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Jane Eyre 1973

16 Aug

Arguably the two most faithful Jane Eyre adaptations are the BBC miniseries from 1973 and 1983, respectively. The fanbase is divided over which is the better one on the whole. While I have previously seen the 1983 version, this was actually my first time watching 1973, for this review. It is comprised of 5 episodes of approximately 50 minutes each, and stars Sorcha Cusack as Jane and Michael Jayston as Mr. Rochester. This is the only production I have seen either one of them in.

I do have to say, it is true that this version is very faithful to the novel. This was quite refreshing after seeing all of the older adaptations that changed so much! A lot of the dialogue is lifted right from the book, and most of the characters remain intact and true to their original book selves. The entire series is actually narrated by Jane as well, almost as if she is really reading the book. The result is a faithful adaptation that is sure to please purists, but it didn’t exactly come to life for me, either. The production values are not up to par with modern adaptations, as usual. The narration, while true to the book, was often redundant and just plain unnecessary. There was no need for Jane to tell us what was happening on screen when we could see it ourselves! The actors at times seemed to pause their conversation to make room for the narration. It even made me LOL at a couple points.

Mr. Brocklehurst and Mrs. Reed

The scenes with young Jane at Gateshead are mostly true to the book, except Bessie’s kind personality is cut. A scene I found odd was Mrs. Reed discussing Jane’s subordinate position with her children. It just didn’t seem like a conversation the kids would have! It was also interesting that this version includes a scene, after the typhus outbreak, of Mr. Brocklehurst getting put down by men whom I assume are the school governors, for the terrible conditions he has imposed on the school. The actors for Mr. Brocklehurst and Mrs. Reed are not listed on IMDB, and I don’t have the DVD right now to see if they are in the credits.

Young Jane and Helen Burns

Neither of these actresses is listed on IMDB, either, for some reason! It’s a shame because I liked both of their performances. I actually liked young Jane better than the adult Jane. For once in this version, Helen’s piety is not cut. Their scenes together are very true to the book, including Helen’s death. The only funny thing about it was the actress was clearly breathing when she was supposed to be dead! Miss Temple and Miss Scatcherd are also included and faithful to their book selves, though I don’t recall a mention of Miss Temple marrying later on.

Sorcha Cusack as Jane Eyre

Get used to that expression, folks, because it is the same expression that is on her face for almost the entire miniseries.  She had her eyebrows raised the whole time. I don’t know if that was a stylistic choice to make her look uglier, or it was just because she was a newbie at acting. Either way, it was very distracting! Even so, she’s not exactly plain, but not gorgeous either. Certainly more beautiful than her self-portrait.

Jane’s Self Portrait

The scene of Jane painting a portrait of herself and the beautiful Blanche Ingram of her imagination was kept, which was neat to see. As you can see, Jane sees herself as much uglier (and about 20 years older!) than she actually is.

Michael Jayston as Edward Rochester

Aside from those hideous sideburns and eyeliner (seriously, why was he wearing eyeliner???), he is not ugly. He never is, so I guess I just have to get used to it. His performance was pretty true to the book, including the gypsy scene. And he did lose his hand, if not his eye.

Stephanie Beacham as Blanche Ingram

I loved her performance as Blanche. She captured the character’s haughty personality AND she was actually beautiful! What a surprise to see a Blanche that is actually more beautiful than Jane, as she is supposed to be. Rochester did sing to her on the piano, but the charades scene was cut.

Geoffrey Whitehead as St. John Rivers

He was definitely St. John come to life- portrayed St. John’s cold, pious personality perfectly. There was just one thing that bugged me- he’s not handsome! He’s much older than he’s supposed to be and it cracked me up a little to hear Jane telling Rochester later on of how handsome St. John was. Sorry, but no. Rosamund Oliver is cut from this version, which I found very jarring, since almost everything else was left in! That was a vital part of St. John’s character/story in the book and it was disappointing she wasn’t in it.

Conclusion

If I haven’t mentioned anything specifically above, it’s simply because there is nothing to tell. If I haven’t mentioned that something is omitted, chances are, it’s in. Adele, Mrs. Fairfax, Grace Poole, Bertha- they are all true to the book characters and storylines. The visit to Gateshead (minus the Reed sisters) is there, as well as Jane’s inheritance and kinship with the Riverses.

This adaptation was definitely true to the book, so much so that when things were cut out or changed, it was almost shocking. I enjoyed it on the whole, even though it wasn’t magical or anything.

My Rating: 7/10

Jane Eyre 1949

11 Aug

So, today, I’m going to “review” (I use that term very loosely) the 1949 version of Jane Eyre. I had other plans for today, actually, but I wasn’t feeling well enough to do any of them so I watched this instead. This version aired on US Television as part of a series called Studio One. I downloaded it from The Internet Archive, where you can also watch streaming video. The video has the commercials from the broadcast intact, which are actually pretty neat!

This adaptation is only one hour long, seriously. Actually, including the commercials and everything, it would technically be even less than that! So, as you can probably guess, A LOT was cut. And I really mean a lot. Several key scenes and characters from the book are missing. And what we do have is, honestly, not that great, either. The acting is just not very good- some tried a fakey British accent, others didn’t even bother. The costumes are nothing to look at and not really historically accurate. The set design? Well, the front room at Thornfield is where nearly all of the scenes actually take place. I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the low budget and time constraints. The result is unintentionally funny, more than anything.

We begin with an adult Jane leaving Lowood. Yup, no Gateshead or any scenes of Jane as a child at all. Her teacher berates her for leaving and says she will be punished, but Jane tells the teacher off, saying she will instead be punished.

Mary Sinclair as Jane Eyre

Of course, as usual, she is beautiful. She is quite outspoken and happy to be at Thornfield right away. She has no relatives in this- no Reeds, no Eyres, no Riverses. She apparently grew up at Lowood. Mary Sinclair did not even attempt to hide her accent. On Jane’s first night at Thornfield, she hears maniacal laughter and screaming coming from Bertha’s room. She goes to find Grace Poole, who warns her away.

Meeting

There is no scene of Rochester falling from his horse when coming upon Jane out on the road. Instead, she is called in to meet him in, of course, the front room. For the first few minutes, we don’t see his face- just his hands playing with his stick like that. It made him seem kind of menacing, actually! I don’t know what they were going for with that.

Charlton Heston as Edward Rochester

Yes, Charlton Heston is Rochester. Of course, like Jane, he is good-looking and it is silly to have them call each other plain and not handsome. Really? Audiences are not blind! He is quite kind to Adele in this version and she calls him “Papa” even though he is adamant to Jane that he is not her father. Great.

Bertha setting fire to Rochester

Instead of setting fire to Rochester’s room, it happens in (no surprise) the front room, where he has fallen asleep in front of a chair. We actually see a crazy old Bertha come in and mischievously light the fire with her candle- on either the rug or Rochester’s chair, it looks like? There is actually no fire shown, only smoke. Bertha looks old enough to be Rochester’s mother, and she seems to be happy and sneaky about what she’s doing.

Rochester is not injured at all by the fire and does not wake up. Somehow, Jane hears Bertha laughing and sees her candle outside Jane’s door. This leads her to know to go downstairs, apparently? I guess when her room is technically the only other room in the house, she knows there’s only one place to go! Despite the smoke filling the entire room, she and Rochester are able to easily able to put out the fire with a couple swats with pillows. Rochester says it was the coals from the fireplace that did it….despite there never having been a fire in the grate. Right.

“Party”

The house party consists of only Blanche and Lady Ingram. No expenses spared! Hee hee. I think Blanche is decent-looking at least, but that may be because you never really see her face up close. Rochester makes Jane play the spinet for them. What a jerk! Afterwards, she cries and confides her love for Rochester to Mrs. Fairfax! After Rochester sees her going to bed crying, he tells Blanche right there his story about losing his fortune.

The next day, Jane is already packing to leave for Ireland, hoping to do so before Rochester returns from taking the Ingrams home. How did she already find this position to go to? Rochester comes back early and they have their love confession.

Wedding

We cut to the wedding, which looks like it’s the next day, since there’s no indication time has passed. But apparently, it is sometime later, as Mason and his solicitor have somehow heard about the wedding and came to meet with Grace Poole for some reason. The wedding itself does not take place at church, but rather on the patio just outside the main room at Thornfield. At least it wasn’t in the room!

Bertha

All the while, Bertha is watching from her window, which happens to be right above the patio. I’m still not sure how Mason and Briggs found out about the wedding, but okay…

Jane in the Wilderness

After Jane leaves, the next we see of her is the above scene. She is somewhere out in the wilderness, debating with herself whether she should go back to Rochester. She suddenly hears his voice calling her and decides to go back to Thornfield. Okay…WTF? How much time has passed, here? Has Jane been living outside this whole time? How did she survive? No answers as to any of the above.

Reunited

Thornfield appears to be intact when Jane returns. We find out from Mrs. Fairfax that only the west wing was burned. For some reason, Rochester was not awakened during the fire until all of the servants got outside.  Nice one. Like most adaptations, he did not lose his eye or hand. His and Jane’s reunion takes place on the patio outside the front room. They hug, and that’s it.

Conclusion

Yeah, so, not a good adaptation! I laughed several times while viewing, but not at anything that was intentionally funny. It wouldn’t hurt to check it out, just for a chuckle, but don’t expect anything good or faithful!

My Rating: 4/10 (for the laughs)

 

Jane Eyre 1970

10 Aug

I’m back! Really happy to start blogging again. I had the lamest reasons for putting it off. Everything basically went to crap as I got really sick and had to have surgery last year right as school was starting. Even after I got better, I barely visited this blog. I have spent most of my free time this past year instead reviewing (nearly all books) on my youtube channel instead. Click if you want to visit. My videos have never been great quality due to my poor editing skills and lack of a real quality camera, but it’s just for fun anyway- not something I would actually invest money in.

 

So now we come to the review that has been nearly a year in the making! For reals. I started watching the 1970 version of Jane Eyre LAST FALL and still had notes saved from the very little I was able to get through before I was bogged down with schoolwork and decided to put it on hold. Then, when it was winter break and I had a chance, I got the case off the shelf intending to restart my endeavor when I was shocked to find….It was empty! I still have no idea what happened to the disc. I’ve recently given up on looking for it (I’m also missing my 2005 version of Bleak House, but that is everything including the case so at least I’m not worrying about it being damaged or anything). I still have no idea what happened. I think it most likely one of my siblings wanted to watch something and took the disc out of the player and just laid it anywhere, since they have never exactly been careful with these things. Sigh… Anyway, I’ve since found other means to watch it (aka, a copy of the same DVD version) so here we go!

 

This is the edition of the DVD I have. The picture is clearly not from the adaptation itself, since Rochester is not that old in it! I find this really funny! This version was originally aired in theaters in the UK, but only on television here in the US. Although the DVD claims to be “digitally remastered,” the quality is still, quite frankly, terrible. Apparently the story goes that the original film was lost somewhere along the line, so the video releases use the TV version. That is apparent with bad, cuts and jumps in scenes that pop up occasionally throughout the movie, most likely at points where there were commercial breaks. The picture isn’t good, and despite boasting a score by John Williams, the sound isn’t either.

Despite being only an  hour and a half, the film starts with a length opening credits scene before young Jane arrives at Lowood. What the purpose of that was, I’m still not sure! There is no Gateshead at all, only a brief mentioning of Jane being sent by her aunt. Mr. Brocklehurst cuts Jane’s “wavy” hair for some reason. It looked pretty straight to me, but okay… Miss Scatcherd in this version is a true sadist who seems to get real pleasure from  torturing Helen for no reason. She makes Helen stand on a stool outside, for hours, in a storm, just because she got a stool for Jane? And as is common in the adaptations, Helen’s piety and religious devotion is cut out.After Helen’s death, we cut to an adult Jane putting flowers on her grave. Brocklehurst is still in charge and offers Jane a position as teacher. Jane tells him off to his face and says she will never forgive or forget what he did. ???

Then we move on to Thornfield, where my notes are less detailed! It is here that some of the random cuts are so jarring. After the fire in Rochester’s room, Jane asks him if Grace Poole started the fire. One problem with that- there was no mention of the name “Grace Poole” at any time in the movie before this! That must have been a scene to have gotten cut, or the writers are morons. Take your pic. There are no gypsies or charades scenes, likely due to time constraints. Nowhere in the film does Gateshead appear- Not in the beginning or the revisiting later on. There is no mention of Jane getting an inheritance or the Rivers being her cousins. The ending was very understated, with Jane and Rochester simply holding hands and holding each other on a bench. There was no epilogue, it just stopped there.

The Characters

Sara Gibson as Young Jane

She did a good job with what she was given, although it wasn’t very much.

 

Susannah York as Jane Eyre

She is quite obviously gorgeous, so like in most adaptations, it’s kind of ridiculous to hear her called plain. Yeah, I don’t think so. I thought her performance was okay, but she was way too old. She was already 34 at the time of production, compared to the character’s 18 years. She was just too mature.

George C. Scott as Rochester

One of the few to play the role who could actualy be described as “not handsome!” Ironically (and unfortunately), though, this adaptation did not include the bit where he asks Jane if he is handsome and she says no. What a missed opportunity that was! He was a bit older than the book Rochester, but since Jane was so old I guess they had to go that way. His American accent came through a lot but I thought his performance was pretty good. Like most adaptations, he does not lose his eye or hand.

Nyree Dawn Porter as Blanche Ingram

Well, at least she’s good looking and dark-haired, despite also being too old. But I guess that was inevitable, given the ages of the two leads! It would really have looked ridiculous if she was younger than Jane! This version includes Rochester singing along to her piano, although she does not sing with him.

Kenneth Griffin as Richard Mason

I only included this picture because I thought he was scarier looking than Bertha!

Ian Bannen as St. John Rivers

Like the other leads, too old, but what can ya do? Strangely, his proposal to Jane is actually quite fiery and passionate- not cold and unfeeling like the book St. John for some reason. Jane immediately refuses him and hears Rochester’s voice calling her right then, causing her to go right back to Thornfield.

In Conclusion

This version was actually pretty decent. I couldn’t find many negative things to say about it, really, which is a good thing. . Despite being too old, the cast did a pretty good job overall. Ultimately it suffered from time constraints. Other than the horrible picture and audio quality of the DVD, it’s really not bad It’s a shame that the original film was supposedly lost! Maybe it will somehow be miraculously found one day?

My Rating: 7/10

Jane Eyre 1944

25 Jul

If I recall correctly, the 1944 version of Jane Eyre is considered a classic by many. This is my first time watching it, though. My first impression- it was very gothic. Quite dark and ominous with eerie music adding to the look and feel. This was quite a stark contrast to the 1934 version, that’s for sure! It was much more faithful to the novel than 1934, but it still changed quite a bit as well.

The Characters

Joane Fontaine as Jane Eyre

She was very…subdued. Too much so, in fact. Her performance wasn’t horrible but she played it as just too restrained. And of course, although she claimed to be plain, she’s clearly beautiful.

Orson Welles as Edward Rochester

His Rochester is pretty jerky and really stresses the dark, “troubled” side of his character. His joking/humorous side is not brought into play at all.

Peggy Ann Garner as young Jane

Her British accent wasn’t perfect but I thought she did a decent job.

Elizabeth Taylor as Helen Burns

Yes, that’s Elizabeth Taylor. She was uncredited for some reason, but her face looked so familiar when watching that I had to look it up. Wasn’t she so gorgeous already at a young age? Her piety was cut out from this (I think it is in every version!) but she did a good job with the character’s kindness and selflessness. And, as is common in the adaptation, she is the one to get her hair cut.

Agnes Moorehead as Mrs. Reed

Her role was cut down quite a bit. I don’t think her daughters are in it at all, and John hitting Jane is only dealt with after the fact. Jane goes back to Gateshead after leaving Rochester and Mrs. Reed does not have the book conversation with her. She just wants Jane to stay with her as she’s dying.

John Sutton as Dr. Rivers

Not St. John, Jane’s cousin, but Lowood’s kindly doctor who counsels Jane as a child and again as an adult. He kind of takes the place of Miss Temple. Um, why? They didn’t have time for the whole Rivers coincidence at the end? I dunno.

Edith Barrett as Mrs. Fairfax

Her role was pretty minimal. That’s all I got to say.

Henry Daniell as Mr. Brocklehurst

His character was pretty much true to the book, but he never lost any power at Lowood in this. Like 1934, he’s still in total control when Jane is grown up. In this one, he offers her the job as teacher but she refuses.

Hillary Brooke as Blanche Ingram

I thought she was fine in her limited role, but her and Rochester’s falling out was changed. It’s all shown on screen and Rochester directly confronts her for going after him for his money.

Margaret O’Brien as Adele Varens

I thought she was very cute, sweet, and innocent, although a bit of a coquette.

Final Thoughts

This version was certainly more faithful than 1934 and much better made on the whole, yet I’m afraid I don’t share the love a lot of people seem to have for it. It still changed a bit too much for me and was at times overly dark.

My Rating: 7/10

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2- Second Viewing!

24 Jul

If you recall, my first impression of Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 was less than stellar. I liked, but did not love it. I’m a little late in posting this second review (I saw it over a week ago at the midnight showing). So, how did my second viewing go?

Well, sadly to say, my opinion is largely unchanged. Once I got over the shock of it, I felt a little more forgiving, but on the whole…I still find it a bit of a let-down. I know I’m really in the minority in this. This film, more than any of the others in the series, has received hugely positive feedback. Yet I (and most of my family members who saw it, plus one friend) still prefer Part I.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!

My main complaint is that the film was too rushed. It was the shortest in the series, yet it didn’t need to be. This was the ending, so I feel like they could and should have taken all the time possible to make it perfect. A lot of the key points and characters from the book are in there, but for a split second! Hardly anything made much of an emotional impact on me because it was just BANG, move on to another scene without any time to digest anything. The moments that moved me the most were The Prince’s Tale and The Forest Again, because they were slower pace. Like a lot of Part 1, they gave the scenes time to breathe so I could actually digest what was happening.

I was so disappointed with the lack of the side characters. They were all brought back and there was all this build-up in the beginning leading the audience to believe that they would be featured in some epic battle scenes. But they weren’t! We saw a couple cool shots of them getting ready for the battle and a couple seconds of them fighting, but that was it. Lupin and Tonks had one nice moment reaching their hands out to each other, but that was it before we see their dead bodies. We never learned about their son, so when Harry mentions it in The Forest Again, instead of being an emotional moment, it’s just a head-scratcher. The same goes for Fred Weasley. The twins have a nice but waaay too brief scene on the roof and Fred’s only line in the movie is “yeah.” I was so mad we didn’t get the wonderfully written, abrupt, and tragic death scene in the book- or at least have him featured in the movie a bit more! Lavender Brown is clearly brutally killed, but it’s never mentioned again. Hagrid is mysteriously absent during the whole movie until he suddenly shows up as the Death Eaters’ hostage in the forest. How did he get captured? What was he doing the whole time?

My next big complaint also has to do with battling- namely, the handling of the Molly/Bellatrix and Harry/Voldemort duels. Where were the audiences during these scenes? Molly vs. Bellatrix is over in a second with no one watching. The intensity of the book scene is totally absent because it’s over in a split second and it wasn’t treated as as big of a deal. Mrs. Weasley just smiles in satisfaction to herself afterward, which I felt was totally out of character. Harry and Voldemort’s duel, on the other hand is terribly drawn out to be made more “cinematic.” I didn’t really care to see them falling over the side of the castle or the Dragonball Z-esque long-ass shot of their spells colliding. And then Voldemort just disintegrates once Neville kills the snake? Okay, I get that all his horcruxes are gone, but he still actually has to be killed! I never saw the spell actually hit him. And once again, like Molly and Bellatrix, no one is watching. And afterward- where’s the reaction from everyone? They’re all just chilling in the Great Hall waaay too casually. No cheers and whoops or sobbing and laughter? It was too toned down.

I think the easiest thing to do is list the rest of my quibbles/complaints.

  • Angle of Ron/Hermione kiss scene- All you could see was the back of Ron’s head.
  • Draco apparating into the castle- why couldn’t they all just apparate away then?
  • Luna randomly appearing in the Room of Requirement when she had been at Shell Cottage earlier that day.
  • Voldemort hugging Draco- no,  just no.
  • Awkward/forced Harry/Ginny- always big fail in the movies.
  • Random Neville/Luna
  • No explanation for the end of Wormtail. He was clearly alive at the end of Part 1, yet nowhere to be found here. Did Voldy kill him in rage at some point in between?
  • Young Lily clearly has brown eyes. No one caught this?
  • I wasn’t crazy with Harry telling Ron and Hermione he was going into the forest, but their reaction pissed me off. Hermione hugs him and offers to go with him, but Ron does not and they don’t hug?
  • Harry breaking the Elder Wand and not repairing his old wand.

Ah, my expectations were just way too high for this. The wonderful book and Part 1 just got my hopes up so much. Part 1 was so faithful and let the story breathe. This didn’t have the same feel for me and of course I was let down. My rating is up, but not by much.

My Rating: 7/10

Deathly Hallows Part 2- First Viewing

13 Jul

I was fortunate enough to win tickets to an advanced screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 yesterday evening. I can’t even describe in words how much I was looking forward to it. Deathly Hallows is my favorite Harry Potter book, and Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is my favorite Harry Potter movie. All of the trailers and featurettes and early reviews made the movie sound absolutely amazing. I try usually not to let hype get my expectations up too much, but in this case I couldn’t help it. I was fully expecting the series to go out with a bang

Let’s start with my general, spoiler-free opinion. Were my high expectations met? Sadly…no. It was a big let-down, actually. It didn’t feel like part of DH 1. It was more similar in tone to the Half-Blood Prince movie to me for some reason. It was too short and just felt chopped up. Like HBP, it seemed like a lot more was filmed, but then it was hacked in the editing room. And then I read that this was exactly the case…All of the actors, practically, from the previous films are back- for mostly blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos. The battle was lackluster and anticlimactic. At points it felt rushed, at other points too slow. A lot of the dialogue was changed and didn’t feel right. The relationships were handled awkwardly. This is just my purist side, but a lot was changed from the book. I didn’t think it would be that way, after Part 1. It really let me down.

Was it a terrible movie? By no means. The acting was good, the special effects were great (though I wouldn’t pay the extra money for the 3D), and some of the scenes did hit the mark.  I know I bashed it pretty hard up there, but, really, the majority of my complaints are based only on the changes from the book. I’m judging it not really for the movie it was but for the movie it could have been, the movie I wanted it to be. The hype definitely ruined things for me. I feel like I would have liked it better if I hadn’t read the books. But then again, my brother, who has only seen the movies, was also let down. He was disappointed by the lack of a bit epic battle scene that he was expecting there to be.

I’m seeing the movie again at the midnight release tomorrow night. I’m hoping with another viewing, I’ll get over my shock about all the changes and my feelings will mellow. I doubt it’ll ever be my favorite of the series, but I really want to like it more. So, I’ll post another, more in-depth review after the second time and see if I’m any more positive.

My Rating: 6/10

 

Jane Eyre 1934

26 Jun

So, I’ve finally seen it- the first talkie Jane Eyre, from 1934. It was…different, to say the least. First off, it’s only an hour long, so a lot was cut and rushed. Jane’s years at Lowood (an orphanage in this version) are condensed to her arrival and then the page from the book describing those years! (Yes, they just filmed the book page). There’s no Helen Burns or illness outbreak. Aside from the main characters, those smaller parts that are kept are blink and you’ll miss it. Other transitions are done with Jane writing in her diary.

Secondly, it’s very watered down. It’s not a screwball comedy like the 1940 Pride and Prejudice by any means, but it’s definitely much lighter in tone than the book. The characters are happier and the darker stuff from the book is either cut or just watered down. I’m no movie buff, but I think I read somewhere that this was because it was the Great Depression and they didn’t want to depress people more. Also, aside from Colin Clive, the majority of the cast is American and most of them don’t do that great of a job hiding their accents.

The Characters

Virginia Bruce as Jane Eyre

Yes, instead of a “Plain Jane,” we got a Blonde Bombshell. I’ll give them credit though- they made no secret of it. Unlike other adaptations to cast pretty actresses, they didn’t even try to pretend she was plain. They openly acknowledged that she was pretty. It was kind of weird, but at least they were honest! Her Jane is very outspoken and not at all reserved. She never advertises so I don’t know how she gets the job at Thornfield, but she says she has a small inheritance from her uncle. There’s never anything with her uncle Eyre or the Rivers being her cousins.

Colin Clive as Edward Rochester

This Rochester is always quite cheery and polite with Jane. All the passion between them is gone. Nothing like the book character at all.  I thought they were going to cut his blindness at the end completely! But, no, they didn’t go that far. They didn’t have him lose his eye or hand, but I think most of the adaptations have done that.

David Torrence as Mr. Brocklehurst

They kept his personality mostly intact. Jane doesn’t meet him until she gets to the orphanage. He never loses his complete power as the master here. He fires Jane because she stuck up for a student who drew a caricature of him. She tells him off before leaving and says he “ought to be tarred and feathered, you ugly old crocodile!” Yes, really.

Beryl Mercer as Mrs. Fairfax

She doesn’t really do much. I can remember absolutely nothing remarkable about her character, whatsoever.

John Rogers as Sam Poole

Sam Poole? Who’s that? At first I thought they replaced Grace with a man for some reason. But no, he’s her husband and the drunkard. They didn’t want to show a female alcoholic? Grace has very little to do in this aside from keeping Jane out of Bertha’s room.

Aileen Pringle as Blanche Ingram

She’s not in it very much. The house party is cut down to one ball scene, where Blanche and Rochester dance. She’s also considerably uglier than Jane.

Claire du Brey as Bertha Rochester

The wild look is completely gone! She’s apparently still dangerous because she sets fire to Rochester’s bed. But then she thinks they’re getting married again and is all happy, although demented. Rochester was divorcing her in this, so I don’t even know why Jane left!

Edith Fellows as Adele Rochester

No, I did not get the name wrong. She’s Rochester’s niece in this. Nothing about the backstory in France at all. She’s a happy-go-lucky girl, but clumsy- she gets stuck in a tree, a vase, and trips over her own feet. Rochester dotes on her, constantly giving her presents and even tucking her into bed.

Desmond Roberts as Dr. John Rivers

He’s only in one scene. When Jane leaves Thornfield, she works serving soup at his mission- not teaching. There’s no indication of how much time has passed or how she got the job, or anything. He just calls her into his office, asks her to go to India and to marry him. She asks for time but writes in her diary that she will marry him.

Jean Darling as young Jane

I only included her for sake of completeness. She’s barely in it.

The Ending

Talk about rushed! That’s a given, what with the run-time, but it was still stupid. Sam Poole comes to the mission and Jane serves him soup. He tells her what happened and she goes to find Rochester. She says she will never leave him, Mrs. Fairfax and Adele come in the room, and everyone is happy. That’s it.

Overall

The adult actors were decent with what they were given, but let’s be honest- this is a sugar-coated version of the story.  I can’t say it’s a good adaptation (God, no!) or even a good movie, but it has value for hardcore Jane Eyre fans and/or collectors…like me!

My Rating: 5/10