In Honor Of The Latest Resurgence Of Jane Austen’s Stories In Pop-Culture, I Ranked Top 5 Best Adaptions Of Her Novels, From ‘Clueless’ To ‘Persuasion’

Well, Jane Austen never gets forgotten.

Austen is the author of the legendary masterworks like “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice,” and her work has been adapted for the small and big screens dozens of times. Her legacy continues with a new PBS series, “Sanditon,” and a new “Emma” film starring Anya Taylor-Joy.

Nevertheless, in consideration of the latest resurgence of Austen’s stories in pop culture (she died in 1817), *never in the hearts*, I ranked the top 5 best adaptions of her novels, from everyone’s favorite Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice” to a clumsy take on “Emma” that’s anything, but “Clueless.”

Number Five: ‘Persuasion‘ (1995) 

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Persuasion, in the movie story of love, lost and foundno doubt, 1995 was the year of Jane Austen’s fans. Plus, under-the-radar approach in her film canon stars Ciarán Hinds (“Game of Thrones”), and thanks to the interference of friends and family, the movie stands out to be one of the most unabashedly romantic adaptions of Austen’s novels.

Number Four: ‘Sanditon‘ (PBS, 2020)

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Based on Jane’s last, unfinished story, Masterpiece’s new miniseries, reveals a side of Austen, that some fans may not recognize.

Sanditon is all about love and power, taking place at one of England’s up-and-coming seaside resorts, it explores capitalism and class-divisions like never before, casually revealing Jane’s first black character.

To be clear, the PBS adaptation, based on a few dozen pages from Austen’s hand, is intelligent, witty, and thematically resonant in our current era.

Number Three: ‘Clueless‘ (1995)

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Well, in taking Jane Austen’s work “Emma” and putting it in a modern-day high school, creator Amy Heckerling proved merely how evergreen and infinite Jane’s creation is, while also making one of the most favorite teen comedies of all time.

Number Two: ‘Sense and Sensibility‘ (1995) 

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This majestic creation by Ang Lee directs a script by Emma Thomson that zings enthusiasm into the story of the Dashwood’s sisters (played by Thompson and Kate Winslet) – who grew up in wealth but lost everything after their father’s death. Plus! Thompson won an Oscar for her screenplay, and it’s obvious to see why, as the film sensibly refreshes the story, and nips and tucks viewpoints of the book it doesn’t need.

Number One: ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ (PBS, 1995) 

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I bet there is nothing better than this blockbuster TV adaption that helped start the mid-90’s Jane Austen blast! Starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, matched with Jennifer Ehle, as a playful, witty Lizzie Bennet, Pride and Prejudice has several hours to tell Jane’s story. Plus! It uses many verbatim passages from her most successful novel into the script word for word.

Also, Colin Firth’s performances became immediate iconic, and he would go on to slightly overcome it various times in the “Bridget Jones” film series, a modern spin on the story.

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