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 »
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
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60-minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 5, 1944, with Orson Welles reprising his film role. See more »
When Rochester and Blanche sever connections, folds can be seen in the backdrop of the sky. 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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Entertaining and engaging adaption of a gothic classic
A thoroughly engaging adaption of the brooding classic, this film rises above the turgid tone often imposed on other classics brought to the screen. Joan Fontaine turns in a brilliantly deceptively understated performance, and Orson Welles restrains from the scenery chewing that marred some of his own projects; there is surprising chemistry between them. At times, Welles is a downright "sexy" leading man! The script (credited to John Houseman and Aldous Huxley) captures the right "tone" of Victorian cruelty and repression.
Under Robert Stevenson's direction Fontaine/Welles seem to capture the essence of two abused outsiders resisting their attraction for one another, trying to adhere to convention. A strong supporting cast. There are brief though memorable appearances by Agnes Moorehead, Elizabeth Taylor and Peggy Ann Garner as "young" Jane.
George Barnes' camera captures appropriately stark images of Ross Dowd and Thomas Little's sets. Charlotte Bronte's grim novel is well suited to the excellent B/W, cinematography: a memorable scene early in the film has young Jane being punished by being forced to stand on a stool that is nearly in the center of a fan of shadows cast by the stair railing, It is almost reminiscent of expressionist German films of the Weimar years.
The film manages to entertain as well as inform. Purists may object to the last 3 lines of the film which hint at a slightly happier denouement than the book offered. In spite of that, Jane Eyre is still a nearly flawless film.
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