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Sense and Sensibility (1995) Poster

Trivia

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The Dashwoods moved to their humble cottage when the weather was cold and the sheep still had their long, winter coats. The scenes were in fact filmed in late May, and in one take a sheep keeled over from heat exhaustion. So the sheep were immediately sheared and later appear with their haircuts, despite the wintry setting.
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Whilst working on the script, Emma Thompson's computer developed a problem and she was unable to locate the file. She took the computer to Stephen Fry, an expert in Apple computers, who, after seven hours, finally managed to retrieve the script. This is why Stephen is thanked in the credits by the producers.
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Ang Lee originally was considering Kate Winslet only for the smaller part of Lucy Steele, even though she really wanted to play Marianne. When Winslet arrived at her audition she pretended that her agent had sent her to read for Marianne, and her reading won her the role.
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During filming, the Jane Austen Society telephoned co-producer James Schamus to complain about the casting of Hugh Grant, claiming that he was too good looking to play Edward Ferrars.
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Emma Thompson's first draft of the screenplay consisted of 350 hand-written pages. The final draft was a culmination of that and 13 other drafts, which were written over four and a half years.
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Emma Thompson has recounted that, during the scene where Colonel Brandon approaches Elinor and Marianne on horseback, many takes were ruined by the horse's flatulence. Eventually, they were forced to shoot the scene with the farting horse, and the rather loud reports later were edited out of the soundtrack.
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According to Stephen Fry's autobiography, Hugh Laurie was Emma Thompson's first choice for the role of Col. Brandon, before being cast as Mr. Palmer.
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Hugh Grant was always first choice to play Edward Ferrars. The actor agreed to reduce his normal salary in order to help with the film's budget.
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Kate Winslet admitted that she was terrified of Alan Rickman when she met him in the hair and makeup trailer. She thought he would think she was a terrible actress and get her fired. After a week or two, she got to know him, and realized how sweet and warm he was. She ended up adoring him, and would work with him again, as her director and co-star, on A Little Chaos.
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With her Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award win, Emma Thompson became the first person to receive Oscars for acting and writing.
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Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet lived together during the shoot to help them form a natural sisterly bond.
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Ang Lee spent 6 months in England prior to filming in an effort to steep himself in English culture and acclimatize himself to the British sense of humor.
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The excerpt that Colonel Brandon reads to Marianne near the end of the film ("nothing's lost but may be found if sought...") belongs to Edmund Spenser's epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590). It is part of the second canto in Book V: Justice.
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Emma Thompson was asked to write the screenplay by producer Lindsay Doran when she discovered their shared love of Jane Austen when working together on Dead Again (1991).
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The film's release and popularity saw the original novel returning to the New York Times' Bestseller List.
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Largely filmed in Devon, where the original novel is set.
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A largely dull character in the novel, Edward Ferrars - the potential suitor for Elinor Dashwood - was given more personality by the casting of Hugh Grant. Emma Thompson deliberately wrote the part with Grant in mind.
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Miss Gray's dowry of £50,000 at the time the film was set would be equivalent to nearly £3 million in 2018.
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While writing the screenplay for the film, Emma Thompson had sisters Natasha Richardson and Joely Richardson in mind for the roles of Elinor and Marianne.
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Given that this was his first English-language film, Ang Lee was taken aback when stars Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant would come to him with suggestions about their characters. Lee wasn't used to this method of working, as it is not the style in Hong Kong.
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There is an ironic twist surrounding the casting of Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson and Greg Wise. Although they portray love interests on screen, Kate Winslet and Greg Wise dated only briefly in reality before Greg took to Winslet's on-screen sister Emma Thompson. Thompson and Wise were together for 8 years before getting married. Together they have one adopted son and one biological daughter. Interestingly, Richard Lumsden, who portrays Thompson's on-screen brother-in-law Robert Ferrars, is her actual brother-in-law. Lumsden is married to Emma's younger sister, Sophie Thompson, who was also featured in two movie adaptations of Jane Austen's books, Screen Two: Persuasion (1995) and Emma (1996). In Screen Two: Persuasion (1995), Sophie Thompson played the younger sister of the story's main character, Anne Elliot, which was played by Amanda Root, who ironically enough was sought for the role of Marianne in Sense and Sensibility (1995). Root, however, could not accept the role due to her obligations to film Persuasion. In a nutshell, Amanda Root landed a role in a Jane Austen adaptation and was coincidentally asked to star in another one. When she could not appear, another actress who dated the future husband of her on-screen sister's sister was given the role, and her on-screen sister's actual husband portrayed the on-screen brother-in-law of his actual sister-in-law in the same film that she could not star in.
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At 36, Emma Thompson was considerably older than the character of Elinor Dashwood in the novel, who is generally thought to be around 19. Kate Winslet was closer to her character's age, being 20 in relation to Marianne's 16.
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In the DVD extras, Emma Thompson relates how Patrick Doyle was challenged to set Ben Jonson's 'The Dreame' to music. The result is the piece Col. Brandon requests Marianne to play on the pianoforte and the end title music.
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Director Ang Lee had not read Jane Austen's novel when Columbia first sent him Emma Thompson's script.
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Amanda Root was originally sought for the role of Marianne, and performed the role at a read-through of an early draft of the script. However, by the time the film was being made, Root could not appear, as she was already working on another Jane Austen film, Screen Two: Persuasion (1995).
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The scene where Willoughby rescues Marianne in driving rain took about 50 takes. This resulted in Kate Winslet contracting hypothermia.
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In her book "The Sense and Sensibility (1995) Screenplay & Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film", Emma Thompson writes that after a particularly difficult day filming a sequence that involved a flock of sheep, Ang Lee swore that he would never again use the animals on a movie set. Ten years later, however, Ang Lee went on to direct (and win a directing Oscar for) Brokeback Mountain (2005), which is about two men who meet while sheep herding.
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The William Shakespeare sonnet quoted through the film is sonnet #116.
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Shot over a period of 65 days.
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Emma Thompson, Gemma Jones, Robert Hardy, Elizabeth Spriggs, Alan Rickman, and Imelda Staunton all appear in the Harry Potter series.
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This film was part of a massive renaissance in popularity for the works of Jane Austen in the mid-1990s due to highly successful screen adaptations, along with the BBC's television version of Pride and Prejudice (1995) (which made a big star of Colin Firth) and Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma (1996).
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The original plan was that Natasha Richardson and Joely Richardson would play the Dashwood sisters. However, Columbia wanted Emma Thompson to play Elinor, coming off of her Oscar win for Howards End (1992).
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With a budget of $16 million, this was the biggest budget Ang Lee had ever worked with. The film was effectively bankrolled following the surprise success of Gillian Armstrong's version of Little Women the year before.
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The sheer dotted muslin gown that Kate Winslet, (Marianne Dashwood), wears during the lawn bowling scene at Barton Park is the same costume Charity Wakefield (Marianne Dashwood) wears at Norland Park in Sense & Sensibility (2008). The costume is also worn by Amelia Warner (Fanny Price, age 17) in Mansfield Park (1999) and by Jennifer Higham (Louisa Musgrove) at Uppercross in Persuasion (2007).
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Alan Rickman loved playing with all the dogs that belonged to Sir John Middleton in the film.
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Marianne (Kate Winslet) is, at some point, carried by almost all the leading men in the film. Willoughby (Greg Wise), Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman), and Mr Palmer (Hugh Laurie).
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Both Emma and her sister, Sophie Thompson, met their future husbands-- Greg Wise and Richard Lumsden respectively-- on the set of Sense and Sensibility.
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Imelda Staunton and Hugh Laurie have previously played a married couple in Peter's Friends (1992). Emma Thompson, who also appeared in that film, wrote the parts of Mr and Mrs Palmer for them.
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Kenneth Branagh was attached to this film at one time.
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During filming, director Ang Lee used music by Arvo Pärt as a temp score.
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In at least one of the trailers for this movie, the background music is actually from the soundtrack to Little Women, which came out the previous year. This is a common practice when advertising a film that is still in post-production, for which the musical score has probably not been finalized. For instance, the trailer for Regarding Henry uses the score from Terms Of Endearment.
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Wimbledon was taking place during filming. Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet would watch matches together in his trailer.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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Colonel Brandon is 16 years older than Marianne Dashwood in the novel. In reality, Alan Rickman is 29 years older than Kate Winslet.
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The windowpane check gown Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood) wears while explaining Col. Brandon's offer to Edward is the same costume Billie Piper (Fanny Price) wears in Mansfield Park (2007), Rosamund Stephen (Henrietta Musgrove) wears in Persuasion (2007), Victoria Hopkins in The Regency House Party (2004), and Honeysuckle Weeks in the sketch "Plots & Proposals" in Victoria Wood: With All the Trimmings (2000). The same costume is also worn by an extra at the London party where Byron meets Annabella Milbanke in Byron (2003).
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The film received an award from a Christian organization for incorporating a character, Edward Ferrars played by Hugh Grant, who preferred becoming a clergyman rather then choosing a military or legal career.
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Emma Thompson's Best Actress Oscar nomination was the only nominee for that category in a Best Picture nominee that year.
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The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet; and two Oscar nominees: Tom Wilkinson and Imelda Staunton.
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The straw bonnet with a pale blue ribbon Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears at Barton Cottage is the same costume worn by Maggie Smith (Betsey Trotwood) in David Copperfield (1999), and by Judi Dench (Miss Matty) in Cranford (2007).
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The green and beige patterned waistcoat Hugh Laurie (Mr. Palmer) wears at the London ball is the same costume worn by Benjamin Whitrow (Mr. Bennet) at Longbourn in Pride and Prejudice (1995), by Mark Foxsmith in The Regency House Party (2004), and by James McAvoy (Tom Lefroy) to Lady Gresham's ball in Becoming Jane (2007).
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The black patterned muslin gown Gemma Jones (Mrs. Dashwood) wears when Edward comes to Barton Cottage is the same costume Billie Piper (Fanny Price) wears to Maria's wedding in Mansfield Park (2007), and Janet Dale (Miss Briggs) wears at Park Lane in Vanity Fair (1998). The same costume is also worn by Pauline Moran (Mrs. Curtain) when Byron arrives for the wedding in Byron (2003), and by an extra at the Meryton Assembly Ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005).
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The wine-colored muslin dress, beige pelisse and matching bonnet Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears for the Dashwoods' arrival at Barton Cottage is the same costume Cesca Martin wears for her arrival at Regency House in The Regency House Party (2004). The dress is also worn by an extra at the Meryton Assembly Ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005).
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The tan and black striped gown with a black crepe bow on the bodice Gemma Jones (Mrs. Dashwood) wears playing cards at Barton Park is the same costume Jemma Redgrave (Lady Bertram) wears in the final scene in Mansfield Park (2007), Rosemary Enright wears at dinner in The Regency House Party (2004), and Francesca Annis (Lady Ludlow) wears in Cranford (2007). The costume is also worn by an extra at the Netherfield Ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005), by Wendy Craig (Mrs.Lefroy) in The Real Jane Austen (2002), and by Penny Downie (Lady Judith Milbanke) at dinner, after Annabella returns to her parents' house in Byron (2003).
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The pale blue dress with checked trim on the sleeves Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood) wears at Barton Cottage is the same costume Anna Madeley (Lucy Steele) wears when Edward calls at Mrs. Jennings' London house in Sense & Sensibility (2008), and by a guest at the Meryton Assembly ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005).
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The green velvet Spencer vest Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears walking in the rain at Cleveland is the same costume Elizabeth Berrington (Charlotte) wears in Quills (2000), and Sally Hawkins (Anne Elliot) wears to the concert at the Bath Assembly Rooms in Persuasion (2007).
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The apple-green day dress Harriet Walter (Fanny Dashwood) wears trimming hats with Lucy Steele is the same costume worn by Henry's new partner (seated next to Mary's new partner) at the end of Mansfield Park (1999).
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The white muslin dress with yellow overdress Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears during the picnic scene is the same costume a farmhouse servant wears in Eroica (2003), and Michelle Ryan wears during the scene in which Sir Thomas asks Maria if she wants to marry Mr. Rushworth in Mansfield Park (2007).
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The jeweled white gown with dark velvet overdress worn by a guest at the London Ball is the same costume worn by Jacqueline Pearce ( Lady Apthorpe) at the Prince Regent's ball in Princess Caraboo (1994), by Embeth Davidtz (Mary Crawford) for the theatrical in Mansfield Park (1999), and by Jane How (Lady Holland) to a ball in Byron (2003).
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The tall green military-style hat with a peacock feather worn by an extra at the Covent Garden coffee shop is the same one worn by Christina Cole (Caroline Bingley) at Pemberley during the shooting contest in Lost in Austen (2008).
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The rose lace-covered evening gown that Imelda Staunton (Mrs. Palmer) wears while playing cards at Barton Park is the same costume worn by a guest at the play in Quills (2000).
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The green velvet gown with gold and white trimmings worn by Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood) to the ball in London is the same costume worn by Christina Cole (Caroline Bingley) in Lost in Austen (2008).
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The tan and black print muslin day dress worn by Gemma Jones (Mrs. Dashwood) at Barton Cottage is the same costume worn by Janet Dale (Miss Briggs) at Park Lane in Vanity Fair (1998), Penny Downie (Lady Milbanke) at dinner in Byron (2003), an extra at the Meryton Assembly Ball in Pride & Prejudice (2005), and Alex Kingston (Mrs. Bennet) at Hunsford in Lost in Austen (2008).
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The dark purple velvet and silk gown Harriet Walter (Fanny Dashwood) wears to dinner at Norland Park is the same costume worn by the theatre guest seated next to deSade's wife in Quills (2000), and by Jane How (Lady Holland) at the London party in Byron (2003).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When the film was first released, many moviegoers thought that the final scene showed the double wedding of Marianne and Colonel Brandon, and Edward and Elinor. However, Edward and Elinor are already married at this point. He was the wedding officiant, and Elinor was Marianne's Matron of Honor.
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Originally, there was to be a scene in which Hugh Grant would kiss Emma Thompson. This scene was deleted, however, because the film was too long already and the scene was felt to be inappropriate for Austen's time. They deleted another scene between Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood for time, and the belief that it was unnecessary exposition.
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Marianne Dashwood's wedding dress was trimmed with straw.
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