Mansfield Park 1983

20 Jun

NOTICE- I don’t know what is wrong with the formatting on this page that makes the pictures so huge! I resized them and they looked fine in the edit box, but are humongo when you actually view the page! Sorry!

I thought I already did this review days ago! I have had a bit of a cold, so maybe it is messing with my memory.

Like the other TV adaptations before the 1990s, this miniseries has rather stagey production values. However, if you’re used to such a thing, you should highly enjoy it as I did. It is the only adaptation of Mansfield Park to actually stay true to the book and its characters, so if that’s what you like and you were disappointed by either the 1999 or 2007 versions, you should check this one out.

Most of the acting was perfectly adequate (with one big exception) so I really don’t have much to say.

The Characters

Sylvestra Le Touzel as Fanny Price

The series’ biggest flaw. Yes, she was written true to the book character of Fanny Price- timid but highly moral inside and all that. There was just one big problem- she just couldn’t act! The way she recited her lines sometimes made me cringe.

Nicholas Farrell as Edmund Bertram

I wasn’t crazy about him at first but he’s grown on me. I wonder why they had his hair long. Maybe it was to show he did not care about fashion.

Robert Burbage as Henry Crawford

I thought he was good and could definitely be considered plain.

Jackie Smith-Wood as Mary Crawford

Has the same wig as Henry! Well, they look alike, I suppose.

Bernard Hepton as Sir Thomas Bertram

No complaints here.

Angela Pleasence as Lady Bertram

I think she could be over-the-top at times. She occasionally talked in a whiny voice and I think may have sucked her thumb at one point! It was funny, I suppose, but it went beyond the indolent Lady Bertram of the book to an overgrown baby!

Christopher Villiers as Tom Bertram

Like Edmund, he had long (and kinda messy) hair in the beginning. But after he comes back with Yates, it’s in this stylish do. I almost didn’t recognize him!

Anna Massey as Mrs. Norris

Great as the evil but pretends to be good Mrs. Norris!

Since I really don’t have much to say on the individual performances, I’m just going to leave it as that. This is the only version to include both William and Susan Price, and the Grants (but Dr. Grant’s gluttony is not featured). A lot of it is narrated as Fanny’s letters to William. There are a couple kisses, but only between Maria and Henry, not the leads.

Honestly, I’m still feeling sick and a bit woozy but if I put this review off any longer I’ll forget even more. I leave you with a shot of the Honourable John Yates’ bizarre hairstyle:

My Rating: 8/10

2 Responses to “Mansfield Park 1983”

  1. Julie June 29, 2010 at 3:29 PM #

    FYI — Netflix tells me that MP99 is on its way to my house. *sigh*


  1. 2010: A Jane Austen Odyssey « A Day in the Life - July 11, 2010

    […] wearing some sort of rodent on his head).  For good screencaps of the characters, check out Marspeach’s review of MP83.  But, back in the 60s, 70s and 80s we didn’t know any better, so I am fully able to […]

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