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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 and Edward Rochester, owner of Thornfeild and Adele's guardian, fall in love. Suddenly, when Jane is about to win the happiness she deserves, a dark secret comes to light, and it will take all of her courage, love and understanding to triumph. Written by
[Mr. Rochester is looking at the fire for two minutes and Jane is looking at him for the same length of time. Then, turning suddenly, he catches her eyes fixed on his face]
You examine me, Miss Eyre. Find me handsome?
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Susannah York perfectly encapsulates Bronte's character.
Of all the actresses who have attempted this role, belated congratulations to Miss Susannah York for alone understanding "Jane" to the core, a knowledge absolutely necessary to render the character in a manner that Miss Bronte herself would assuredly recognize and approve.
No other film actress has achieved Jane's self possession, self reliance, modesty, and self control in a way that consistently points to the novel itself, rather than some film director's misguided attempts to deliver a trivialized cartoon cut out. And it is these attributes that render Miss York's treatment of Jane's deeply held emotions all the more affecting, since they are kept under lock and key.
Some other actresses have come close, (Joan Fontaine) while others have evidently had no conception of what on earth they were doing (Virginia Bruce).
Suffice it to say that up to now, Susannah York has bested all others. As Mr. Roderick, George C. Scott is too old, but turns in a serviceable performance otherwise.
Plaudits also to the cinematography for achieving a truly romantic bleakness comparable the paintings of Caspar David Friederich. Delbert Mann understood the importance of landscape to this story, (another key attribute jettisoned in other versions) and for this he is to be congratulated.
Finally, the sumptuous and unforgettable score of John Williams. Forget "Star Wars" ! for this is a score of genuine musical achievement, richly romantic, stirring and melancholic all at the same time, not to mention being eminently listenable on its own terms.
Three cheers to all concerned in this A-1 production.
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