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Book #27 – Jane Eyre (the movie)

October 4, 2009

jane eyre movieAfter finishing Jane Eyre in August (wow, was it really that long ago?), I knew I wanted to watch at least one film adaptation of it. Of course, there have been so many different ones made I wasn’t sure where to start. I finally settled on the 1983 BBC miniseries because a) I heard it was one of the better ones and b) it was the only version my local library had.

So, almost a month ago, I settled down one evening and watched the first half of this 4 hour miniseries. My first thought was “This sure isn’t one of those polished Hollywood films.” And my second thought: “This is so good!”

Zelah Clarke was fantastic as the tiny, strong willed, passionate Jane Eyre. I thought Timothy Dalton was a little too good looking and not snarly enough as Mr. Rochester, although definitely moody. However, the two of them together, during their brief moments of happiness, were so wonderful they made me all tingly and smiley. I would watch this again just because of the chemistry between those two.

Another great casting choice was Andrew Bicknell as St. John. He played St. John’s pompousness perfectly, and from now on I will picture Bicknell whenever I re-read Jane Eyre.

Even being four hours long, some aspects of the book had to be cut short, but it still felt like the story flowed well. I liked that quite a bit of the beginning was devoted to Jane’s childhood, since those experiences not only formed her, but also showed the consistency of her character as she grew up. I did, however, think that her time post-Thornfield was too short. You didn’t get to see as much of her suffering and how determined she was to move on with her life.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable adaptation. Enough that I wanted to start reading to book again as soon as the tape ended.

Are there any other adaptations you would recommend? I don’t think I’m going to stop with this one after all :)

14 Comments leave one →
  1. inthemainstream permalink
    October 4, 2009 8:14 pm

    My grandma is *obsessed* with the BBC specials. I still haven’t watched any of them, though.

    • October 5, 2009 9:02 am

      I think this is the first one I’ve watched, but there’s a good chance I’ll be checking out more after this! Well, depending on the subject matter and if it’s available at the library…

  2. October 5, 2009 5:22 am

    I liked the 2006 version done by the BBC – the girl they had playing Jane was really excellent, though in that one, St. John wasn’t quite as I’d imagined him. (Less loathsome.)

  3. October 5, 2009 8:06 am

    I love Jane Eyre and have never seen this version. I’m going to check to see if my library has it. thanks for the tip.

  4. stacybuckeye permalink
    October 5, 2009 1:45 pm

    I tried watching all the Jane Eyre adaptations in the past year, but have taken a hiatus after 4. Here’s a link the post where I have ranked them. This was my favorite movire version so far.

  5. Vicki permalink
    October 7, 2009 10:34 am

    Jane Eyre was my first completed novel as a child. Its still my favorite today. Have you seen the 1944 Orson Wells/Joan Fontaine version or the 1996 William Hurt/Charlotte Gainsbourgh version?
    I understand that Ellen Page (the star in Juno) is or has made a new Jane Eyre movie.

    Since we’re on the subject of movies, did you have a chance to see that I recommended a movie (on my blog) called “84 Charing Cross Road” with Anne Bancroft & Anthony Hopkins. If you haven’t seen it , please do, its about the love of books! Wonderfully charming and a true story!

    Always enjoy your blog!

    • October 7, 2009 11:15 am

      I haven’t seen either of those versions. I’m really curious about how the Ellen Page one will turn out. I haven’t been able to find much information on it, such as release date and, most importantly, who will be playing Mr. Rochester.

      Yes, I do remember your recommendation! I wanted to read the book first, but can you believe I haven’t been able to find a copy of it? I’ve tried a couple bookstores and my local library. I think I will order it in from another library and will hopefully have it in my hands soon.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Vicki permalink
        October 7, 2009 2:40 pm

        I’m curious about the Ellen Page version as well. Should be interesting. I do like her as an actress.

        I finally received (via amazon u.k,) “Dandelion Soup”
        I’ll let you know if its worth reading.

        Good luck finding your book!


  6. Schatzi permalink
    October 15, 2009 5:30 am

    We got to watch this one in high school after reading Jane Eyre (or re-reading in my case). I loved Dalton as Rochester; i always thought of Rochester as rugged and craggy rather than pretty-boy handsome, and Timothy Dalton suits that in my mind to a t.

  7. Jillian ♣ permalink
    July 25, 2011 10:18 am

    I need to start watching books-to-movies. :-) I’ve seen one adaption of Jane Eyre, but not yet the most recent. One of my favorite novels. :-)

    • July 25, 2011 10:35 am

      I still need to see the most recent adaptation, too, but it’s going to have to be pretty amazing for me to like it more than 1983 mini series :)


  1. Wrapping up October « alita.reads.

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