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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing
This may possibly be this best film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic, ever made. The casting was flawless. Joan Fontaine was born to play the modest, insecure, and yet spirited Jane. Orson Welles is in his element as the firey, overpowering, and troubled Mr. Rochester. Supporting actors, such as Peggy Ann Garner as young Jane, Elizabeth Taylor as her childhood...
Published on 15 Oct 2011 by Jennifer Wells

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Messy return
Ordered wrong region had to keep as returning was very messy and not worth the hassle would cost too much
Published 3 months ago by MRS T WILKINSON


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing, 15 Oct 2011
This review is from: Jane Eyre [DVD] [1944] (DVD)
This may possibly be this best film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic, ever made. The casting was flawless. Joan Fontaine was born to play the modest, insecure, and yet spirited Jane. Orson Welles is in his element as the firey, overpowering, and troubled Mr. Rochester. Supporting actors, such as Peggy Ann Garner as young Jane, Elizabeth Taylor as her childhood friend, and Agnes Moorehead as Jane's Cruel aunt, all give first rate performances. This adaptation focuses, more than other versions, on the passionate and complex relationship between Jane and her employer turned fiancee, Mr. Rochester. Though this is a somewhat long film, the absorbing story and fast paced direction make the time fly. The dvd extras include two fascinating commentaries. I highly recommend this beautiful interpretation of a timeless classic.

Jennifer K. Lafferty
Author of Offbeat Love Stories and More
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Romantic Gothic Classic Brought Vividly To Life On Screen, 5 Aug 2005
This review is from: Jane Eyre [VHS] [1943] (VHS Tape)
I was induced to read Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre," a beloved literary classic, at the relatively early age of eleven - all because I saw this movie. I had stayed-up late on a Saturday night, with my favorite aunt as company, and we watched the 1944 version of Jane Eyre, with Jane Fontaine and Orson Welles, on TV. At the conclusion, I noticed I had cried my way through a box of tissues and had become a fan forever. The next day I visited the library. Although I have seen three or four cinematic interpretations of "Jane Eyre" since that time, Director Robert Stevenson's production, co-written for the screen by Aldous Huxley, John Houseman, and Mr. Stevenson is by far my favorite. The writers and director remained faithful to Miss Bronte's magnificent work and brought this darkly gothic drama to life on the big screen. Filmed in black and white, using noir techniques from the German Expressionist school, (chiaroscuro lighting, surrealistic settings, etc.), the movie's gothic nature is emphasized and a forbidding mood is set early on. I always wondered if Orson Welles had anything to do with the direction. I sense his influence throughout the piece.
The story is set in England's North Country in the mid-nineteenth century. Orphaned as an infant, Jane (Peggy Ann Garner as young Jane), is taken in and cared for by her aunt, the mean spirited Mrs. Reed of Gateshead Hall, (Agnes Moorehead is superb as Mrs Reed). It is clear from the beginning that Mrs. Reed favors her own spoiled children and despises Jane, punishing her harshly for her perceived impudence and "willfulness." After a particularly cruel and unjust episode with her fat, older cousin, John, Aunt Reed locks the ten year-old girl up in the dreaded "red-room," where her uncle died. Jane has a nervous fit as a consequence of being enclosed in a place she so fears. But not even the caring servant, Bessie, (Sara Allgood), consoles her. She tells the child, "And you ought not to think yourself on an equality with the Misses Reed and Master Reed, because Missus kindly allows you to be brought up with them. They will have a great deal of money and you will have none: it is your place to be humble, and try to make yourself agreeable to them."
Mrs. Reed, no longer willing to cope with her niece, sends her away to board at the prison-like Lowood School, where the food is poor and insufficient and the children are treated with inhuman severity." Mr. Brocklehurst, (Henry Daniell), the headmaster, an evangelic hypocrite, deprives his charges of basic necessities, while lining his pockets with charitable donations. There is some goodness, however, even at Lowood. The kindly school superintendent mentors Jane and shows her affection. And Helen Burns, another student at Lowood, becomes her first friend. Jane is captivated by learning. Her intelligence becomes obvious to all, and despite the suffering she experiences at the institution, once her education is complete, she chooses to stay on and teach.
One of the most amazing aspects of the vivid early scenes at Gateshead Hall and Lowood is that childhood, as we now understand it, simply did not exist in the 19th century. Children were seen as miniature adults, easily corrupted and inadequate, in need of stern education, discipline, and occasional corporeal punishment. Jane's strength of character becomes evident in that she is able to thrive in such sorry, often brutal, circumstances.
After gaining some experience as a teacher, Jane (Joan Fontaine), places an advertisement in the local newspaper for a position as governess. She is offered a job at Thornfield Manor, where she is received by kindly housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax (Edith Barrett). Her young charge, the precocious Adele Varens, (an adorable Margaret O' Brien), is the ward of Thornfield's owner, Edward Rochester, (Orson Welles), a brooding, passionate man with a dark past he cannot escape. He travels frequently, but when he does return and meets Jane, there is an immediate connection between the two, although there remains the great difference in their social class and ages - he is a worldly-wise forty, and she a mere nineteen. At first the prim, unsophisticated governess is intimidated by the tempestuous Rochester. However, under Jane's gentle influence, the tormented man drops some of his forbidding facade and spends more time with the young woman, talking with her, confiding in her - to a point. And of course, there is a terrible secret, which inevitably will cause tremendous suffering. However, Rochester remains silent on the topic of any and all secrets. It is at Thornfield that we meet a wide range of characters who will effect Jane's future happiness. Among these formidable personages are: the bizarre Grace Poole, (Ethel Griffies), a hired woman who does the manor's sewing in a locked attic room. She seemingly drinks quantities of alcohol and, at times, fills one wing of the house with the sound of her terrifying laughter; Blanche Ingram, (Hillary Brooke), a well born, attractive woman, who has her cap set for Mr. Rochester. She and her society mother, show nothing but disdain for Jane; Mason, (John Abbot), has a terribly unfortunate effect on Jane and Rochester, as he is the bearer of tidings which will destroy all their dreams.
This is an extraordinary film - one of my favorites. Unlike her sisters, Charlotte rejected the convention of the beautiful heroine. While writing "Jane Eyre," she told them, "I will show you a heroine as plain and as small as myself." Ms. Fontaine, plays a shy, timid, plain Jane, who suffers silently - but she has an inner strength which will not allow her to turn away from her moral beliefs, no matter the consequences. She portrays bravery by overcoming her fears and doing, what she believes to be right, even though she and those she loves may be hurt by her decisions. Jane's and Edward's real attractiveness lie in their inner selves, and their capacity to love and grow, which makes them both such splendid figures.
"Jane Eyre" has many recurring themes including: relationships between men and women, their roles and limitations in society; relations between social classes; religion and morality; the need to fulfill the desires of loved ones versus the necessity to maintain one's personal integrity; the conflict between reason and passion, and, of course, Jane's deep need to love and be loved. However, primary to the tale is the magnificent, complex character of Jane herself.
Long before the women's suffrage movement, Miss Bronte created, in the character of Jane, an intelligent, independent, strong-willed female, determined to make her place in the world. What the persona of Jane addresses in the book, as well as in the film, is obvious in the following very famous lines: "Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex."
I cannot recommend this 1944 version of "Jane Eyre" highly enough and hope it comes out soon in DVD.
JANA
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 9 May 2012
This review is from: Jane Eyre [DVD] [1944] (DVD)
Well worth adding to your collection, really worth watching, the old ones are some times the best so if you have not see this you really must!
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best jane eyre movie ever made, 24 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Jane Eyre [VHS] [1943] (VHS Tape)
This version of Jane Eyre ,with Orson Wells,is a priceless movie version of Charlotte Bronte's book. The viewer walks with Jane into Mr.Rochester's dark foreboding mansion, and is swept away onto the moors in this wonderfully made version of the classic. The first part of the film has Elizabeth Taylor as the child Jane who is thrown into an orphans home.After reaching the point of being permitted to leave Lowood School as an adult,the grown Jane embarks on a romantic yet at times frightening journey. Joan Fontaine with her ethereal misty eyes and wavering voice is the perfect Jane.Orson Wells is truly a master of his craft.His brooding ,wild dark eyes , his commanding presence and his unique powerful voice creates the dominating and yet very romantic Mr.Rochester. For the fans of Charlotte Bronte's book ,romantics,and viewers that love gothics, this film will be a pleasure to watch. This Jane Eyre is a perfect film for a long cold winter's night . This film is simply fabulous.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A golden oldie!, 21 Oct 2011
By 
S. Turnbull (London) - See all my reviews
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Out of the many filmed versions of this 19th century novel this one, in my opinion is the best.
It somehow comes alive in black and white and with Orson Welles as the dashing Mr Rochester and Joan Fonatine as Jane Eyre this gothic,Victorian romance has it all.
To director Robert Stevenson's (with more than a nod to Orson Welles!!)credit,this version of Jane Eyre is beautifully crafted and performed.Any fan of classic Hollywood would be thrilled to watch this-highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars eyreuism, 1 Dec 2009
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K. macdonald "film fan" (dingwall.scotland) - See all my reviews
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it was a good film but there were a lot of my favourite scenes missing and the ending was different.I last saw this in 1972 and was hoping to get the full version of this film as I really enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre - the original version, 1 May 2012
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Ms. L. A. Darcy "moo moo" (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jane Eyre [DVD] [1944] (DVD)
I have watched this so many times and still enjoy the film. The original film is as good as reading the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 words - Orson Welles, 7 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Jane Eyre [DVD] [1944] (DVD)
There have been 5 cinematic adpatations of Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre' since 1934. For me this is one is the ULTIMATE best of the 5! Despite being in black & white and having a running time of under 2 hours it does well to fit in all the elements needed for a credible version of a classic story. Joan Fontaine is a very worthy Jane but for me the lead male steals the show here. Orson Welles, despite being relatively young, is fantastic as the iconic Edward Rochester! He looks the part and acts as if he were 10 years older! Imposing, haunting, tortured, loving & caring all roled into one! Out of all the actors to of played Mr. Rochester, Welles is definitely one of, if not the best! Great acting, brilliant quality & a fantastic version!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre, 29 Jan 2012
By 
R. S. Fearn "Ruth" (Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jane Eyre [DVD] [1944] (DVD)
This film is an old classic I remember from my youth really worth a viewing enjoyed the good acting will watch many times in the future
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining adaptation of Charlotte Bronte classic, 27 Aug 2003
By 
J. P. Hagon (Northumberland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jane Eyre [VHS] [1943] (VHS Tape)
Photographed in black and white with a gothic feel to it, this film has all the passion and atmosphere of Charlotte Bronte's original story. Orson Welles plays Mr Rochester with his usual gusto. Peggy Ann Garner gives a memorable performance in the first part of the film as the young Jane struggling through her early years in a harsh orphanage. Elizabeth Taylor has a small but significant role as Jane's doomed friend. Joan Fontaine is a natural choice to play the solid,demure and dependable Jane Eyre.
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Jane Eyre [VHS] [1943]
Jane Eyre [VHS] [1943] by Robert Stevenson (VHS Tape - 1999)
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