Thu
Sep 3 2015 3:30pm

The Best Pride and Prejudice Adaptations, in Order of Mr. Darcy Hotness (An Opinionated Opinion)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

We all have definitive opinions on the best adaptations of our favorite romance novels—and yes, today, I am counting Pride and Prejudice among that number! You see, romance doesn't get adapted for screen all that often, but if anything has or will, it will be Pride and Prejudice. Upon doing research for this post, I realized that P&P has been adapted a lot...especially in the last decade or so. However, when there are so many adaptations out there, sometimes the only way to make a decision is by how hot the lead is! Austen didn't describe Darcy very much outside of him being tall and quite handsome. All the Darcys that I mention below fit the bill, but we all have our favorites! It's shallow yes, but below, find my ranking of the best Pride and Prejudice adaptations...in order of Mr. Darcy hotness. 

 Peter Cushing (Pride and Prejudice, 1952)

11. Peter Cushing (Pride and Prejudice, 1952)

Peter Cushing is just so English. And while he is an excellent actor—you may know him for more horror based roles like Dracula, The Brides of Frankenstein...and that one smarmy Death Star officer in Star Wars—however his gaunt countenance just doesn't do it for me in the role. 

Alan Badel (Pride & Prejudice, 1958)

10. Alan Badel (Pride & Prejudice, 1958)

Like many of these actors the first thing that comes to mind is just how English they look—very uppercrust and placid mien. Mr. Darcy was meant to be relatively unflappable, his snobbery over those below him making him appear above everything. Badel has this look down to a tee, however, in the end, it's his hawkish nose and soft jaw that make me unable to seek out my smelling salts.

Lewis Fiander (Pride and Prejudice, 1967)

9. Lewis Fiander (Pride and Prejudice, 1967)

While Fiander also has the hawkish nose that I found less than appealing in Badel, his eyes are kinder, in my opinion, which helps to soften his overall look. And much could be said for the perfectly quaffed hair that made him magnificent—and somehow blended 1960s flair with 1800s severity.

Elliot Cowan (Lost in Austen, U.K. 2008 / U.S. 2009)

8. Elliot Cowan (Lost in Austen, U.K. 2008 / U.S. 2009)

While not expressly a Pride and Prejudice adaptation, this one featured so many of the characters that it couldn't be ignored! For those who aren't familiar Lost in Austen takes a Jasper Fforde treatment to the literary classic. For those of you who don't know who Jasper Fforde is...Google him, I guarantee you will enjoy his books. But I digress, Lost in Austen follows an Austen-loving Londoner, Amanda, who is a little sick and tired of modern love. Enter Elizabeth Bennett...literally! Amanda and Lizzy swap places and while Amanda desperately tries to set the world back to rights and not ruin herself in 1800s England, she meets and falls in love with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Elliot Cowan is the more rugged version of Darcy than we've seen before or since, but man does he do it for me!

Orlando Seale (Pride and Prejudice: A LatterDay Comedy, 2003)

7. Orlando Seale (Pride and Prejudice: A LatterDay Comedy, 2003)

Many people avoided this adaptation for its Mormon affiliation, however, Orlando Seale should definitely not be avoided! While points are taken away for the crunchy curly hair look many men sported in the early 2000s, points are given back for the longing looks he is often found giving to Elizabeth! The mixture of yearning for her and scorning his attraction could not have been better executed—and when he gets caught staring, mmph! So perfect. 

David Rintoul (Pride and Prejudice, 1980)

6. David Rintoul (Pride and Prejudice, 1980)

Oh, David Rintoul, while your features fall on the “softer” end of the spectrum—which, I don't know about you all, but I want a nose and jaw I can practically cut myself on from their sharpness. However, again the eyes and yearning expression will get me every time!

Daniel Vincent Gordh (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, 2012-2013)

5. Daniel Vincent Gordh (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, 2012-2013)

By far, Gordh is the “prettiest” Darcy on this list and the most modern! Gordh sprang to popularity on the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and his “look down awkwardly/self-consciously, look back longingly” expressions will never get old. Plus, didn't he have us all saying “bow ties are cool”—he's the Will Darcy of the digital generation and I love him. 

Martin Henderson (Bride and Prejudice)

4. Martin Henderson (Bride and Prejudice)

Ah, Martin Henderson. Crystal blue eyes, sparkling smile, and looks good in a suit or just a plain untucked shirt—what more could you want! Now, I prefer him with scruff but as the clean-cut, if grumpy, Mr. Darcy, he was beautiful. Plus, if you get paired with the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, I think everyone gets a higher hotness rating! Bonus points for dimples!

Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’ Diary, 2001/Pride and Prejudice, 1995)

3. Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’ Diary, 2001/Pride and Prejudice, 1995)

I know, I know! Ranking Colin so low will incur the wrath of many of you. Yes, he has played an incarnation of Fitzwilliam Darcy on TWO separate occasions. And I know his wet shirt and forlorn expression served as many a young woman’s sexual awakening. Despite the fact that I still entertain fantasies of marrying Colin and sitting by a fire until we’re old and gray while he just talks at me, I had to rank him lower—he’s cute and disarming but he’s a bit of a puppy (especially in Pride & Prejudice where the foppish curls do very little to increase his sex appeal). A puppy I want to marry, but a puppy nonetheless.

Laurence Olivier (Pride and Prejudice, 1940)

2. Laurence Olivier (Pride and Prejudice, 1940)

Laurence Olivier is a fox. End of story. He's the measuring stick to which all men stand up and he is beautiful. Even in black and white, Olivier shines through...but I maybe a little biased as he is the role model to which Tom Hiddleston measures himself. Either way his stormy expression, cleft chin, and classic looks make him the classic (and perfect) Darcy. 

Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice, 2005)

1. Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice, 2005)

This choice will likely make me very unpopular! But look at his eyes! The fit of his coat, his socially awkward mumbling! I love Matthew Macfadyen, and because of his turn as Mr. Darcy in Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice, I followed his work to MI-5, Little Dorrit (he knows how to wear period clothing, so well!), Death at a Funeral, and beyond! He brings a vulnerability to Mr. Darcy that is undeniable and not often seen, plus, while Firth looks good in a wet shirt, nothing beats Macfadyen in the rain...or in the sunrise...or at a ball! *Sigh*

Honorable Mention: It’s not expressly a Pride and Prejudice adaptation but it featured many of the same characters, so I have to give a shout out to Matthew Rhys in Death Comes to Pemberly as he is also a fox and I thought he made for a very believable, sympathetic, and wonderful Darcy. Another shout out goes to James MacAvoy in Becoming Jane. The movie depicts him as an inspiration for Mr. Darcy and one must appreciate the archetype, even if the character name is different—plus, I just want to tuck him in my pocket and carry his little sassy self around with me all the time. 

How do these Mr. Darcy's rank for you? Who would be your number one? Feel free to vent, nominate—and change my mind!—down in the comments!

 


Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. You can usually find her wishing time-travel was possible so she could go back to Victorian England or that she was a paranormal creature.

 

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58 comments
pamelia
2. pamelia
Sorry, but MacFayden does nada for me. That whole movie bothered me because it was so shabby and grimy and unkempt. I like a crisp, clean Darcy, so I can go for Olivier or Firth.
Maggie Boyd
3. maggieboyd66
I have to say MacFayden did not work for me either. Sorry. It is hands down Firth that is the very best Darcy, imo. That said, I loved Martin Henderson inBride and Prejudice nd thought he captured what a modern Darcy would be like perfectly.
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
Ahhhhh. I liked MacFayden a lot, and Firth too, but best Darcy ever? I just do not know. Daniel Vincent Gordh and Martin Henderson were pretty perfect as modern Darcys, I'd love to see them try the period version too!
pamelia
6. Nic919
Colin Firth became a household name because of his Darcy and how great it was despite the fact that it only started as a BBC miniseries and international audiences were difficult to have for anything like that, especially back in 1994. No one outside of UK viewers and historical drama aficionados knows who Matthew Macfayden is. That tells you right there how much impact that Colin Firth made with this role.
I am not even getting into how Mark Darcy was created solely because of his portrayal of Darcy, but Firth as Darcy is iconic.

Macfayden is only broody because Joe Wright doesn't know the difference between Bronte and Austen and there is no way in hell that Darcy and Elizabeth would be wandering around in the morning fog half dressed and on their own to then make declarations of love. That was not the point of Austen's novel. The beauty of Pride and Prejudice is that Darcy and Elizabeth are able to find each other in the restricted world they lived in and despite the somewhat different social classes. Joe Wright did not understand this at all and MacFayden's Darcy suffers as a result.
Colin Firth managed to make his Darcy perfectly matched to Austen's characterization within the restriction of actual Regency mores and also a romantic (not Romantic) ideal for many women around the world.

Twenty years later we are still talking about about Colin Firth as Darcy. Will be really be doing the same about MacFayden as Darcy outside of list of who played Darcy? Doubtful.
Manda Collins
7. mandacollins
Sorry. No. Buzzzzzz. Wrong. I cannot agree with a list that puts Laurence Olivier's Darcy above Colin Firth's. Yes, in Rebecca maybe Olivier is a hottie, but the horrific adaptation of the Austen novel in Olivier's P&P far outweighs his ethereal beauty. Plus there is no wet shirt scene. So how do we know what's going on under that coat?

And, I'd like to write in Jeremy Northam from Emma. Though his hair is strangely poofy at times. He is older now but still foxy.

And finally, if you enjoy Martin Henderson, I highly recommend the Australian version of the miniseries Secrets and Lies (American version with Ryan Phillipi is inferior) on Netflix. I kid you not, MH takes off his shirt in almost every scene. It's quite nice.
Manda Collins
8. mandacollins
Aaand I just realized I nominated a Knightly for a Darcy list. :(
Hope they don't take away my Janeite card!
Manda Collins
8. mandacollins
Aaand I just realized I nominated a Knightly for a Darcy list. :(
Hope they don't take away my Janeite card!
pamelia
9. JenniferProffitt
Haha @mandacollins, I hope you won't take away MY Jane card for putting Firth so far down. It was SUCH a hard list and I actually did debate switch Firth and Olivier but in the end there's just something about Olivier. As always this is totally my personal preference!
pamelia
10. Katy Scott
I was scrolling down... down... down this list hoping that you, like many others, had not banished Macfadyen's Darcy to a dark wet corner. Because I loved him SO MUCH as Darcy and watched Joe Wright's version of P&P like five times in a row after reading the book for the first time.

MATTHEW MACFADYEN, YOU HAVE BEWITCHED ME.
Melodie McCutcheon
11. Dragonkitty
If I just had to answer who was hotter, Macfayden vs. Firth it would be Macfayden every time. But I dislike Macfayden's limp Darcy so much that Firth has to win the Darcy contest.
pamelia
12. Sonya Heaney
David Rintoul is the only "real" Darcy I found remotely attractive (and that version also has by far the best Elizabeth Bennet - the only one like the book character).

I did like the Darcy in Lost in Austen, but that whole production was just weird...
pamelia
13. Sonya Heaney
Also, I'll put my hand up as someone who is obsessed with history and is therefore completely appalled by the 2005 version (where are the gloves, the hats? Why is the hair not up? Why is everyone so loud and rude? WTH does Darcy live in Chatsworth House - the most important stately home in Britain and the home of a duke??!!).

I find that Darcy looks a bit like Frankenstein... (*ducks for cover*)

They say people like the version they saw first, or the most recent version. That's not the case with me, but good luck convincing anyone under twenty-five to even watch any version other than 2005!
Heather Waters
14. HeatherWaters
@MandaCollins -- FYI, you've sold me on the Aussie version of Secrets & Lies (I had not interest in American version). Is it on Netflix, do you know, or how did you watch? Thanks!
Sara Elliott
15. Dacchic
Thank you!! Finally, someone else who prefers Matthew Macfadyen's Darcy over Colin Firth. I absolutely adore this version of Darcy not just for his looks (although those are GREAT) but how MacFadyen plays him as more of an "awkward in social settings so he seems aloof" character. The moment he walks across the field to Elizabeth and I was sold!
Manda Collins
16. mandacollins
@Jennifer Profitt--I was mostly kidding...I made such a list a few years ago myself. It's harder than it looks! No worries!

@HeatherWaters Yes it's on Netflix and not to be confused with the Mike Leigh movie of the same name. Lots of Martin Henderson shirtless action--and mystery! Win win!
pamelia
17. Caz
I like Matthew MacFaddyen as an actor (he was great in Little Dorrit) , but he's not Darcy for me. (Also - I can't STAND Keira Knightley, so that adaptation of P&P was never going to be a favourite!) I also have to agree with Nic919 about the director not knowing the difference between Austen and Bronte.

The first P&P adaptation I ever say was the 80s Fay Weldon one with David Rintoul, who I loved, but Colin Firth knocked him into a cocked hat.

And Laurence Olivier... those eyes *swoon*.
Traci Wallace
18. tracilynn
Like some of you I loved Macfadyen in the Darcy role, he made that adaptation for me. I also loved Firth's take on Darcy and Olivier's, but Matthews awkward and honest portrayal is my favorite!
willaful
19. willaful
I love that moment when you see MacFaddyen come this close to kissing her..
pamelia
20. Beverley Jansen
Thrilled to have found this! For years I have been cast out for not liking Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, he's too squishy. Plus, THAT scene with the wet shirt is the one most remember, and it wasn't even in P&P. I am a David Rintoul or Matthew M supporter. Plus, Martin Henderson in Bride and Prejudice was wonderful (but not distant enough for original Darcy) the film was adorable though - one of my comfort films.
Jennifer Proffitt
21. JenniferProffitt
@willaful, right, when he just stairs at her lips, looks down, leans forward. IT'S. SO. GOOD!!!


@Beverley Jansen, glad you found a "safe place" lol.
pamelia
22. Sarah Bojorquez
NO. NO and NO. I'll give you Lawrence Olivier ahead of Colin Firth but Matthew Macfadyen? Please.
Ianka Laidlow
23. tasha0508
OMG yes I agree with you! Matthew Macfayden was the best and sexiest Mr Darcy. I do believe everything about him!
pamelia
24. AllyB
Sorry, I'm firmly in the Colin Firth camp. There isn't any other adaptation that can touch the BBC version, and no one else can do stiff and awkward like Colin Firth.
pamelia
25. CatPA
I completely agree with the top choice. Although the movie was so-so, Macfayden was the hottest Mr. Darcy. Droolworthy!
TanyaLK
26. TanyaLK
Oh gosh, I just can't completely agree...Madfayden was great but Colin Firth...he just melts me every time. I also liked Eliot Cowan too, because he was hilarious.
Naz Keynejad
27. nazkey
Yes! I'm a Matthew MacFadyen fan, too. The movie had LOTS of issues (and like some of you here, I couldn't stand Keira Knightley as Elizabeth. So so wrong for that role), and the anachronisms and liberties Wright took with the text were atrocious, but at the end of the day, I liked MM's portrayal of Darcy as shy and awkward vs. hauty and arrogant. Having said that, I'm not a fan of Olivier's Darcy at all. Pretentious much, Olivier? Yuck. But then again, I'm not a fan of Olivier in general.

Re. Becoming Jane, I have to step in and say that as much as I absolutely adore James MacAvoy, that movie was the most infuriating, inaccurate piece of garbage I have seen. Now, Matthew Rhys as Darcy? Yes, please! (Also, as an aside? Matthew Goode was great as Wickham, but he can also sub in for Darcy any time he wants!)
JANET L GAREAU
28. janetlwg
Apologies for not-quite-on-topic pickiness - re # 9 Lewis Fiander: believe "quaffed" s/b spelled "coiffed" - definition of quaff is to drink heartily, esp an alcoholic beverage - definition of coif is to style or arrange hair.

I am firmly in the Colin Firth camp; however, the score for the 2005 production of P & P makes it very easy to watch Matthew Macfadyen. Lawrence Olivier - Oh That Voice! As for David Rintoul's portrayal - didn't realize just how stiff his Mr. Darcy's mannerisms are until I saw the 1995 production, but Elizabeth Garvie's Lizzie is indeed delightful.
pamelia
29. Lucy D
I am going to have to say pass on Macfadyen. I didn't like him for Darcy.

I think Firth and the whole cast on that P&P did a fabulous job.

I also loved the modern Lizzie Bennett Diaries and don't think we got enough of Gordh's geeky shyness. He needed more scenes with Lizzie. :)

I have never actually viewed the Oliviere version and I am now going to go search Nexflix. Bye!
Darynda Jones
30. DaryndaJones
MACFADYEN!!! YES!!! I loved him in P&P so very, very much. I also loved the "pretend" Darcy in Austenland, JJ Field.
Claire Louise Thompson
31. Nefersitra
The best Mr Darcy in my opinon was Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones.

I will admit that I am pretty ambivalent to Jane Austen - it's the result of my nan worrying about my reading habits as a 8 year old. I was reading Shakespeare - Nanna decided I ought to read something "nicer" when I asked her to explain the rape in Titus Andronicus.

Her solution was Emma - unfortunately at 8 I was still at the "boys are yucky and romance is gross" stage and Emma is rather lacking in murder, violence and the suffering poor (Dickens and Christie were also on my reading lists).
Sheila Schwartz
32. sheilag2367
I LOVED Matthew McFayden as Mr. Darcy....definitely my favorite too...though Colin Firth held that position until Mr. McFayden!!
pamelia
33. Lulu 1020
Colin Firth, is the only Mr. Darcy, that part was written with him in mind. Love, love, love C.F. and there has not been any one better.
Joanne McConachie
34. jolymac
Colin Firth is definitely the best Mr. Darcy. To me, there is no one better. He has that level of arrogance and rudeness down perfectly. I love his portrayal.
While the Keira Knightley/Matthew MacFadyen version is enjoyable, they changed WAY too much in it for me. Mr. Darcy doesn't propose to Lizzy in the rain. Mr. Bingley has 2 sisters. Mrs. Bennett, Lady Catherine and Mr. Collins are far more ridiculous than they are in the KK/MM version. And don't get me started on the Lawrence Olivier version - in that one, they have them costumed in the wrong error and at the end, they make it seem as if Lady Catherine was okay with Darcy marrying Elizabeth. ARGH!!!
Jennifer Proffitt
35. JenniferProffitt
@DaryndaJones--Yes I LOVED JJ Field as the pretend Darcy...and then the pretend/ended up kind of being real Wickham... (aka Bret MacKenzie)

@Janetlwg--oh thanks for the typo fix and yes, the music for 2005 P&P is quite perfect!
pamelia
36. Julie P.
30+ years later, I still love David Rintoul. He's tall, handsome and enigmatic. In short, everything Austen's Darcy is supposed to be. Firth is Andrew Davies' Darcy. I prefer Austen's. I did like Firth as Mark Darcy though.

But, after all that, you can all continue to fight over Darcy. I'm a Wentworth girl myself. Ciaran Hinds' Wentworth truly "pierce[s] my soul."
pamelia
37. Sandy K
Although I loved Colin Firth's Mr Darcy, I will openly admit that I loved Matthew Macfayden's Mr. Darcy much better. Some of the scenes just seemed more heartfelt--loved the scene in the rain!
Rochelle Jenkins
38. Rickey
I had to weigh on this one...now I agree that Colin Firth is a hottie and I did and still like him as Mr. Darcy, but...Matthew Macfayden "had bewitched me" and I love him still. He made the movie for me -- I own the movie and I still make sure to watch it when it comes on cable. I can't even count how many times I have seen this movie and never tire of it. I agree with Darynda Jones' comment -- see the pretend Mr. Darcy in Austenland -- so cute! Those eyes.
Elizabeth Poteet
39. ElizabethPoteet
Possibly controversial statement: I actually prefer Colin Firth's Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones over his Mr. Darcy in the BBC miniseries. The best part about the BBC Darcy was the wet t-shirt contest.

But let's be real, are we all not super pumped about the (potentially) hottest MR. COLLINS to ever grace the screen with Matt Smith in P&P&Zombie? Answer: yes, we are.

p.s. My dog is named Mr. Darcy, and as a literal "hotdog"--I think based on the technicality, he is the "hottest" Darcy around, yes?
pamelia
40. Marintha Farber
I'm glad to see the votes for David Rintoul. IMO you can't separate the character portrayal from the production. The 1985 BBC miniseries is the most accurate in portraying the period and the characters. And David Rintoul is perfect in the role (as is Elizabeth Garvey as Lizzie). The script is the closest to the book, and the costumes and settings are spot on. There were too may artistic liberties taken with all of the other productions to make them at all watchable. (I did sit through Olivier, Firth, Mcfayden and Fiander, but could not get past the glaring errors to be able to appreciate any individual performance.) Since that is the case, I can't seriously say that any of the above gentlemen were the definitive Darcy, except David Rintoul. I 'believed' his Darcy.
Lily Everett
41. LilyEverett
No, I'm sorry. Sir Larry is docked a million points for merely uttering the line "Every hottentot can dance."
Jennifer Proffitt
42. JenniferProffitt
@ElizabethPoteet, I did always like the obvious inspiration for Mr. Collins in Becoming Jane aka Laurence Fox. And interesting that you'd rank him higher as Mark Darcy...that's really what gave him loads of bonus points for me too--more than him as Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Jennifer Proffitt
43. JenniferProffitt
@LilyEverett, hottentot is worthy of docking points. Mostly because for the first time I looked it up and it's offensive lol
allyson55
44. allyson55
I have to disagree. The Joe Wright film didn't seem to understand the material let alone get the characters right. McFadyen's Darcy was woeful and Knightley's Elizabeth dreadful.

Lord Olivier is the only Darcy for me. Nobody does haughty like Olivier. Unfortunately, Hollywood in the 1940's changed a lot of classic British novels to make them more palatable for American audiences.

Colin Firth would be my 2nd choice.
pamelia
45. Julie Ann Rakowski
No, no, no. Colin is number 1, Mathew is number 2, Elliott is number 3 and the rest can be placed wherever. Olivier number 3, really!!!!. That version is so bad I can't even describe it. David is so stiff, we don't even get to see that he is human untill the very last scene. Interesting list.
pamelia
46. 715helva
I don't care about the rest of the line-up, but Colin Firth is the iconic Darcy, just as Jeremy Brett is the iconic Sherlock Holmes. Some actors are their characters regardless of what other roles they may play. As one of the respondents above mentioned, how many years after the fact has Colin Firth been remembered as The Darcy? Decades, so far.

Olivier has a bit of the look, but the Firth production is classic for all the casting excellences plus the wonderful staging. It is simply the best.

Now, to throw in a curve ball. Who is the best Rochester?
pamelia
47. Kcfunshine
Yessss this is the first list I've seen that puts Matthew MacFadyen in his rightful place as first!
Jennifer Proffitt
48. JenniferProffitt
@715helva... You may see the Rochester one coming... I agree that Firth is pretty quintessential Darcy but since this list is based on hotness... I just find Matthew MacFadyen more attractive. Plus, I know I'm in the minority but I actually did like that P&P

@kcfunshine--yay! Welcome :D Lol. He was pretty great as Darcy and I thought brought out a different interpretation of Darcy as just painfully shy.
pamelia
49. Nicky P
I don't care about the other places, because MacFayden is my favourite! Has been since I had watched the film for the first and always will be! Indeed, his Darcy looks confident at times and tormented by his love at others. His eyes can be both gentle and powerful. Absolutely brilliant!

The 2005 version will always be my favourite. The chemistry between Matthew and Keira made me watch that film about a 100 times now. I'm not even exaggerating. That film is like therapy for me. In fact I'm watching it right now :D
pamelia
51. Krystal Z
This was a great list. I thought I owned most P&P movies, but somehow missed the first three! Sigh.... I love that the adaptations are included, but would also throw in Austenland. JJ Feild is delicious in period costume and he was great in Northanger Abbey. I digress. Thank you for rating Sir Olivier high on the list. As the first P&P I ever saw, he is near and dear to my heart. A stellar actor worth of his title, and it doesn't hurt he's just so darn handsome. Martin Henderson was great, my favourite modern adaptation. I enjoyed David Rintoul, but such an 80s soap opera feel to that set. Mathew McFayden is the most approachable Darcy and definitely is more open with emotions... that almost kiss and the hand flexing. I just couldn't get past the costuming when Darcy should be refined, meticulous and well dressed. Hands down Colin Firth is #1... that chemistry with Jennifer Ehle (my fav Lizzie), the subtleties in body language, it's the small things and he does it so well. Loved reading all the comments!
Jennifer Proffitt
52. JenniferProffitt
@Krystal Z, I totally would have included JJ Field's "Darcy" in here if Austenland hadn't felt a little too derivative to be be a straight P&P adaptation... I know it's splitting hairs when I include Lost in Austen on this list but... you gotta go with your got. He is FABULOUS in that movie though!! And probably would have landed at No. 4 had I included him. Honestly, in hindsight I would update this list to be:
1. MacFadyen
2. Firth--bumping him up because he was in TWO adaptation and really that should count for something!
3. Olivier
4. Field
pamelia
53. Jane magri
Absolutely Mathew MacFeyden is the one to beat Colin is great but for pure emotion and sex appeal Mattew takes it all cannot stop watching it
pamelia
54. Jolie
Can I just say how much fun I've had reading the comments? Love how passionate people are about this. I'm also amazed you found so many Mr Darcy's to compare. Nice work! God how tastes in actors have changed over the years.

I'm a CF fan and have a framed pic on my wall of him as Mr D - it's a painting I bought at Lyme Park and it makes for an interesting topic of conversation when I'm home working and on a video conference in my dining room.

I felt nothing for MM or the film version but you love who you love eh! I'm absolutely gonna go watch the mini series now. Thanks for firing me up for it!
irislim
55. irislim
I made an account just to comment on an 18-month old post. The emotion this post evokes from me is ridiculous! I've been a P&P fan for almost my entire life, and (not having watched some of the lower-ranked versions) these are my top 5. The ranking varies from the original post quite a bit; but I love how you truly included Darcys from all media, eras, and adaptations. That’s wonderful!

1. Daniel Vincent Gordh as William Darcy. (Lizzie Bennet Diaries) Maybe it's the Millenial in me speaking, but I find a dorky, techy Darcy hopelessly hot. In less than an hour of screen time, Gordh also manages to balance the arrogant, endearing, and violently-in-love versions of Darcy better than any other actor on the list. If I ever come by sudden wealth, I am hiring him and Ashley Clements to film a period version of P&P.

2. Colin Firth as Mark Darcy. (Bridget Jones’ Diary) I'm one of those who find Colin Firth way more delightful in a modern context, or maybe I just like modern Darcy, maybe.

3. Colin Firth as Fitzwilliam Darcy. (Pride and Prejudice, BBC) The slow dialogue pacing keeps me from re-watching too much, but this is Firth’s breakout role for a reason. Mr. Darcy should always smile, swim, and speak the same amounts he did.

4. Matthew Rhys as Fitzwilliam Darcy. (Death Comes to Pemberley) I had a hard time choosing between him and MacFayden. I ended up favoring Rhys for his ability to embody a married Darcy. He is absolutely perfect in the role – two parts brooding, three parts loving, two parts proud, and all parts honorable.

5. Matthew MacFayden as Fitzwilliam Darcy. (Pride and Prejudice, 2005) He managed to still look gorgeous against amazing English scenery - so he’s got to be on here. I find him the most romantic of all period-costume Darcys. He actually looked in love. I fault the movie, but I can’t fault him!
Jennifer Proffitt
56. JenniferProffitt
it's only 12 months old lol! But YAY! As the author of this post, this makes me SO happy. Despite the flippant title of this post, there was actually quite a bit of research that went into this ranking ;) I'm glad you noticed!!

I kind of regret not splitting up Colin Firth into Mark Darcy and Mr. Darcy in hindsight, your list gives me a lot to mull over! I do so love him. Ooh and if I had decided to include Death Comes to Pemberly in my ACTUAL list he would have gotten into my Top 5 too! Great list!
pamelia
57. MiriamG
So funny I stumbled upon this post that's quite old actually. But I happened to watch Matthew MacFadyen's Pride and Prejudice just yesterday for the second time... and I absolutely fell in love with his Darcy. So subtle, those eyes and that voice!
I love Colin Firth, but I've always thought his P&P performance not to be his best. In spite of that, for years Darcy was Colin and Colin was Darcy for me, and so it happened the first time I watched the 2005 version (especially because I found the changes in the dialogues hard to swallow! Rewriting Austen isn't a good idea).
But I had to revisit it to appreciate Mr. MacFadyen's work. Loved him there this time around.
Thank you for such fun post, I still have to watch Death comes to Pemberley, I love Matthew Rhys already. A very fine actor.
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