Jane Eyre is an orphan cast out as a young girl by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, and sent to be raised in a harsh charity school for girls. There she learns to become a teacher and eventually seeks ... See full summary »
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
Orson Welles did enough work behind the scenes that the production company offered him a producer credit, which he turned down. Welles' official reason for this is a belief that a person who is not directing the film shouldn't be "just" a producer. 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.
See more »
Stevenson isn't willing to let us forget that his film is based on a book. The first thing we see a leather-bound volume with the title "Jane Eyre" emblazoned on the cover; the book opens to reveal the film's credits exquisitely lettered on the opening pages. We're in danger of falling in love with the book as an object before the story even begins. By the time Joan Fontaine had finished reading out Brönte's opening paragraph, with the sentences themselves before me, I was in no mood to watch the movie - I wanted to go away and read the book.
Yet when it's not reminding us that it's at heart a version of something else, it's a very good film, falling not too far short of David Lean's "Oliver Twist" - which it resembles. Both films were shot almost entirely in the studio, yet don't feel studio-bound; they feel rather as though the directors had managed to find unusually claustrophobic out-of-door (or, in Lean's case, urban) locations. In both films a portion of every frame is consumed by impenetrable shadow. (Yet "Eyre" is detailed, and makes the best possible use of every frame.) Both films take place around in a callous England of the 1920s. (I got the impression that if Brönte's characters had for some reason gone to London they would have encountered Dickens's, although this impression was destroyed when the rich Londoners visit Rochester's castle.) Both films manage to be sentimental in an agreeable way. Both have excellent musical scores. In fact, this may be Herrmann's best score of the 1940s, certainly better than the one he wrote for "Citizen Kane", which is seems better than it is because the film as a whole is a masterpiece.
If you can, make sure you see a print with a pristine soundtrack. Orson Welles isn't always easy to understand.
19 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this