Charlotte Bronte's classic novel is filmed yet again. The story of the Yorkshire orphan who becomes a governess to a young French girl and finds love with the brooding lord of the manor is ... See full summary »
Jane Eyre is an orphan, sent to Lowood school, and eventually becomes a governess at Thornfield hall to a girl named Adele. While she is there, many strange things happen and eventually she... See full summary »
Jane Eyre is an orphan cast out as a young girl by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, and sent to be raised in a harsh charity school for girls. There she learns to be come a teacher and eventually seeks... See full summary »
The advertising slogans of Jimmy Hanagan and the lab reports reveal that the patented prepared pudding invented by Lemuel P. Twine has a treasure of Vitamin Z and is full of Zumph. Lemuel's... See full summary »
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
This live hour long show has Young Jane Eyre, fresh from the orphanage looking forward to her job as governess to a little girl at Thornfield Hall. Edward Rochester the cold forbidding ... See full summary »
Sally Ann Howes,
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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If you remember any novel at all of Charlotte Bronte, it is JANE EYRE, her romance of a struggling governess who falls in love with a wealthy, mysterious land - owner whose ward needs an educator. It is the story that has been filmed most often of all of Bronte's novels (three films and a series, as opposed to only one series based on VILLETTE and none for SHIRLEY or THE PROFESSOR). It is not as overpowering in it's appeal as her sister Emily's WUTHERING HEIGHTS, but it is (for most people) a good romantic novel. It is also one of the few Victorian novels that is read today (in fact, it was used in an episode of FRIENDS, when Phoebe and Rachel are supposed to be in a literature night school class).
What was unique about the novel when it was published in 1847 was that it was rare for a novel to be told from the perspective of lowly governess, and about unrequited love for her employer. This was really hot stuff for Victorian England (though not as hot as Heathcliff and Cathy running wild on the moors of Yorkshire). The novel also gave Charlotte Bronte a chance to even one old score. The business about her being sent to the school run by Henry Brocklehurst was based on Charlotte's personal feelings about a school she had been sent to that was run by one William Carus Wilson. She felt Wilson was a hypocrite and tyrant (this view has been disputed by scholars researching Bronte since the 19th Century).
This is the best known version of the novel, but it is not as complete a version as one imagines. The early part of the novel, showing how Jane's aunt Mrs. Reed and her son John bully Jane (as a poor relation) is cut (John doesn't even have any lines). Henry Daniell is effective as Brocklehurst, in that his religious tyranny over his students is shown, but the hypocrisy of his behavior (in the novel his wife and daughters are fashionably dressed, as opposed to the girls in his school) is not commented upon. The subplot concerning the Rivers cousins is not included in the film. Possibly this is wise, as it concentrates the narrative to Jane's hiring by Edward Rochester, her growing love for her "Byronic" employer, and her discovering of the shattering secret that derails their marriage.
When the film was made Joan Fontaine was at the height of her career as a movie star. She had won her Oscar for best actress in SUSPICION only three years before. She fit the role of the quiet "plain Jane" heroine quite well. But in her memoirs NO BED OF ROSES she reveals that she did not like this film. Her co-star got on her nerves. Orson Welles did the role of Rochester because he was trying to demonstrate to Hollywood producers that he was quite a good actor, even if he was not directing as he wanted. But, as it turned out, he got involved in the production of the film - and he had some clashes with Fontane whom he thought was a spoiled star. That their scenes together worked is amazing.
Of the others in the cast, the two I find most interesting are Elizabeth Taylor as the ill-fated Helen Burns, Jane's closest friend at Brocklehurst's school. It is a small part, but the beautiful young Taylor makes it heart-breaking. But also note the performance of Hillary Brooke as the fortune - hunting Blanche Ingram, who summarizes the reason for her defeat in this movie while playing billiards with her parents: "GOVERNESSES, MAMA!!"
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