner (Geoffrey Alconbury)
Neil Pearson (Richard Finch)
Jessica Hynes (Magda)
Lucy Robinson (Janey)
This 10-episode scripted web series is a dramedy about millennials that borrows from Austen’s novel, beginning with the heroine’s rejection of a marriage proposal from her longtime boyfriend for complicated reasons.
Director: Rico Aleus
Writers: Rico Aleus and Jerrell Pippens
Jerrell Pippens (Jerrell Spencer)
Tia Streaty (Renee)
Maria Sten (Terry)
Christopher D. Lindsay (Shaun)
Sid Mallya (Brett)
Emilie Kuznicki (Nataasha)
Tonie Quintero-Gonzalez (Ms. Suarez)
Arlene Victoria (Tiffany)
Tatum Miranda (Tatum)
Quincy Ndekwe (Cedric)
Joshua M. Watson (Josh)