Discussion Forums - Classic Literature

Topic: Favorite Jane Eyre movie or mini-series?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Favorite Jane Eyre movie or mini-series?
Date Posted: 3/18/2011 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
Back To Top

I read Jane Eyre years ago and am now re-reading it for the official Goodreads Challenge. It occurred to me that I've never seen a film adaptation of this classic novel, and I'm hoping someone can recommend one to me. I'm also interested in seeing the newest release, but it hasn't come to any theatres here yet that I am aware of.

So which is your favorite, and why? Which ones wouldn't you recommend?

Date Posted: 3/18/2011 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

I've seen, IIRC, the Masterpiece Theatre version. It's okay. 

I have a friend who says the William Hurt version can't be beat. Not being a fan of William Hurt and not having seen his version, I can't say yay or nay about it. 

I am looking forward to the new release.



Last Edited on: 3/18/11 10:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/18/2011 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
Back To Top

I have never seen a Jane Eyre movie that was that great. I hope the new version will be, though!

                                                                                                    Rose

Date Posted: 3/18/2011 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
Back To Top

There was a feature film made in 1944, with Orson Welles as Rochester and Joan Fontaine as Jane.   I was impressed, but then, hey, I was a nerdy teenager who got scolded on occasion for "always having your nose in a book!"    Plus, though it is startling to realize NOW, it was sixty-seven years ago, folks.   Margaret O'Brien was the little girl who died in the orphanage, and Agnes Moorhead was the 'protectoress' of the mad wife, Bertha.

Date Posted: 3/18/2011 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 309
Back To Top

The William Hurt version has a good Jane, but I'm not a William Hurt fan and so he wasn't a good Rochester for me.

The recent Masterpiece theatre version with Toby Stephenson as Rochester took amazing liberties with the script (he and Jane said a lot of things that weren't in the book!), but somehow ended up being a good version after all. I liked it anyway (though their Jane was a little too free and outspoken compared to the Jane in the book).

Nobody can ever get Jane Eyre right on screen. People get too invested in Jane and Rochester and if the actors aren't how they imagined 'their' Jane or 'their' Rochester to be, then it's not good enough. It's just not a book that makes a good movie - it's too disjointed from the beginnings with the orphanage, which then necessitates going back to deal with Mrs Reed's death, which is totally disruptive to the Jane/Rochester story. Then all that wandering over the moors and horrible StJohn Rivers puts another kink in the wheel.

I will see the latest version, though. I hope it's worth it!

 

Date Posted: 3/23/2011 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

 and Agnes Moorhead was the 'protectoress' of the mad wife, Bertha.

 

I love discovering "Endora of Bewitched" in other movies and T.V. shows. 

Date Posted: 4/2/2011 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2011
Posts: 179
Back To Top

I loved the Jane Eyre 1997 version that had Ciarán Hinds as Mr. Rochester

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 6:21 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
Back To Top

The new movie version is wonderful! I had to drive a couple hours to see it, but it was completely worth it.

                                                                                                        Rose

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
Back To Top

Maybe some of you Bronte fans might get a kick out of Jasper Fforde's "time-warp" version that has Jane and Rochester in it---The Eyre Affair.    I read this oddball mystery WITHOUT becoming addicted to the Thursday Next series! 

About actors not satisfying the reader's visualization of the characters-----it works the other way 'round, sometimes.  I just naturally "see" Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilind (spelling?) when I happen to think of Robin Hood and Maid Marian.   And Tarzan will always "be" Johnny Weissmuller, to me . . . . . And somehow, Stanley Kowalski  has the face and body of Marlon Brando . . . . .



Last Edited on: 4/4/11 8:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 4/7/2011 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
Back To Top

For years I swore that the 1944 version with Orson Welles and Jane Fontaine was the best. Orson Welles is such a good Rochester! Now I've turned fickle and I'd put the 2006 Masterpiece Theatre version with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson at the top of my list. I still love the old version, but it leaves so much out. I think this version does a better job of covering the story in the book and Toby Stephens makes a great Rochester!

Date Posted: 4/29/2011 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
Back To Top

I'm a masterpiece Theater version fan, myself. My 'litmus test' is the scene where they express their love under the oak tree just before it is hit by lightning. There was more passion in this version than others, IMO. By passion I mean deep feeling in general.

I don't know when I'll get a chance to see the newest version. Soon, I hope.

ETA: Oh, YES. Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. I rarely read entire series, and that one I did. It even got me to read Wuthering Heights when I never wanted to before. I just had to find out what all the jokes were about.



Last Edited on: 4/29/11 4:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Mary H. - ,
Subject: Jane Eyre movie
Date Posted: 5/3/2011 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2008
Posts: 2
Back To Top

I think that the absolute best movie version of Jane Eyre is starring William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Joan Plowright  (2003).  All of them are enjoyable because they are Jane Eyre and it's always good to see another version. 

Date Posted: 5/9/2011 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

I also watched Wide Sargasso Sea after reading the book.  Both were pretty good.

 

Date Posted: 5/14/2011 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2010
Posts: 4
Back To Top

I think the Timothy Dalton version is a really good unsung version of Jane Eyre, but I haven't seen all of them yet. Here we go, Netflix queue! :)