Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

3.3 32
Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Cast: Franco Zeffirelli, William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Joan Plowright


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Director Franco Zeffirelli stresses emotional realism over gothic chills in this restrained adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic. The screenplay, by Zeffirelli and Hugh Whitmore, remains relatively faithful to the original story, beginning with a condensed look at the troubled childhood of young Jane (Anna Paquin) and her mistreatment by a cruel aunt (Fiona Shaw).…  See more details below


Director Franco Zeffirelli stresses emotional realism over gothic chills in this restrained adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic. The screenplay, by Zeffirelli and Hugh Whitmore, remains relatively faithful to the original story, beginning with a condensed look at the troubled childhood of young Jane (Anna Paquin) and her mistreatment by a cruel aunt (Fiona Shaw). The bulk of the film centers on Jane as an adult (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a prim governess who accepts a position at Thornfield Hall caring for the young Adele (Josephine Serre). There Jane also must deal with the estate's head, Edward Rochester (William Hurt), a mysteriously brooding yet oddly alluring older man. She finds herself drawn to Rochester, but their potential romance is threatened by Jane's fears and Rochester's internal torment. Rather than the spooky visuals of earlier adaptations, Zeffirelli and cinematographer David Watkins opt for a subdued gloominess, placing emphasis on Gainsbourg's and Hurt's wounded portrayals. Fans of the gothic will likely find Zeffirelli's interpretation anemic in comparison to the passionate 1944 version with Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles, though others may appreciate the more naturalistic and faithful approach.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Zefferilli's film version of the oft-filmed Brontë novel is surprisingly short on romance. In the prototype Gothic romance, the eponymous young heroine (Charlotte Gainsbourg) takes a post as a governess at the vast abode of Mr. Rochester (William Hurt), a tall, dark, wealthy stranger, whose darkened brow betokens a stormy past. For whatever reason, Zefferilli has chosen to abandon his florid brand of romanticism in exchange for quietly tasteful production values without much in the way of expressiveness. Eschewing the evocative power of myth and archetype, he opts for realism and psychology in what feels like a romance between a shy bookstore clerk and a saturnine professor. To that end, he's cast the film well. Gainsbourg makes the heroine's quiet goodness and gift of insight believable, while Hurt emphasizes Rochester's pain and complexity, scanting the aggression and passion which is an integral part of the character. The excellent cast includes Anna Paquin, Joan Plowright, Billie Whitelaw, John Wood, and Maria Schneider.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Miramax Echo Bridge
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Hurt Rochester
Charlotte Gainsbourg Jane Eyre
Joan Plowright Mrs. Fairfax
Anna Paquin Young Jane
Geraldine Chaplin Miss Scatcherd
Billie Whitelaw Grace Poole
Edward de Souza Mason
Elle MacPherson Blanche
Maria Schneider Bertha
Josephine Serre Adele Varens
Fiona Shaw Mrs. Reed
Samuel West St. John Rivers
John Wood Mr. Brocklehurst

Technical Credits
Franco Zeffirelli Director,Screenwriter
Jenny Beavan Costumes/Costume Designer
Jonathan Benson Asst. Director
Dennis Bosher Art Director
Claudio Capponi Score Composer,Songwriter
Noel Davis Casting
Raimonda Gaetani Art Director
Maria Teresa Girosi Asst. Director
Roger Hall Production Designer
Joyce Herlihy Associate Producer
Jean-Francois Lepetit Co-producer
Dyson Lovell Producer
Richard Marden Editor
L. Justin Muller Asst. Director
David A. Stephenson Sound/Sound Designer
Alessio Vlad Score Composer,Songwriter
David Watkin Cinematographer
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
Hugh Whitemore Screenwriter
Giovannella Zannoni Co-producer
Charlotte Brontë Source Author

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits: Willful and Obstinate [8:33]
2. Next to Godliness? [5:25]
3. Correcting Nature [5:42]
4. "Forever and Always" [5:15]
5. Starting Anew [8:05]
6. The Rochester Estate [3:51]
7. Aiding A Stranger? [7:33]
8. "Better Than Some" [2:42]
9. Shadows and Beauty [5:10]
10. Honoring Obligations [5:22]
11. "You're A Fool" [3:38]
12. A Party at Thornfield [2:39]
13. "It Is Not Her Fault" [6:40]
14. Guilt and Forgiveness [4:46]
15. "As I Promised" [6:43]
16. Regrets? [1:25]
17. Mrs. Rochester [5:36]
18. "Don't Leave Me, Jane!" [3:08]
19. Recovering Strength [5:28]
20. "Our Happiness, Complete" [4:12]
21. End Credits [5:56]

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Jane Eyre 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film seemed to rush through the storyline, and thus cut out some important information. The important scenes it did have were too broad and didn't have enough emphasis. I was especially disappointed by the ending, which I found to be the most touching part of the book. This film completely destroyed my imagination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this version of the film was extremely disappointing. It wasnt faithful to the book at all. Most of the dialogue between Jane and Rochester was done away with, to highlight the cinemotography of the film; which was poor in its conception and execution. Much of the scenes were changed, and gainsburg who played jane didnt capture the strength and force of the heroine. The film leaves you wondering how these two characters fell in love in the first place. Read the book, a film has yet to capture the beauty and essence of Bronte's words.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the book, but this adaptation was very disappointing. I applaud the attempt at a restrained interpretation of the material, and I didn't even mind (too much) playing fast-and-loose with the plot line. But almost all the interaction between Jane and Mr Rochester was left out, leaving the viewers wondering why they fell in love in the first place. And the attempt at restraint went too far: in a number of places, the main characters seemed to be sleep-walking through their lines. I willl keep hoping to find a better film version, as this one left me cold.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To be honest, I think this movie was a disgraceful representation of Charlotte Bronte's fanastic book. Though many of these actors do respectable jobs in other movies, they were unable to do so in this case. I can see how it may be difficult to portray Jane Eyre because she is very reserved in the book, but Edward Rochester is another story. In the book, Rochester was moody, passionate, and said what was on his mind. William Hurt made Mr. Rochester almost dull. I couldn't believe the way that the most important parts in the book were acted. When Jane left Mr. Rochester, for example, all that was basically said was "don't leave me." Rochester makes a much larger deal about Jane leaving than that, to say the least. Not only was it poorly acted, but the story was altered a bit too much. Important parts were left out while scenes that don't occur in the book are put in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this movie!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Out of all the "Jane Eyre" films I've seen, this is by far the best. I have the orginial film with Orson Wells. It is darker then the newer one. I think William Hurt & Charlotte Gainsbourg did a wonderful job with the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never heard of the book but remembered seeing an adaptation to it, the one with Ruth Wilson. I then saw this one and it would been better if I had read the book first. As a movie its interesting, maybe a little fast in some parts, particularly the ending to be honest, but still a good film. You have the title character who is sent to a school after living a harsh life with her Aunt and cousins. At the school she isn't treated well there either except for two who become her friends then later as an adult she goes to a house as a governess and meets Mr. Rochester. The actors did really good, especially Charlotte as Jane and William Hurt as Rochester. Is it just me or in some scenes with William as Rochester remind anyone of Liam Neeson? Anyway, obviously you should read the book first then see this movie. Recommend this and Wuthering Heights also by author Emily Bronte.
Litophile More than 1 year ago
When is Joan Plowright not superb? Though her role is minor, hers is the best performance in this recent production of the Charlotte Bronte classic. William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and the others make a creditable showing. Alas, the condensation of the novel and the uninspired direction lessen the impact of the film for anyone who loves the book and has seen better films of same. Nevertheless, the movie is worth viewing.
JLW115 More than 1 year ago
I have seen several versions of Jane Eyre & this wasn't my favorite. I was a little disappointed in the film quality & sound quality on this DVD. It reminded me of a film from the '70s or '80s. I guess I expected it to be a bit more cinematically pleasing since it came out in 1996! The acting was OK, but the BBC version w/ Toby Stephens & Ruth Wilson is BY FAR the best! The A&E version w/ Ciaran Hinds & Samantha Morton would be second I suppose. OK movie, but there are far better versions out there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book and movie are absolutely beautiful and if I could, I would wrap both around my heart. The story is compelling and heartfelt, and Gainsbourg and Hurt make a heaven out of hell. I love this strange and almost unearthly thing! Bravo!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read the book for the firs time in grade 7. Ever since it was my most favorite. Moreover, I have read it 5 times. I believe the movie gives you the opportunity to widen you imagination and imagine how the characters look like. Gainsbourgh is just awesome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie by chnce on vacation and was so movied and I cryed. I thought it was great and unfortuately I haven't read the book but am going to do so as soon as possiable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie of love and understanding.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book for the first time in 6th grade and its been my favorite since. I didn't watch the movie until now, (I'm a junior) and this movie is very different. I think the part where Jane professes her love is important and in this video, the scene is very dark. You can barely see their faces. Don't waste your money on this video. Watch the one with Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds. Even though its short and also has some changes, it is way better in protraying the book then this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book over and over again and I was really excited to see the movie. But when I saw it, I was so dissapointed in it. I vowed to myself never to see this bad movie again!! Mr. Rochester, I thought was a dark, meloncholy man. But in the movie, he seemed different than portrayed in the book. There were major changes such as the fire at the house right when Jane left which didn't happen in the book. I will never watch this movie again! I haven't read the book at all since I have seen this awful movie! Don't see it, it will ruin any good thought about the book that you may have had before!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie actually had me Weeping! It was a faboulous production. Both stars were outstanding. Do not watch this movie without a hanky. The scenery was superb. The costumes made me go out and buy a velvet cape very similar to the one Jane wears when she returns to Thornhill! William Hurt is a gothic hottie! Buy this film. It will make you believe in love again!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beautiful, captivating, this movie is the best Jane Eyre adaptation. Zeffirelli creates another movie classic after creating his timeless piece of art - ''Romeo and Juliet'' and directing the unforgetable duo Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in ''The Taming of The Shrew''. The true lovers of good cinemathography, intelligent reading of a literary classic and acting mastery will find this adaptation of Jane Eyre worth viewing over and over again. William Hurt is allowed actually to act and proves his superb talent. Charlotte Gainsbourg is a real find. She brings freshness and sensitivity; delicacy and stuborness to reveal Eyre's true feminine but independent spirit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Visually, this movie is tops. I loved the score as well. Though it was not as faithful to the book as other Jane movies, the additions were in character and I enjoyed them. The closing scene where Jane and Rochester reunite is the most beautiful I've seen. It's one of my favorite Jane Eyre movies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Why is everyone saying they are disappointed in this movie? I thought it was truly awesome and a great and moving love story. I've read the book like so many others, and I dare say the book was VERY good. This isn't Exactly like the book...But I think it is the best version of it. There have been changes as I mentioned before...And its really natural that there should be changes in the movie since they can not obviously make every single thing alike to the book...Over all This was a very well-done movie...I Loved It...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen three versions of this great book put on screen and i have only liked one. The BBC version with Timothy Dalton is true to the book and amazing. This version changes the flow of events and leaves out important points.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although Zefirelli is no choice of mine, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Charlotte Gainsborough is wonderful; her delicate beauty and introspective interpretation was very faithful to Bronte's Jane, and although William Hurt was not as good as Ciaran Hinds, he does very well.