Jane Eyre (Complete 1983 BBC Adaptation) [DVD]
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1983 BBC mini-series adapted from Charlotte Brontë's classic novel. Young orphan Jane Eyre (Zelah Clarke) becomes the governess at Thornfield Hall, the mansion of the mysterious Mr Rochester (Timothy Dalton). The two fall for each other but there are strange goings-on in the house and the reason behind these events eventually causes Jane to leave. She manages to find herself a better life but something draws her back to Thornfield...
The stunning BBC production of Charlotte Bronte's inspiring story is available for the first time on DVD. Jane Eyre (Zelah Clarke) is a mistreated orphan who learns to survive by relying on her independence and intelligence. Her first job in the outside world is governess to the ward of Mr. Rochester (Timothy Dalton), a man of many secrets and mercurial moods. The tentative trust between them slowly develops into romance, but their hopes for happiness will soon be jeopardized by a terrible secret.
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Top Customer Reviews
My only criticism would be that Timothy Dalton is too good-looking to be Rochester. Rochester is not supposed to be good-looking in the conventional way but has a certain 'something' that makes him attractive. There is an accusation that Rochester is too 'violent' in the scene before Jane leaves. If you watch this scene, and go back to the novel it perfectly captures Rochester's agony at the thought of Jane leaving him. It is Jane who has all the control in this scene, as throughout their relationship - 'never was anything at once so frail and so indomitable. A mere reed she feels in my hand!.....'If I tear, rend the slight prison, my outrage will only let the captive loose.....And it is you spirit - with will and energy, and virtue and purity - that I want.'
Zelah Clarke IS Jane. Small, plain, elfin but with so much inner strength and repressed passion. The difficulty with Jane's character is that so much of what Rochester sees in Jane occurs when he is watching her unbeknownst to Jane or to the reader. It is only after the proposal and failed 'marriage' that Rochester tells Jane of how he has watched her all these months, in her dealings with Adele, Mrs Fairfax and the other members of staff.
The most important scene, which most adaptations choose to change is the gypsy scene. Why they do this I do not know. In this version they have stuck rigidly with the book - HURRAH! It is passionate, heart-rending and funny all in one!
Ok, it may be slightly dated with it's sound-stage sets and lighting but if you love the novel you will love this adaptation.
There are three TV mini series, released in '73, '83 and 2006. The 2006 version is not only the worst of these three, but the worst of all Jane Eyre adaptations and a striking example of a completely overrated film. The novel's beautiful lines are substituted by insipid and trivial ones, and crucial scenes are either deleted or replaced by scenes which have nothing whatever to do with the novel. What it all leads to then is that the characters portrayed have not only nothing in common with the Rochester and Jane of the novel and behave in exactly the opposite way as described in the book, but that also their behaviour and language is absolutely not consistent with the behaviour of the period in which the novel is set. It is a silly soap opera, in which the actors look and act as if they had been put in the costumes of the 1850ies by mistake. This "Jane Eyre" (as it dares to call itself) is indeed a slap in the face of Charlotte Brontë.
The 1973 version is very faithful to the novel in that the long dialogues between Mr. Rochester and Jane are rendered in nearly their full length. But what works beautifully in the novel does not necessarily work beautifully on the screen.Read more ›
The combination of Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke works incredibly well. Both characters are extremely believable. I can't understand why Dalton performed in more action films than costume dramas. He is incredibly talented and IS Mr Rochester.
No other actor, in my opinion, has played him as well so far.
The theme music is lovely, and at the end of the film I cried! It is such a wonderful, moving and inspiring story especially when the parts are played by suitable actors and actresses.
Spoilt brat John Reed deserves a good slap (he is played well), annoying child!
This version should be on DVD and is a must for anyone's collection. It is "darker" than your typical Jane Austen dramas
and cannot be compared with them. It accurately reflects Bronte's style of writing. Excellent!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Any fan of Timothy Dalton should obtain this. It is amazing. I purchased it for a friend who loved it as well.Published 11 days ago by Sarah Margaret Payne
DVD arrived promptly and intact. The best £4 I have ever spent. I love this version of Jane Eyre best of all. It's far superior to all other versions and closer to the book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by cry baby
This is the best production of Jane Eyre out of all the ones that we have seen. It sticks faithfully to the book and the actors suit their parts really well. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mrs CL Humphris