Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
opens with Mrs. Bennet trying to persuade Mr. Bennet to visit Mr. Bingley, a rich and eligible bachelor who has arrived in the neighborhood. After some verbal sparring with Mr. Bennet baiting his wife, it transpires that this visit has already taken place at Netherfield, Mr. Bingley's rented house. The visit is followed by an invitation to a ball at the local assembly rooms that the whole neighbourhood will attend.
At the ball, Mr. Bingley is open and cheerful, popular with all the guests, and appears to be very attracted to the beautiful Miss Jane Bennet. His friend, Mr. Darcy, is reputed to be twice as wealthy; however, he is haughty and aloof. He declines to dance with Elizabeth, suggesting that she is not pretty enough to tempt him. She finds this amusing and jokes about the statement with her friends. Mr. Bingley's sister, Caroline, later invites Jane to visit.
When Jane visits Miss Bingley, she is caught in a rain shower on the way and comes down with a serious cold. Elizabeth visits the ill Jane at Netherfield. There Darcy begins to be attracted to Elizabeth, while Miss Bingley becomes jealous, since she has designs on Darcy herself.
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Actor: Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle, Alison Steadman, Benjamin Whitrow, Susannah Harker, Julia Sawalha, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Anna Chancellor, David Bamber, David Bark-Jones