All the Persuasion Movies, by Amanda Kai

All the Persuasion Movies, by Amanda Kai

Ever since Netflix released their new version of Persuasion last month, Persuasion has been a hot topic among Jane Austen fans. I’m glad to see that this underrated story is finally getting some love after years of being pushed aside for Austen’s more celebrated works (which is not too dissimilar to the protagonist Anne Elliot’s treatment by her family, if I might say so).  


Last year, I featured lists of all the Pride and Prejudice adaptations and Emma adaptations. Therefore, I thought it was only fitting to make a list of all the Persuasion movie adaptations that currently exist to-date.


Ann Firbank and Bryan Marshall in Persuasion (1971)
Ann Firbank and Bryan Marshall in Persuasion (1971)

Persuasion (1971)


Ann Firbank in Persuasion (1971)
I liked everything except this hairdo!

Much like the other adaptations from the 70’s and 80’s, this TV miniseries has a very quaint, old-fashioned feel. Nevertheless, it is a fairly faithful adaptation of the book, and costumes and hair are true to the period (excepting the weird 70’s bouffant hairdo they gave Anne in the first half, but we’ll forgive that). I enjoyed Anne Firbank’s performance as Anne. She had more spirit than some of the other Anne’s I’ve seen, but not as overdramatic or caustically witty as the most recent film’s Anne. The story moves a little more slowly in contrast to the other adaptations, which were all feature films with shorter run-times, but the benefit being that nothing had to be cut in order to stay true to the novel and its many nuances.  

Mayte Blasco and Juan Diego in Persuasión (1972)
Mayte Blasco and Juan Diego in Persuasión (1972)

Persuasión (1972)


I have just learned that a ten-episode miniseries in Spanish with English subtitles exists, starring Mayte Blasco and Juan Diego. I had the chance to watch it today and it was absolutely charming! It follows the book very closely, and the acting was very good. Even the costumes were not too bad (although I had a good laugh at the amount of eyeliner the girls were wearing!)  If you’re interested in watching it, I found all the episodes currently free to watch on YouTube and RTVE

Ciaran Hinds, Amanda Root, and Samuel West in Persuasion (1995)
Ciaran Hinds, Amanda Root, and Samuel West in Persuasion (1995)

Persuasion (1995)


Considered by many fans to be the most faithful adaptation, the 1995 version of Persuasion starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds premiered the same year as adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and the modern-day Emma-inspired film, Clueless– truly a banner year for Austen films, so it is no wonder that it holds such a beloved spot in the heart of many fans. Amanda Root’s performance as the quiet, meek, and selfless Anne Elliot is very true to character, probably the closest out of all the adaptations I’ve seen. 


Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones in Persuasion (2007)
Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones in Persuasion (2007)

Persuasion (2007)


Another fan-favorite, Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones star in this TV movie adaptation. The film follows the novel fairly closely for most of the movie, although it does compress the sequence of events leading up to the climax in order to fit the 1 hr 32 min run time (the shortest Persuasion adaptation to-date). The worst part is the scene where poor Anne is running all over Bath to find Wentworth, followed by the most awkward kiss in Austen cinema history. The film makes up for this with beautiful scenery and good costuming, a recurring piano theme that sets a melodramatic tone, and stellar performances from all of the cast. One interesting thing that I noted was that while Anne does not directly break the fourth wall, we do get a glimpse of some of her inner thoughts through her narration of her diary entries, which I rather liked. 


Alicia Witt and Shane McRae in Modern Persuasion (2020)
Alicia Witt and Shane McRae in Modern Persuasion (2020)

Modern Persuasion (2020)


A loose modern-day reimagining of Persuasion. Alicia Witt stars as Wren, a career-focused woman who works for the Keller-Lynch (a play on Kellynch) marketing firm. She comes into direct contact with her ex-boyfriend Owen (Shane McRae) when he hires her firm for his company’s latest project. The rest of the Elliot family members are modernized in the form of Wren’s co-workers, including the self-obsessed owner Mr. Keller, his daughter, and daughter in-law. Wren’s close friend and mentor Vanessa (played by the fabulous Bebe Neuwirth) is the modern equivalent of Lady Russell. The movie pays homage to Jane Austen in various ways, including Wren and Owen’s love of the original novel and their having read it together; he names his company Laconia, while she names her cat Wentworth. Owen’s final confession, although written as a text message rather than a paper letter, pulls text directly from Wentworth’s famous letter.

Overall, the movie has a very sweet, Hallmark-type feel to it. I watched it without expecting too much, and ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.


Dakota Johnson and Cosmo Jarvis in Persuasion (2022)
Dakota Johnson and Cosmo Jarvis in Persuasion (2022)

Persuasion (2022)


Highly controversial for its alterations to Anne Elliot’s character and departure from the dialogue and scenes in the novel, the newest adaptation to hit the screen has fans divided, with some loving the fresh new take, and others scorning it. Overall,this adaptation had some missteps in regards to accuracy and costuming, but I found that I enjoyed it for its beautiful scenery and music, great acting, and relatability. This version also seems to be staged heavily as a romantic comedy; the best part being its exaggeration of the Elliots and their comical antics.  You can read the longer review I did last month here.


Have you checked out all of these versions yet? If not, I highly encourage you to look for them. Which version that you’ve seen so far is your favorite?

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13 Responses to All the Persuasion Movies, by Amanda Kai

  1. It has to be the 1995 for me. I did like 2007—it had its moments (sans the famous jog throughout Bath and that drawn-out kiss). I just checked out the Spanish version on YouTube. What a riot! Thanks for sharing!

  2. My favorite so far is the Amanda Root 1995 version. All the adaptations have their cringe moments. Even the 1995 version has Anne looking straight at the viewer as she is writing at her desk on the ship in the film’s final moments!

  3. Oooh, a Spanish version! Off to check that one out and to see if my DuoLingo Spanish is even a little bit up to the task. Thanks.

    • I’ve started watching it. The music is rather dire, isn’t it? It’s like a Romantic Russian epic! But the rest of it isn’t bad so far, and I’m understanding a lot more than I expected to. Gracias, DuoLingo!

    • I do not despise you! I thought it was kinda terrible the first time around but decided to watch it again. By the third time around I started to love it despite some of the cringy parts.

  4. I too like the 1995 version and found the recent version poor with substandard acting, little chemistry with the leads (Captain Wentworth left me cold) and egregious liberties. One was the fact that Anne at the dinner party at the Musgroves declared that ‘Charles wanted to marry me!’ What??? Anne would never have said that and certainly not at a social function in front of everyone (Louisa told Captain Wentworth privately on the walk). They didn’t just take liberties, they lost the plot literally.

  5. I loved having this list of all the adaptations! I’ll have to go through and watch them. I was excited about Modern Persuasion, but my husband informed me that we have already watched it. And that I have found it before and had the same reaction, and he told me the same thing. (Is he tricking me? I’m starting to get a little suspicious.)

  6. YES! Persuasion finally gets some love. I agree with your comment about it being pushed aside… ‘not too dissimilar to the protagonist Anne Elliot’s treatment by her family.’ That was well said and apropos. 
    I have watched the 1971 version a dozen times at least. I noticed the statue candelabra in Anne’s bedroom was repurposed in the 2007 movie at the end of the entryway staircase in Bath. They had removed the dangling crystals. I thought that was interesting. They are always reusing props in these movies.

    Thanks for the link to the 1972 version. I did not know it existed.

    1995 will always be my favorite on all points.

    In the 2007 version, the running through Bath was frustrating and disconcerting. In the first place, gentlewomen didn’t run. What would Sir Walter say if he knew Anne [daughter of a baronet] was running through town like a common nobody? LOL! That scene with the kiss was certainly different. It was like he was making her work for it. He was so tall, she had to be on her toes as it was and yet, he excruciatingly teased her and the audience as he slowly lowered himself to her. GRRR! Although she didn’t break the fourth wall by talking to the audience, she did make eye contact with the viewer as we were privy to her thoughts. Watching her write with that nib pen made me run out and buy one. I know, I’m weak. I even wrote my next letter to my friend with it. She knows me all too well and didn’t flinch with the blots and scratches [nod to Charles Bingley].

    I absolutely refuse to watch the 2022 version. I’m sorry. I saw the trailer and was not impressed. Nope, nada, no way. These new Regency versions/variations have just horrified me. Although the costumes are beautiful and the scenery is magnificent, there are too many things that are just WRONG. What the heck is with them wearing their hair down? The language is often modern and the trailers have sent me off on a tangent. Sorry, I’m venting here. I didn’t like the new Emma or Sanditon movies either for those very reasons. Don’t even get me started on Bridgerton and that naked butt scene in the trailer. What kind of man would expose himself like that? GRRR! I may need an anti-acid by the time I finish writing this.

    Modern adaptations are not my favorite. Although I enjoyed the movie Clueless, I abhorred Bridget Jones’s Diary. I doubt I will watch this new one. I may change my mind. Your praise has given me pause. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings. This was fun, I think. 

  7. The 1995 Persuasion is the standard I measure all the others by. So much, I purchased a copy!
    1971 is the first Persuasion I watched. I liked it but when the 1995 version aired …
    The 2007 is good. Agree about the running scene – didn’t fit my view of Anne’s character.
    2002 does have Hallmark all over it – too saccharine for me!
    2022, haven’t seen it and truthfully don’t know if I will after reading the reviews.
    FYI – there is a modern Persuasion also released this year – producer/director/screenwriter Allison Mabe. Found it listed in IMDB, filmed in Corpus Christi TX – looks to be an Instagram video?

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