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Adapting the Classics
updated 3.30.2001

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I enjoy seeing the classics as shown on Masterpiece Theatre, especially Dickens. I would like to see Dombey and Son dramatized, and I also wish the older productions were rebroadcast like Bleak House, with Diana Rigg. The Brits know how to present terrific dramas of the Victorian and Edwardian era, and I always look forward to what the new season will bring.

Will Diaz
Los Angeles, CA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I greatly enjoyed the BBC production of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice which aired a few years ago on A&E. If such a representation is well done, as this one was, I have no problem with screen adaptations of literary classics. Sometimes though, they are disappointing. For instance, though she was one of my favorite actresses from Hollywood's' golden age, I felt that Greer Garson was, in an earlier screen version of Pride & Prejudice, too old to play Elizabeth Bennet (though Laurence Olivier made a perfect Mr. Darcy). I think that screen adaptations of literary classics are good because they encourage people to read the classics. For instance, I loaned my videotape of the BBC production of Pride & Prejudice to a friend, and she loved it. It's six hours long. She loved it so much that she sat through it twice in its entirety, and then went on to read both Pride & Prejudice and Mansfield Park.

Greenville, MS

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Taking old classics and renovating them to parallel modern times increases the chance of inaccuracies in the plot and other sloppy handling of minute details that weave together to form beauty and an artistic whole. An old classic should remain true to its era. Whatever happened to the word "originality"?

John Jung
Burbank, CA

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