Small, plain and poor, Jane Eyre comes to Thornfield Hall as governess to the young ward of Edward Rochester. Denied love all her life, Jane can't help but be attracted to the intelligent, vibrant, energetic Mr. Rochester, a man twice her age. But just when Mr. Rochester seems to be returning the attention, he invites the beautiful and wealthy Blanche Ingram and her party to stay at his estate. Meanwhile, the secret of Thornfield Hall could ruin all their chances for happiness. Written by
The text of "Jane Eyre, Chapter 1" that appears on screen does not correspond to the text of Bronte's novel. Chapter 1 actually opens, "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question." See more »
My name is Jane Eyre... I was born in 1820, a harsh time of change in England. Money and position seemed all that mattered. Charity was a cold and disagreeable word. Religion too often wore a mask of bigotry and cruelty. There was no proper place for the poor or the unfortunate. I had no father or mother, brother or sister. As a child I lived with my aunt, Mrs. Reed of Gateshead Hall. I do not remember that she ever spoke one kind word to me.
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I found Joan Fontaine's performance as Jane Eyre as one of the more satisfying of her career,in that she was less histrionic than usual.I thought of her as not-to-the manor-born,but could,and did,achieve the position of governess in that social register of Edward Rochester by being quiet,smiling,and,in the words of Spencer Tracy,"don't bump into the furniture." Of course,Jane learned harshly,in her youth,the hard,cold facts of life.Mr.Rochester was enough to scare the wits out of any delicate woman like Jane.But,she was quiet,smiling,and didn't bump into the furniture,and,thereby,won his respect--and love.She could play the piano--and speak French,too.That helped to cement their relationship.Miss Fontaine's performance was gentle and in perfect pitch.Orson Welles' performance was an interesting study of character development,from over-bearing--even rude,to controlled kindness and deep concern for Jane's welfare.A fine film,good to watch.
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