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!

4 thoughts on “Jane Eyre, 1944 movie

  1. bermudaonion says:

    I love old movies and TV shows – they don’t rely on gimmicks to tell the story. Thanks for the review.

    Old movies do have to rely on more than explosions, car chases, and CGI. They actually had to be smart!

  2. Aidan Brack says:

    Glad you enjoyed it more than the 96 film – I’ll have to check it out again at some point soon and refresh my memory!

    Which BBC adaptation did you end up acquiring? The Dalton? Am looking forward to reading what you think about it in any case. 🙂

    Yes, I have the Dalton. When I started looking around online I saw there were over 20 versions of Jane Eyre! I don’t plan on watching them all – maybe I’ll just continue until I find the perfect one 🙂 Variety says that there will be a new adaptation starring Ellen Page (of Juno fame) as Jane. I don’t kow if that is true or not.

  3. Laura Essendine says:

    I’ve watched every filmed version of Jane Eyre and have read the book countless times. In my humble opinion, the best adaptation by far is the Timothy Dalton version. As it’s so old the production values aren’t as high as today but it is very close to the book with lots of original dialogue.

    Dalton is far too good looking to play Rochester but he turns in a brilliant performance. Very watchable indeed.

    Can I also recommend North and South and Bleak House by the BBC. Period drama doesn’t get any better!

    Laura Essendine
    Author – The Accidental Guru
    The Books Limited Blog

    You’ve watched every one?! That is impressive. I’ve still got the Dalton version here, ready to watch. I’ll keep you posted!

    Thanks for stopping by and recommending a few things I might enjoy. I appreciate it.

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