Most days, this blog’s normal is some type of review. Since I’d like to step away from writing and publishing only reviews, today I thought it’d be fun to look beyond that and write about period drama in a different way. Today we look at the different Jane Eyre adaptations, most of which are quite romantic.
This all begins with Twitter. Twitter is a wonderful place. Or it can be depending on how you chose to use it. I use it to share my writings (because I take this “work” seriously) and to hang out with some of the coolest people I know: authors and the book blogging community. The drawback of Twitter is the character limit, and when it comes to my tweeting, which is anything but concise (unless it involves tweeting blog titles and adding hashtags). This is why a recent Twitter conversation inspired today’s post.
(And by “recent,” I mean, nearly two years ago. Yes, that’s how long this post has sat on my USB archive.)
CLASSIC ROMANTIC MOMENT | Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester (2011 Version)
Some of my friends (shoutout to those #bookbesties; because I’m too lazy, I don’t want to go back in time and find said Twitter convo, but you know who you are!!) and I were discussing the many versions of Jane Eyre, and I thought it might be fun to take a closer look at the many incarnations of them and take a trip down memory road of which are my favorites, and why. As I’ve not read the novel Jane Eyre, judging these as adaptations goes beyond my scope however as cinematic masterpieces and a lover of a period drama aficionado, I feel qualified to fangirl over these in these regards.
To begin, we’ll take a look at some I haven’t seen (and to be honest, probably won’t), and then move onto the newer versions, all of which I have (finally) enjoyed.
The Faces of a Romance Adaptation: The Jane Eyre Adaptations
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1. Jane Eyre (1943)
Though on occasion I don’t mind sitting through a classic film, old cinema isn’t my forte. This is the primary reason why I’ve not see this version or the following…
2. Jane Eyre (1943)
Most believe an actor like Orson Welles is a great actor from his era yet I’ve never been particularly fond of him. Ironically, I do enjoy watching the 1940 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice now and again, but as the Bronte classic isn’t one of my most favorite stories, tracking down a copy of this version isn’t high on my priority list. Buy Jane Eyre (1943) on DVD.
3. Jane Eyre (1983)
Dark and intense, this is BBC’s first adaptation of the Bronte classic. Lengthy and putting a great deal of stock into Jane’s past, I find myself consistently caught up in this version. Timothy Dalton is controversial in his role as Rochester, however he gives the character a kind of wonderfully intense characteristic. Rent or buy this on Amazon video or buy Jane Eyre (BBC, 1983) on DVD.
4. Jane Eyre (1996)
Another film that cast a mediocre Rochester for their piece, that actor being William Hurt. Unlike Cirian Hinds, this version isn’t “ruined” by the leading man, but considering the last two adaptations listed below, he’s further down the list as a favorite. Charlotte is quite talented in the titular role, a role seems to suit her quiet, modest personality. Rent or buy Jane Eyre (1996) on Amazon Video or purchase the DVD.
5. Jane Eyre (1997)
A&aE’s film adaptation of the classic is not at all my cup of tea. The filming is properly Gothic if memory serves (it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it though there have been multiple viewings), however Cirian Hinds as Rochester? Sorry, no. He’s one of those obvious actors I only like in certain roles. Buy Jane Eyre (A&E) on Amazon Video or purchase on DVD.
6. Jane Eyre (2006)
After many (many) people telling me
this most recent BBC miniseries ranks as their favorite, I finally tracked down
a copy (thank goodness for region 2 capabilities) and binge watched the 3-hour
version in the course of one Saturday afternoon. It’s really quite beautiful.
Toby and Ruth are marvelous together, especially Ruth who gives Jane a girlish,
whimsical quality. Overall, I’d go so far as to say this adaptation is the most
lighthearted there has been to date.
Unfortunately, this one is nearly impossible to find available in the US… unless you’re willing to pay $100+ dollars for a DVD copy. If you have the capacity to watch a region two DVD, luckily, those are more reasonable in price. UPDATE: You can find Jane Eyre (2006) digitally on Amazon Video
Since I will be reviewing this one soon, I have to say this one might have overtaken my favorite, which was the 2011 feature film.
MINISERIES REVIEW | ‘Jane Eyre’ (2006): A Gothic Masterpiece of a Romance
7. Jane Eyre (2011)
(This scene is SO underrated, isn’t it?)
For me, this version is perhaps the hardest to relate to. The character of Jane, as played by Mia is beyond difficult to feel anything for. She keeps her emotions in check to a greater degree than even the general perception of Jane’s character demands. That being said, Michael is quite swoon-y as the brooding Rochester and portrays a Gothic hero to perfection. This is saying nothing of the stunning cinematic qualities this boasts. Rent or buy Jane Eyre on Amazon Video or purchase on DVD.
FILM REVIEW | Jane Eyre (2011)The Faces of a Romance Adaptation: The Jane Eyre One. Talking about the many "Faces of Adaptation" aka the many Jane Eyre adaptations. #JaneEyre #PeriodDrama Click To Tweet
Which of the Jane Eyre adaptations are your favorites – and why? I’d love to read your impressions or thoughts on these many versions of the Charlotte Bronte classic Jane Eyre adaptations. The comments are now open to you. Comment down below.