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Saturday, October 31

Jane Austen Movie Throwdown

Dear voters: In this week's throwdown we ask you to contemplate the actor who best captured that most comic of all clergymen: Mr. Collins. Before making up your mind, please read these wonderful descriptions of him by Jane Austen. In this week's throwdown we ask:

Which actor played the part of Mr. Collins best?

Description: Mr. Collins was a tall, heavy looking young man of five and twenty. His air was grave and stately, and his manners were very formal.

Elizabeth to Jane: "My dear Jane, Mr. Collins is a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man; you know he is, as well as I do; and you must feel, as well as I do, that the woman who marries him, cannot have a proper way of thinking."

David Bamber, 1995 & Tom Hollander, 2005

Mr. Collins proposes to Lizzy: "You can hardly doubt the purport of my discourse, however your natural delicacy may lead you to dissemble; my attentions have been too marked to be mistaken. Almost as soon as I entered the house I singled you out as the companion of my future life. But before I am run away with by my feelings on this subject, perhaps it will be advisable for me to state my reasons for marrying -- and moreover for coming into Hertfordshire with the design of selecting a wife, as I certainly did.''

The idea of Mr. Collins, with all his solemn composure, being run away with by his feelings, made Elizabeth so near laughing that she could not use the short pause he allowed in any attempt to stop him farther..."

Guy Henry, Lost in Austen (above) & Malcolm Rennie, P&P 1980 (below)

Mr. Collins' letter of condolence to the Bennets after Lydia's elopement.

"No arguments shall be wanting on my part that can alleviate so severe a misfortune; or that may comfort you, under a circumstance that must be of all others most afflicting to a parent's mind. The death of your daughter would have been a blessing in comparison of this. And it is the more to be lamented, because there is reason to suppose, as my dear Charlotte informs me, that this licentiousness of behaviour in your daughter has proceeded from a faulty degree of indulgence, though at the same time, for the consolation of yourself and Mrs. Bennet, I am inclined to think that her own disposition must be naturally bad, or she could not be guilty of such an enormity at so early an age. Howsoever that may be, you are grievously to be pitied, in which opinion I am not only joined by Mrs. Collins, but likewise by Lady Catherine and her daughter, to whom I have related the affair. They agree with me in apprehending that this false step in one daughter will be injurious to the fortunes of all the others; for who, as Lady Catherine herself condescendingly says, will connect themselves with such a family."

Which actor plays Mr. Collins best?
Malcolm Rennie, 1980
David Bamber, 1995
Tom Hollander, 2005
Guy Henry, 2008 free polls


Nonna Beach said...

David Bamber is simply the best Mr. Collins ever !

Charleybrown said...

I agree with Nonna. Bamber wins hands down! However, Hollander was quite good and Guy Henry was fascinating to watch! Not only was Henry the creepiest Collins, he also was the most amusing, especially when talking of his brothers Probity, Elizium, Canaan...and Tinkler :)

Adriana Zardini said...

I agree with Nonna too! Bamber is the best!

MissSantay said...

Bamber is best, I still get the giggles every time I watch him. Guy Henry comes in 2nd for me, although sometimes he was so creepy it made me cringe. Tom had his moments too. I've enjoyed all 3 performances in their own way.

Anonymous said...

The actor who played Collins in the modern Mormon version of P&P was fantastic!

nigel said...

Tough call!
But I will go with David Bamber because I think he had the best interaction with Lady Catherine.

Ginger said...

All four played the role quite nicely, but I'd have to give the nod to David Bamber. He conveyed the right combination of stupidity, groveling and arrogance. Tom Hollander is a close second. Guy Henry was so oily that it's hard to imagine anyone getting within 2 feet of him, let alone marrying him.

Elena said...

I haven't seen the 1980 version, but my vote goes to David Bamber because he played the part with just the right measures of oiliness, humour and and stupidity :) Tom Hollander was too easy to feel sorry for lol, and I found Guy Henry's performance downright creepy at times :P

Ash said...

David Bamber was a great Mr. Collins...he was so weird and creepy that my mother hated him because she thought he looked like Barnabas from Dark Shadows. Tom Hollander was extremely awkward to the point of being comical especially with his talk of boiled potatoes. I haven't seen the other two adaptations though.

But I have to say he was only supposed to be five and twenty but 3 out of the four Mr. Collinses look like they're pushing 35 to 40! I guess it's hard out there for a greasy parishoner.