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
When Jane is first awakened by Adele, she has long thick braids. At other times, she has a small bun at the base of her neck. There is no way the volume of such braids would fit into such a tiny bun. 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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This version of the classic novel is most distinguished by its fine cast. The adaptation itself is pretty good, although the first part (Jane's childhood) comes across better than the main part of the film. The original novel is a complex story and character study, and it would be quite a job to squeeze everything into a film of under two hours - all things considered, this version does a pretty good job despite eliminating some significant parts of the book.
There are a lot of fine actors in the cast, and Orson Welles is ideal for the role of Rochester. Joan Fontaine is good too as (the adult) Jane, although the character in this version is somewhat less interesting than in the novel, so she has less to work with than Welles does. There are some fine performances in the early part of the movie, and some excellent casting, including Agnes Moorehead as Jane's mean-spirited aunt, the icy Henry Daniell as Brocklehurst, and a young Elizabeth Taylor as Jane's school friend Helen. That part of the film works perfectly.
Although the last part is not quite as effective, overall the movie still offers several good reasons to watch it. You get to see a fine cast in action, and if the film is not the masterpiece that the novel was, it's a good picture and certainly worth seeing.
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