I understand Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier were considered to be wonderful actors. That said, Pride and Prejudice is on TCM right now and its awfulness is laughable.
Maybe Hollywood's intention was always making money and telling stories that would get people to cough up their money to be entertained. Is there something about being vaguely historically accurate that would prevent people from being entertained?
Baring all else, every Hollywood studio had a costume department. Did no one look at a Regency gown? Yes, they were ugly, but not half as ridiculous as the meringues Greer Garson is wearing--sleeves so enormous she has to turn sideways to get through the doorways.
I know Elizabeth says she is quite old when speaking with Lady de Bourgh, but I thought Lizzie meant about 22, not 35. This is like Norma Shearer, who I quite like and am grateful she took such good care of Irving Thalberg, playing a 15 year old Juliette. Come on. These women were too old for the parts.
The Bennets were supposed to be, if not poor, then certainly not rich. You should see the huge house Hollywood put them in. If they had this much money, what was Mr. Darcy's problem with Elizabeth and her family? The Bennets being well-off completely undercuts and undermines what Jane Austen set up. Oh well, writers are always too close to their work so what the heck did Austen know about her story anyway?