Never thought I would say these words

But Masterpiece Theatre is so high up on my craplist right now.

Last night I watched Persuasion, which you will remember I've been looking forward to since about the 5th of EVER. I had a couple of girlfriends over, there was hot chocolate, cookies, a somewhat-mangled peach tart, and every good thing.

Things started well enough, but about halfway through Spitfire (who watched the YouTube version with me, squinting at my laptop, back in April) commented that things certainly seemed to be moving forward quickly. I said that yeah, since the movie is only about 90 minutes they kind of had to do that. But then I realized that we'd missed a scene--the one where Captain Wentworth is standing on the Cobb in the rain in Lyme Regis (don't ask me why people think it's fun to go walk in the rain and the wind like that). Anyway, he's talking with his buddy about how much he still loves Anne and what an idiot he's been. So he decides to go win her back. And they have a man hug, and it's precious. Totally not there.

Then I realized that some scenes felt a bit shorter than I remember them being. And I started thinking, "Hey, wasn't there a part where . . .? " a lot.

But then, then. We come to The Big Moment at the end with The Big Kiss.

It was cut twice to make it shorter.

Which is when I very nearly tore off my own head and threw it at the TV screen. I have no words to even express how I feel about that. Only inarticulate screeches and violent gestures.

Come ON, people! It was a short movie to begin with! What's up with the editing? Is it because of Gillian Anderson's incredibly lame intro? Did they need to make time for that? You do not CUT a lovely scene of Reconciliation and Longing and Kissing for Gillian Flipping Check Out My New Madonna Accent Anderson! You don't! Ever!

So. Here's what's gonna happen. The DVD is being released tomorrow. I've preordered a copy for the library, and it should come in on Thursday or Friday. I will take it home and watch it. If my scenes are not back where they're supposed to be, I will kill everyone. And then I'll purchase a UK version, get my b-in-law to strip the region coding, and watch that instead. And if the Digital Millennium Copyright Act people come after me, I'll just show them the two versions. Then they'll understand, and they'll probably ask me to burn them a copy.

To see the REAL last 7 minutes of the movie, complete with every last second of bosom-heaving, go here. No knowing how long the clip will be up, though!

Either way, MP is getting a strongly-worded letter from me about the hack job. And possibly a flaming sack filled with dog poop.


i i eee said... [reply]

Having not seen the UK version, I was just comparing it to the older "Persuasion." I think Ciaran Hinds is a much better Captain Wentworth -and the last scene on the older version, where there's a parade in the background, and it's just Anne and the captain...soooo much better than the kiss in this newer version. And what was with Anne in this version, warbling her lip up and down, up and down before they kissed? It looked like she was getting Bell's palsy or something.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Okay, even though you just made me laugh really hard with the comment about Anne's lips, I think it was because she was out of breath.

Yankee Girl said... [reply]

So glad you said something about the hack job. I (not having seen the Brit version) was temporarily concerned about your suggestion that we see it. I just kept thinking the whole time that it seemed to be moving very fast and that some more attention could have been given to some storylines. When it ended after just 1 1/2 hours I was thoroughly disappointed--I mean really if we can handle 6 or so hours of Pride and Prejudice we can take at least 2 hours of Persuasion. Looking forward to your dvd review.

Nerd Goddess said... [reply]

Oh, oh, it all makes sense now. I was watching it with my roommates, and I thought it was moving quite fast. And also, the kiss was just way, way too short. I even complained about it too my roommate, and we agreed. Glad to know, and please tell us if the DVD is everything it's supposed to be, because that would be worth it.

Jenny said... [reply]

It seemed edited to me, but seriously, Rupert Penry-Jones's hotness compensated for it, in my opinion.

Bridget said... [reply]

I'm so glad you confirmed this! I thought maybe I was imagining things.

You know what really gave away the kiss-cut? The timing of the tear falling down her cheek was all wrong.

Cicada said... [reply]

It's so unfortunate really... Of course the editing and cutting of scenes didn't stop me from watching it again this morning. Anyway, I really need to read the book now. One thing I didn't think the movie touched on but I'm sure Jane Austen may have mentioned in the book was why the eldest sister was not married. It seemed odd to me... Must read the book.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Yankee girl, I will warn you. Even uncut, the movie does move forward really fast. As an adaptation, it's not as good as the 1995 version and it does leave out a lot of explanation. The bit at the end where her friend finds her and is like, "Btw, Mr. Eliot is a creep" is a good example of that. Which is partly why I was so enraged to find it even further cut last night.

Nerd goddess, THANK YOU. See? We know what is and is not too short! Also, Bridget, excellent call on the tear. You are so right.

Jenny, yes. Rupert Penry-Jones is very much heave-worthy (bosoms, that is, not stomach).

Jenny said... [reply]

cicada, the first chapter of the book talks about how she was supposed to marry her cousin Mr Elliot but he never actually proposed, and no one was good enough for her besides an actual Elliot, so she just hung out with her Dad.

i i eee said... [reply]

I guess I'll excuse the lip blubbering for her being out of shape. But I don't know about you, when I'm breathing heavily, I don't have to move my chin up and down to catch my breath. ;)

I suppose maybe it was supposed to be like knees trembling it was jaw trembling. I just remember watching it with my parents and during that part we all looked at one another and laughed. Ha!

And yes, Rupert Pennyfellow or whatever his name is hot, but...maybe if the editing was differently I'd want to trap and bottle up his sperm.

I thought Anne was the eldest of all three sisters, but maybe I'm completely mistaken on that one.

T & J & V said... [reply]

i agree. i was all set to enjoy a new version but sat a little perturbed at things that were missing from the book and things i had to explain to my mom who was watching with me. although i think this cpt. wentworth is cuter than the one in the older version i think the older version is more complete. and since when is masterpiece only 90 mins, it's been 2 hours before why not now?!?! i hope the other "new" adaptations are better. on a bonus, it did make me want to go back and reread the book to get the parts it skipped.

Katie said... [reply]

I felt like things were missing too, but I couldn't put my finger on what. Thanks for helping me know that I am not crazy and there were cuts. I'm really curious to know about that DVD too. Keep us posted.

BTW, I'm glad they kept that scene where he's staring at her while she's playing the piano and you can see all this romantic tension boiling around in him. So great.

Miss Hass said... [reply]

Our British Sunday club watched it last night. I'm not sure how the other members felt but even though I've never read the book or seen the other version, I thought the movie seemed choppy.

Jenna L said... [reply]

I believe it was only 90 minutes because they got it from ITV in England which ordered a 2 hour production with time for commercials. So without commercials it runs 90 minutes. However according to the time on my VCR when it stopped recording, it ran 82 minutes. So apparently they only cut about 8 minutes. So sadly the missing 8 minutes, will not make this the movie I think we were all hoping it would be.

And I had heard they were going to trim it earlier in the week so I wasn't surprised. But I think it's really really stupid that they took a movie that was already to short to begin with and made it shorter.

Th. said... [reply]



Nemesis said... [reply]

Cicada, yeah. Regardless of the editing, I will still have to watch it over and over again for Captain Wentworth.

T & J & V, yeah. I believe the other two ITV adaptions (Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park) will be 90 minutes as well. Which, really, isn't enough to do the stories justice but will just have to do, I suppose. Unless those freaks at MP decide to shave an additional 10 minutes off of those as well.

Katie, yeah. Great scene at the piano. I'm also glad they kept the whole of the droolworthy "running into each other at the shop in Bath" scene. When I saw that for the first time I started yelling things like "Make out now!!!!" at the screen.

Hass, you are right. And look at you getting all on board with Jane Austen!

Jenna, how did you know about the upcoming choppage? Way to have your finger on the pulse, there. :-) I just checked at amazon and the running time is 93 minutes. Let's hope that 10 minutes includes lots of exposition.

I think it helps if you've already read the books or seen the 1995 version, because then you already know what's up. I'm sure if this were the only experience I had with the story I would have questions.

Holly said... [reply]

I'm glad to know that parts had been cut, because I was not impressed. I much prefer the Ciaran Hinds/Amanda Root version. I will admit that Rupert Penry-Jones did grow on me by the end of the film, and I loved Anthony Stewart Head's Sir Walter much better. Amanda Root's Anne is far superior to Sally Hawkins' though. I always connected with the character of Anne Elliot because even with what had happened, she had strength. This Anne didn't. She was too weepy.

I loved the Bell's Palsy comment earlier!

If the DVD has the full version, I might be persuaded to purchase it...

Jenna L said... [reply]

I also visit some of the boards over at Pemberley.com. They have been discussing the changes to Masterpiece Theater for quite some time and someone posted how they had heard that PBS was going to shorten the 3 ITV productions. Someone confirmed that they were indeed going to be trimming Persuasion, and even knew some of the scenes that were gone/shortened. However I haven't heard if the remaining 2 ITV productions, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey, really are going to be trimmed. I would guess that they are to make them fit in the 90 minute time frame with the Gillian Anderson intro and the ad for the future broadcasts. I've also heard mentioned on Austenblog.com that a few of Catherine Morland's imagination scenes might be slightly trimmed for PBS viewing. But I'm treating that one still as a rumor, but with high probability of being true.

FoxyJ said... [reply]

Yeah, I was sitting there thinking "wait, is it over already?" I thought a lot of things about this one were lame, except Captain Wentworth. In the other one he seems like he's about 60 or something and it's just creepy. This one was so jumpy and I really don't get why they edited it. Doesn't make any sense to me. I also didn't really get the surprise ending with the house. Does that happen in the book? I don't remember now..

Last(2) weeks' Jane Eyre really was great though. I thought I hated that book, but I really liked the movie so now I'm rereading.

daltongirl said... [reply]

Since my mom doesn't have a TV, we skipped the whole frustrating experience and watched a DVD of HBO's Elizabeth I instead. And speaking of chopping and heaving, it includes a couple of graphic scenes where they are drawing and quartering people--AWESOME!! I mean GRUESOME!!! I have a pretty strong stomach, but I literally heaved. My mom had her eyes squeezed shut and was yelling, "Don't look! Don't LOOK!"

Highly recommended.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Holly, I agree on loving ASH as Sir Walter. Scully makes this point a lot better, but I think he does a good job of showing just what a nasty piece of work he really is (ditto on the sisters).

Jenna, that'll be too bad if they cut the dream sequences in Northanger Abbey. They were hilarious!

Foxyj, the bit with her house at the end was made up. In the book it never really says where they live--just that now Anne gets to worry about having a husband who might get blown up.

Daltongirl, is that the one with Helen Mirren?

Carly said... [reply]

Oh my gosh! I thought it felt so much shorter and I knew there was something missing, I just thought they were parts where I had to run to the kitchen for more food!!

I too preordered the DVD, in fact it's on it's way to me now (I kinda went a little overboard and also pre-ordered Northanger Abbey, and Becoming Jane, as well as purchasing North & South and The Bucaneers, all of which, I consider essentials to any good period film collection). Can I get a burned copy from you, if the missing scenes are not in mine either?

Good thing I have the complete version on my iPod (there's a great program for swiping video off YouTube free somewhere, so I actually already also own NA).

Jenna L said... [reply]

I don't think they will cut the dream sequences completely. I just think one or two of them might be a tad shorter than they will be on the DVD. And I agree that the dream sequences were quite entertaining, so I hope they don't cut them too much.

I have to say out of the three ITV productions I enjoyed Northanger Abbey the most. Of course when you compare it to the only other adaptation of that book, which is quite an enjoyable book, there is plenty of room for improvement.

I think one of the things that was a difficulty for Persuasion was that the 1995 adaptation was quite good. So it set a very high standard and the film makers seemed to be trying to not duplicate that adaptation. But a lot of what they did was what the '95 adaptation did and in some/many cases did much better. I did, however, really like how this adaptation handled the canceled chapters. The '95 adaptation did them too but I just loved the look on Rupert Penry-Jones face when Anne tells him the Admiral is utterly mistaken in his information of her "engagement."

Jenna L said... [reply]

And if anyone is interested you can read the canceled chapters here.

I just barely learned about them and I felt they were very fascinating to read.

And by the way, I usually just read and mentally agree with what everyone else says in the comments, so thanks for letting me join the fun today. :-)

Nemesis said... [reply]

Jenna, I didn't even know about the canceled chapters! You have just made my day, so thank you! And please chime in any time--I live for comments. :-)

Nemesis said... [reply]

Just read them. Awwww . . . I must say, I like the letter device that Jane Austen went with in the end, but I do like that this adaptation got to do a bit of both. Nevermind that the letter scene in the book was 10 times better than the one in the movie. Anyway. Mostly I just loved the way Captain Wentworth looked at Anne when she told him she wasn't engaged. Because that was awesome. And hot.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Mostly hot.

Jenna L said... [reply]

Most definitely hot.

Scully said... [reply]

I had never heard of those chapters either, Jenna, so thanks for sharing! I do prefer the book's published ending, but this adaptation using the cancelled chapters did allow RP-J to simmer quite nicely.

jeri said... [reply]

Watched last night with Jenny and Cicada and, even with the choppy scenes, I really liked it. This is one Austen book I haven't read before, so I was a little lost at times and needed some of the big plot jumps to be explained between bites of dark-chocolate fondue. Mmmmm. You'll have to let us know how the DVD is, but I'm totally going to just settle in with the book because I know I'll love it.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Scully, yes. The simmering.

Sorry to any guys who've stayed with us up to this point. It's pretty much just descended to girly giggling.

Jeri, I'm excited for you to read the book! And I'm so jealous about the party you had last night. Jen has been holding it over my head for weeks because she is just mean like that.

Scully said... [reply]

Since we've nearly exhausted the simmering conversation, I thought I would add my 2 cents regarding Gillian Anderson's accent. She lived in England as a child for something like 9 years and then had to work hard to lose her accent when her family moved to Michigan and everyone there made fun of her. After X-Files ended, she moved back, did some theatre and settled in London. So her accent confusion is much more authentic than Madonna's.

Anonymous said... [reply]

Well, cooldad had never seen the old one so he kept asking me what was going on. I'd only seen it once so I kept having to stop and fill him in on what little I knew. So he ordered the older one from Netflicks to "catch up"! How precious is that?


Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

There is a pemberley.com?

It is a cold day here; I think I'll just curl up with my copy of Pesuasion and my hot chocolate. The housework will just have to wait. Half the fun of Austen is plowing through her excellent verbage and syntax. But then, I've always been a bit of a purist over this type of thing.

j ubhnuyuuuurtuiiiiiiiiiyiyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyuyuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

That was my three year old's comment. :)

miranda said... [reply]

Bother! I've been looking forward to watching this (and the other Jane Austen goodness) on MT. Well, I'll probably watch it anyway. At least I know to keep my expectations low...

Spinster in the City said... [reply]

Yeah it pretty much sucked, as did Northanger Abbey tonight. I mean do they think they can put any crap together and we'll watch it cause it has Jane Austen's name on it? Well we will, but they shouldn't just assume we'll like any rot they happen to throw together. I'm sticking with the old Persuasion which was much better. Alas...I mean these last two productions just had no sense of humor or wit, which is what Austin is all about. Argh..

Jenna L said... [reply]


Austenblog is holding a discussion right now about the scenes that were cut from Northanger Abbey and whether they will be on the DVD. Apparently, the Persuasion DVD is the full ITV broadcast, but the Northanger Abbey is the cut version that was broadcast on PBS.

If you want to read which scenes are cut head on over to austenblog.com, specifically to this post.

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