Jane Eyre, 1944 movie

Jane Eyre****

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!