Jane Eyre – Movie 1970

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I watched yet another adaptation of Jane Eyre last night.  I promise I’m getting close to the end of them!  This one stars Susannah York as Jane, and George C. Scott as Mr. Rochester.

Strangely, I thought that both York and Scott were a smidgen too old to be cast as Jane and Rochester.  She looks like she might be in her late 20’s or early 30’s.  He looks like he’s approaching his senior years.  At least it wasn’t a nineteen-year-old cast with a senior citizen.  That would have been even more unbelievable.  York was an okay Jane.  She was definitely reserved and seemed to operate on a different plane from other people.  There wasn’t much warmth or attachment that came through in her performance, though.  Scott was very abrupt and at times startling as Rochester (i.e. when he sends the glass flying off the table).  I appreciate his alternative take on Rochester’s character, even if it’s not how I would prefer it be played.  Overall, I didn’t emotionally connect much with Jane and Rochester.

Mrs. Fairfax was quite friendly and cheerful.  Adele wasn’t very remarkable.  Blanche was also too old and was not pretty (as is specifically stated in the book).  One pleasant surprise was that Ian Bannen played St. John Rivers (Waking Ned Devine).

Thornfield was old-fashioned, but not period.  The same can be said for the costuming.

There were dialogue changes, but I’m really getting used to that by now.  Also, the copy that I watched was missing clips of film in certain places.  I’m not sure what the deal was there, but it was too bad.

As far as the story itself goes, Lowood got a fairly long treatment.  It was a sinister place and really made you feel sorry for the girls there.  They did make up the part about Burns standing outside in the rain as punishment.  I noticed that there were several plot changes and things that were completely left out this adaptation.  Considering the length of the movie, however, I think they did an admirable job of telling a complicated story in a shortened timeframe, while staying true to the spirit of the book.  The ending was very sweet, though a little lacking in authentic emotion.

This was another version of Jane Eyre that I’m glad I watched once, but will not need to revisit again.  Check it out if you’re an Eyre aficionado!

Rated: NR

Rating: 3 Stars

Until next time…





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