It's in his kiss: US opts for lingering embrace

So it is anyone's guess what the 19th-century chronicler of manners would have made of the controversy besetting the new film version of her best-loved novel, Pride and Prejudice.

Not content with the refined kiss between Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew MacFadyen's Mr Darcy, which British audiences waited 127 minutes for during the new Working Title dramatisation, producers have granted US cinema-goers a far longer smooch, with the two canoodling in a moonlit haze as Darcy repeatedly sighs Miss Bennet's name. "You got the more sugary [ending]. The Brits hated it," MacFadyen told US critics after a test screening of the US version, which runs to 135 minutes - eight minutes longer than the more discreet British equivalent.

But both clinches take matters further than Jane Austen, who breaks off from quoted dialogue when relations between Miss Bennet and Mr Darcy threaten to become a little steamy, and continues with the report: "He [Darcy] expressed himself on the occasion as sensibly and as warmly as a man in violent love can be supposed to."

The film's distributors in the US might think that the American public prefers plenty of sugar but the Jane Austen Society of North America has revealed that it most certainly does not. "It has nothing at all of Jane Austen; it is inconsistent with the first two-thirds of the film, insults the audience with its banality, and ought to be cut before release," fulminated former society president Elsa Solender.

Other members of the 450-strong society are said to have been so taken aback that they broke out laughing during screening of the film, which opened in select US cinemas at the weekend and will be released nationwide on 23 November.

But feelings about the kiss were more mixed among the non-purists in the American audience. "It wouldn't have been a movie without it," Gail Hunt told one newspaper. "I was waiting for it."

"It was such a touching moment," added Francine Zawatsky.

Even the men seemed to like it - among them Willis Ritter, who declared: "This was obviously right after the wedding night."

Evidence has emerged in recent days that some Brits would also like to take a closer look at the smooch. An online campaign has been launched, at, calling for the kiss to be included in all DVD releases.

The petition, addressed to director Joe Wright and Working Title, is described as "a call to arms ... for the British, Irish and European fans who have been denied the 'international' ending scene in the new film version of Pride & Prejudice".

It asks: "What did us poor Austen aficionados (in the country of her birth no less) do to deserve such injustice?"

The petition had attracted around 550 signatures by yesterday evening.

The strictly proper Austen always glided over those moments when her characters were on the brink of making spectacles of themselves in public. Even in her more "romantic" last novel Persuasion, she cut out Wentworth's line, "Anne, my own dear Anne!" from an early draft and replaced it with cooler indirect speech in the final version of the text.

But artistic license has been inevitable amid the television and film adaptations of the novel during the past decade. Comfortably the most memorable scene in Andrew Davies' 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice - Darcy's wet-shirted emergence from the lake and Elizabeth's alarmed look towards his crotch - was nowhere to be found in the novel.

And then there was that kiss, the promise of which had the nation enraptured for weeks and seemed just reward for those who had ploughed through 359 minutes of viewing.

"It would be such a disappointment if, after six episodes, they didn't even kiss," Davies said. "Everybody wants them to."

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine