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Jane Eyre (1983)
Fail to see how anyone could enjoy this version
I've probably been spoilt by having firstly seen the 1973 version with Michael Jayston and Sorcha Cusack so the 1983 adaptation is such a disappointment. I just didn't get any chemistry between the 2 main stars. A lot of staring and theatrical acting just doesn't do it for me, and what was all that about putting Tim in the role of Rochester. Had the casting director actually ever read the book. Very strange! He's a fine actor but Mr. Rochester he definitely isn't! And Zelah was just, well, strange, bit of a mix matched couple. In it's favour the supporting cast were pretty good and the Lowood scenes for me were the best of the adaptation, but overall didn't capture any of the magic of the novel. Certainly wouldn't ask anyone to watch it as a true adaptation of the novel. A real let down!
Jane Eyre (1973)
Without doubt the best ever adaptation of Jane Eyre.
I first saw this mini series back in 1973 when it was broadcast on the BBC and thought it was wonderful. I immediately read the book and couldn't believe how true to the book the adaptation was. Also what I loved about it was it wasn't a glitzy Hollywood version, it completely captured the atmosphere of the book. All the cast gave brilliant performances. Sorcha Cusack was a perfect Jane but Michael Jayston's performance was just astounding. He managed to portray all the complexities of the character with a touch of dry wit, and the chemistry between Rochester and Jane is just amazing. I'm afraid the 1983 Dalton version just doesn't do anything for me. Dalton is an excellent actor but once you've read the book he doesn't really fit the part the way Michael Jayston does. It is fantastic that the powers that be have come to their senses and decided to re-release it after all these years. It is an exceptional adaptation. Don't miss it!