After watching the 1996 iterpretation of Jane Eyre (review here) and reading the comments I thought I’d try another version. I watched the 1944 movie with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine and loved it! It certainly wasn’t perfect, but it was a vast improvement over the last.
This movie contained more of the story and details in less time than the 1996 version. There wasn’t a wasted moment and I surprised at how much they were able to show in the 96 minutes. Her time at the school was well done; I wouldn’t want to attend the strict school. I thought it did a good job at showing the growing relationship between Rochester and Jane.
The cast was wonderful. Orson Welles did a good job as Mr. Rochester. He was dark, menacing, and a commanding presence. He may not have been old enough, but if that is my main complaint, that’s not bad. I thought Joan Fontaine captured the spirit of Jane, if not the personality. I was enchanted by young Jane, Peggy Ann Garner, and Adele, Margaret O’Brien. And I was surprised to see a young Elizabeth Taylor as young Jane’s friend, Helen. She was beautiful even at such a young age!
I also have the BBC miniseries checked out of the library and am looking forward to watching it soon. Maybe after I’ve watched all of the different versions I can choose my dream cast!