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Which Is The Best Emma Movie?

Updated on February 10, 2015

Looking For The Best Movie Adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma?

Recently, I watched the BBC's and Jane Austen's 2009 movie, Emma. Afterward, I discovered that it is considered by some to be the best Emma movie. However, there are four main contenders out there including the 1972 version with Doran Godwin, the 1997 version with Kate Beckinsale, 1996 version with Gwyneth Paltrow and the 2009 version with Romola Garai.

Blu-ray fans will be disappointed that none of the versions of Emma are available on blu-ray, not even the 2009 version. However, that did not stop us from enjoying the magnificently produced 2009 version of Emma.

On this page, you will find the four Emma movies ranked in chronological order, from the oldest movie too the newest one. True Jane Austen and Emma fans will undoubtedly want to see them all. If you have already seen these movies (and even if you have not), please take a moment at the end to vote for YOUR favourite version of Emma.

The Four Emma Movies

The Four Emma Movies

Which version is your favorite? Will it be:

  • The BBC's Emma with Doran Godwin (1972)
  • Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma (1996)
  • A&E's Emma with Kate Beckinsale (1997)
  • The BBC's Emma with Romola Garai (2009)

They're all displayed here on this page to help you vote for your favorite. A chance to vote for your favorite appears at the end of the page. If you're inclined, you can also click through to Amazon to read more about the individual movies.

The BBC's Emma with Mollie Sugden (1972)

"Love knows no boundaries. And neither does she."

The BBC's Emma with Doran Godwin (1972)

This is the BBC's 1972 version of the story and stars Doran Godwin, Mollie Sugden and Fiona Walker. This movie version of the story may be truest to the book. You will notice a striking difference in how this film was made as compared to how it would have been made today. It almost feels as if you are watching the story on a stage.

This version has a run time of 257 minutes. The trailer is not really a trailer but rather the opening scene of the movie and, as such, runs for eight minutes. Check it out for yourself here:

Emma (1972) Movie Trailer

Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow's (1996)

Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma (1996)

Jane Austen's Emma (1996) stars Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cosmo, Greta Scacchi, Alan Cumming and Denys Hawthorne. This movie received mixed reviews, especially among true fans. Gwyneth Paltrow sparkled in this movie and received generally good reviews. This version is a standard length movie with a run time of 121 minutes. Check out the video trailer here:

A&E's Emma with Kate Beckinsale (1997)

A&E's Emma with Kate Beckinsale (1997)

Emma (1997)

A&E's version of Emma (1997) starred Kate Beckinsale, Bernard Hepton, Mark Strong, Samantha Bond and James Hazeldine. Some called this the best version ever and thought that Kate Beckinsale made the perfect Emma. The version is also movie length with a runtime of 107 minutes. Check her performance out in this brief Youtube video.

Emma (1997) Movie Trailer

The BBC's Emma with Romola Garai (2009)

The BBC's Emma with Romola Garai (2009)

This is yet another BBC version of Emma (2009) and stars Romola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller, Michael Gambon, Tamsin Greig and Rupert Evans. It has two discs and a run time of 229 minutes. Check it out here on the trailer:

Do you have a favorite Emma movie?

Which version of Jane Austen's Emma do you prefer?

See results

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© 2010 Treasures By Brenda

Do you have a favorite Emma movie?

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      Donna Cook 2 years ago

      Great lens! A&E's Emma (1997) Movie With Kate Beckinsale is my favorite. There's so much more detail and Mark Strong is a fabulous Mr. Knightley.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 3 years ago from Canada

      @sybil watson: I hope you enjoy them all, Sybil!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 3 years ago from Canada

      @TerriCarr: Yes, I've seen it though I haven't written about it. So many great movies!

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      I like them all! Did you know there is a movie about Jane Austen's life called "Becoming Jane" ?

    • profile image

      sybil watson 3 years ago

      I don't know how I missed the 2009 Masterpiece Classic version of Emma - I watch Masterpiece every week! I thought Gwyneth Paltrow was very good as Emma and of course Jeremy Northam is dreamy. I'll definitely be watching the others you mentioned.

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