- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Another Fontaine Vehicle Saved by Supporting Cast
Joan Fontaine plays Jane Eyre much the same way she played the lead in Rebecca and Suspicion. Here again she is the young innocent ingenue, drawn to the magnetic charm of an older, brooding man. She gives the shocking stare. The tilting head. The glistening eyes. Welles is okay as the foreboding Rochester. He borders on repulsive at times, but hey, everybody's attracted to someone. The real stars of this version are the supporting cast. Catch a glowing, young Elizabeth Taylor (uncredited) as the doomed orphan, Helen. She acts her head off and she's like eight! Agnes Moorehead is downright evil as the aunt who casts young Jane Eyre to her doom. Mr. "You'll Burn-in-Hell" Brockelhurst, headmaster of the orphanage, is played to the hilt and is so diabolically evil, you'll just want to grab him! The child actress who portrays Jane offers a stunning performance. Another nice turn is the actor portraying the young physician who visits the sickly and ill. Margaret O'Brien is slightly annoying as Rochester's daughter, Adele, but she doesn't get in the way of the story. Of the many motion picture and television versions of the story, this is an excellent outing because of a strong supporting cast and script that carry the film. Worth watching.
This Is One Great Remake
Thanks TCM for playing this gem so recently.No matter who could've been cast,there are few that could've had better actors in all roles.
So Many Fine Performances
Daniell could easily have been replaced by handsome Basil Rathbone,Welles by Walter Pidgeon.Simply loved the child actresses,esp Margaret O'Brien!
Magnificent Rendition of Eyre
Peggy Ann,Elizabeth,Sara Allgood,Sutton excel in this remake of Bronte's Jane.Margaret O'Brien delightful as Jane's charge.
An emotionally true version
- Kirsten I. Russelll
I've seen several dramatizations of JANE EYRE and found all of them at least interesting. This one isn't the most faithful to the book in the screenplay, and some touches are even silly (such as the opening with Joan Fontaine reading from a book that is not JANE EYRE, "My name is Jane Eyre"). Yet this 1944 version of the story is the only version I have on DVD for repeated viewing, largely because Bernard Herrmann's rich score for the film is so emotionally true to the story as well as haunting in its own right. The movie also offers a fine and touching rendition of Jane Eyre's childhood (with a very young Elizabeth Taylor incandescent as Jane's friend Helen), and Joan Fontaine is believable as the adult Jane, her quiet demeanor suggesting hidden strength. Orson Welles is still my favorite Rochester, because he projects both the strength to draw out Jane's and the volatile moodiness to test her strength. Though the novel is much richer in plot and scene, this movie is a spellbinding combination of performances, black-and-white photography, and music that suggests the emotional essence of the novel.
- S. Brown
I love this movie, especially Orson Welles. He was wonderful as Edward Rochester. I have seen many different actors playing the part but Orson Welles is my favorite. I like everything about this movie. I wish I could see it again tonight. I wish it would be shown more on TCM. I rate it 5 stars and more if I could. Superb!
Outstanding Jane Eyre!
I think this is my all time favorite romantic film ever. The great Joan Fontaine (who has just passed away) and Orson Welles have such chemistry together.... and the music score by Bernard Hermann is so emotional & haunting! Everything about it a true MASTERPIECE that captures the novel by Charlotte Bronte to perfection!
Jane Eyre Year 1943
Not sure really if it is 1943 or 1944 but the movie from the 40's is my all time fav.I watch this movie once a week at minimum........sometimes a few times a day.I just love this whole cast.....just love Orson Welles in this......he's so handsome!
READ BETWEEN THE LINES
THIS MOVIE IS KIND OF FACINATING TO WATCH. SIMILAR TO A CAR CRASH. THE SCREEN VERSION IS NOT BAD. THE ACTING...WELL, IN THE SCENE IN THE GARDEN WHEN ROCHESTER AND JANE ARE CONFESSING THEIR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER, IT LOOKS AS IF THEY ARE READING THEIR LINES. AND, FONTAINE AND WELLS CAN READ THEIR LINES PRETTY WELL. THE REAL ACTING IS IN BETWEEN THE LINES WHEN THEY REVEAL THEIR PASSION THROUGH GAZES AND BODY LANGUAGE. HOWEVER, THE SCREEN VERSION DOES MISS THE MARK A BIT IN THE SUSPENSE THAT IS RDDLED THROUGHOUT BRONTE'S WRITING.ALL OF THAT SAID, I COULD AND HAVE WATCHED THIS MOVIE MANY TIMES OVER WITH MUCH ENJOYMENT.
Novels should not be adapted into films
Joan Fontaine is a talented actress but here, no offense, she completely ruined the character of Jane Eyre. In fact this whole film ruined the novel. A film can never do a novel justice, especially a classic like this by Bronte.
Thank you, TCM, for showing Jane Eyre, but shame on you for airing a print with such an obviously butchered soundtrack. Apparently some absurd attempt to enhance the movie, but rather ruins a wonderful film and great Bernard Hermann score. I do believe an apology to your viewers is in order.
Almost ANYBODY but Welles...
playing the tormented & crazed male lead in this Bronte adaptation would have suited me fine e.g. Greg Peck, Ty Power, Errol Flynn.After "Citizen Kane" Mr. Welles became "The Emperor With No Clothes"...however, when Orson has to stand (compete) along side the like's of Edward G. Robinson as he did in "The Stranger" in 1946 then Welles can see for himself, that he's as naked as Gypsy Rose Lee!
"The Sound of Eyre"
The first time I saw this it reminded me alot of the Sound of Music. Because their plots are both almost the same! A rebelious young woman who has perhaps had a wicked childhood, leaves her restrictive school/abey to become a governess at the estate of a lonely man. At the estate there is a kindly housekeeper (Mrs.Fairfax/Fraur Schmit), and children to take care of (Adele/the VonTrapp children). Meanwhile the young woman and the lonely man grow closer, but he has to leave. The lonely man brings back a blonde woman (Blanche Ingram/the Baroness) whom he may or may not mary. Because she loves the lonely man, the young woman leaves, then comes back because she misses him. The two get married but something horribly wrong happens (duranged wife/the Third Reich). But the couple overcome the problem and live happily ever after. One difference is that Jane Eyre is very dark and shadowy and the Sound of Music is a happy musical. But both films are well cast and include very good performances, especially by Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Orson Welles. Liz Taylor seemed to have a ghostly appearance in Jane Eyre. Joan Fontaine also was rather ghostly, with those expressive eyes.
A Gothic masterpiece!
I think this film is underrated and not as appreciated as it should be. I believe it is one of the best films in regard to it's use of the incredibly "brooding" musical score. It sets the mood for every scene; Jane as a child standing on the chair in the school house, or when she visits her dying aunt, or the scenes with the crazy wife locked in the tower, and on and on. Even when there is the final ending of happiness, you are left with the overpowering sense of the film's melancholy and pain from the past.
Very Powerful Movie
This is one of my favorite films that Orson Wells or Joan Fontaine ever starred in. They're both from different worlds and when they realize they've fallen in love, a terrible secret may ruin their hopes for happiness. Elizabeth Taylor is also in this movie as a childhood friend of Jane's. You can't help but fall in love with all of the characters in this movie.
I am love!
- lover of B&WS
This movie in a day an age where visual is overused and writing is watered down,gets better with time. All actors do an excellent job of placing you front row seat in tht age of time, the chemistry between Jane and Mr Rochester is so alluring that you are almost dying trying to see if they will ever kiss! What makes this a classic is that every time you watch it you wil experience the same emotions a if you never saw the movie before. I find Mr Rochester very amusing in his sacarasisms and love Jane's wit. I can go on and on, so on that note I will just add WATCH THE MOVIE!
This version of Jayne Eyre is with out doubt the best ever.
Truly a Golden Era Film!
- Della Williams
Without a doubt, this version of Jane Eyrestands head and shoulder above the rest. The mood of the book was captured from start to finish, not only with the sights, sounds and the dark quite setting, but in the casting of Orsen Wells and Joan Fontaine as the mystical, lost and some what moral upright title charater. I purchased the VHS format some ten years ago, this should be on DVD. This would be a great lost to the art if it were allowed to be lost in the shuffle.