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Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

4.1 30
Director: Julian Amyes

Cast: Zelah Clarke, Timothy Dalton, Morag Hood


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Jane Eyre is yet another cinematic dramatization of Charlotte Bronte's classic 19th century romantic novel -- and at 239 minutes, the longest and most thorough. The familiar storyline traces the life of Jane Eyre from her miserable childhood in a bleak orphan's home to her assumption of a governess' post at the home of the mysterious Edward Rochester. Jane and


Jane Eyre is yet another cinematic dramatization of Charlotte Bronte's classic 19th century romantic novel -- and at 239 minutes, the longest and most thorough. The familiar storyline traces the life of Jane Eyre from her miserable childhood in a bleak orphan's home to her assumption of a governess' post at the home of the mysterious Edward Rochester. Jane and Rochester fall in love, but their plans for marriage are blighted by the Terrible Secret hidden away in his attic. Only when total, devastating disaster befalls Rochester does he consider himself worthy of Jane's love. This 1983 multipart BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre stars Zelah Clarke in the title role and future James Bond Timothy Dalton as Rochester.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A BBC miniseries that aired in 11 half-hour episodes during 1983, this sumptuous adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s famous gothic romance achieved a level of fidelity unmatched by earlier (and later) versions. In part this was due to the total running time, which allowed for greater emphasis on scenes that were either truncated or omitted in other screen incarnations of Jane Eyre. But the credit must also go to screenwriter Alexander Baron and director Julian Amyes, whose faithfulness to the original story obviously bespeaks affection and reverence. Zelah Clarke portrays Jane, the plain, impoverished young woman raised to be a governess and sent to forbidding Thornfield Hall, whose master -- the dark, brooding Edward Rochester (Timothy Dalton, pre-Bond) -- keeps some sinister secret. Little by little, Jane becomes infatuated with this tragic and tormented figure, and eventually the shocking secret comes to light. Striking set designs and carefully tailored period costumes reflect great care (and considerable expense) in the making of this Eyre, and atmospheric lighting effects help establish a dreary, doom-laden mood. Dalton is perfectly cast as Rochester, having that saturnine quality so essential to any credible portrayal of Thornfield’s master. And Clarke makes a properly soulful Jane: reserved but courageous in her quiet way. The entire production is commendable and, with all due respect to the Orson Welles-Joan Fontaine version from 1944, represents the definitive film interpretation of Brontë’s immortal classic.
All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Rarely has a motion picture presented a tale of romance with such subtlety, sensitivity, and power as this 1983 Julian Amyes adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte classic Jane Eyre. Credit Zelah Clarke (Jane) and Timothy Dalton (Edward Fairfax Rochester) for the success of the film. Perfectly cast in their roles as lovers separated by untold secrets and repressed emotions, they act beautifully together, mixing chemistry and charisma to produce the kind of magic that holds audiences in thrall. They are to each other as rain is to drought, but each must spend tortured days waiting for the rain, contending with the gloom of the landscape, the emptiness of unfulfilled longing and, of course, the mad woman in the attic who keeps them apart. Director Amyes enhances the sense of emotional desolation and isolation by skillfully creating the severe, forbidding settings -- Lowood, where Jane grew up as an orphan, and Thornfield Hall, where Jane serves as a governess to Rochester's charge, Adele. Mary Tamm is superb in her supporting performance as Blanche Ingram, Rochester's fianceé until Jane wins his heart.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Bbc Warner
Region Code:

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. A Pack of Wolves [4:55]
2. Dirty Little Tricks [4:28]
3. Miserable Company [6:00]
4. In Good Health [7:47]
5. Farewell to Care [3:02]
6. Credits [1:05]
1. Live by the Bell [6:33]
2. Mysterious Stories [4:45]
3. Gentle Obedience [5:57]
4. Wrongfully Accused [3:56]
5. Sickness at Home [6:30]
6. Credits [1:25]
1. Proper Performance [7:41]
2. Solitary Visit [4:24]
3. Lady of the House [6:12]
4. A New World [4:37]
5. Intelligent Deductions [2:52]
6. Credits [1:02]
1. Patience and Perserverance [5:17]
2. Honorable Talk [5:13]
3. Under Examination [9:48]
4. Promised Explanation [1:00]
5. A Path of Danger [4:00]
6. Credits [3:05]
1. No Debt or Obligation [5:14]
2. Too Far Off to Hear [5:01]
3. Fine Day for an Excursion [4:46]
4. Gypsy Entertainment [4:53]
5. Feelings Withheld [8:11]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. Not One Word [5:27]
2. My Little Lamb [7:17]
3. May I Have a Word [2:34]
4. Blank and Cold [4:54]
5. Desired Presence [8:28]
6. Credits [1:00]
1. Second Light [4:30]
2. Pleasant Place [6:02]
3. Independent Will [4:59]
4. Mrs. Rochester [5:57]
5. Reality in Dreams [5:24]
6. Credits [1:00]
Side #2 --
1. Wedding Day [7:28]
2. Bearer of Bad News [5:05]
3. Tainted Love [3:34]
4. Arranged Marriage [5:15]
5. Difficult Decisions [6:08]
6. Credits [:59]
1. Coming in From the Cold [5:18]
2. New Found Friends [4:40]
3. Faithful and Honest [5:58]
4. Worse Off Than Before [4:16]
5. Workings of Inclination [4:53]
6. Credits [1:01]
1. Fever of the Flesh [4:52]
2. Spiritual Guidance [6:46]
3. Private Conversation [5:18]
4. Mr. Briggs' Visit [5:57]
5. Answered Prayers [5:38]
6. Credits [:59]
1. Anxiety of Mind [7:36]
2. Reversal of Roles [2:57]
3. Rich in Life [4:54]
4. Selfish Pleasure [4:55]
5. Flesh and Bone [6:22]
6. Credits [1:05]


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4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
DKsAria More than 1 year ago
I have read Jane Eyre many times (my book is very worn), beginning my first year of high school, and I am well into middle age now.  I have seen at least 4 film versions of the book, and this is by far the most true to the book.  The only puzzling thing to me is that the DVD version, which I recently purchased, is not exactly like the VHS version, which I have watched many times.  The DVD version leaves out some parts of the book that were included in the VHS version.  Also, more disturbing, there were some scenes in the DVD version that not only were not in the VHS version, they were also not in the book.  How very strange.  They must have been scenes that were originally cut, but then included when made into DVD format.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By far the very best adaptation of the book by Charlotte Brontë. Timothy Dalton is the definitive Rochester who captures the very spirit of his character. And Zelah Clarke is a wonderful Jane. I''ve seen this numerous times and will watch it even more in future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I didn't find Timothy Dalton the ideal for Mr. Rochester this version of Jane Eyre is true to the novel and very well done. I would recommend it for anyone who enjoyed the book. It's a delight.
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KlassicKate More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful movie to watch and shows many of the most important scenes in the book. The character portrayal is wonderful. I loved it not being so hollywoodish, but rather more focused on the characters and dialogue, which makes the book such a delightful read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a lover of the Bronte novels and Jane Eyre in particular, I found this a really poor adaptation. Tim Dalton who is normally excellent was badly miscast as Rochester, he never seemed to really get in to the role, and Zelah was awful as Jane. They captured none of the magic of the novel, it becomes a dull, overlong adaptation with no chemistry between the 2 main actors. Probably one of the worst adaptations of Jane Eyre that I have had the misfortune to see. I cannot recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A friend gave this to me in VHS format about 15 years ago. I totally fell in love with it and pull it out periodically to recapture the same experience. Every time I watch it, I see nuances that I hadn't caught in previous viewings. I've seen many versions of this story "including the latest BBC version which is ALSO awesome" but this one will always have a special place in my heart. I became a Timothy Dalton fan after seeing this version and I still consider him the quintessential Rochester. Zela was also phenomenal - and as one other reviewer mentioned, you can see all of Jane's emotions in her face and eyes. This is not a production for those who like fast-paced stories and instant gratification. The story unfolds itself gradually with each layer adding a new perspective. If you enjoy the classics, excellent acting and a poignant story, check this one out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The two lead actors are superlative. This is the greatest version I have ever seen and I have seen most of them. It is a heart-wrenching story. This production is as worthwhile as reading the novel. Timothy Dalton is fascinating to watch and Zeulah Clarke is a very believable Jane.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite adaptations of Jane Eyre, it's not my #1 favorite but is definitely up there as one of my favorites. Timothy Dalton is a superb Rochester and despite looking a little too old to play Jane, I think Zelah Clarke did a wonderful job and was very convincing.
dantes88 More than 1 year ago
This is a welcome addition to my Timothy Dalton collection. The series was well done and true to the original story. Mr. Dalton turned in a passionate portrayal of Mr Rochester and I enjoyed every moment of this fine production.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jane Eyre is my favorite book, and I was very excited to watch this movie after hearing so many good things about it. However I was very dissapointed. The movie is very faithful to the book's dialogue, but the character portrayal was pretty awful. Is it just me, or did Timothy Dalton seem very abusive and cruel? I think his character was more akin to Heathcliff that Mr.Rochester. He was always yelling at Jane! Mr.Rochester is a brooding, broken man, not a hard man. Jane was also a little dissapointing- she portrayed none of the strength of character and mind that makes the book so powerful- all the illusions to her being an elf or changeling seemed odd in this movie though it fit so well in the book. St. John also made me sad. They did a really poor job expanding on his character, and he also seemed too mean and passionate. Oh well, I guess a movie can never be as good as the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Faithful in this case means skip it, and read the novel instead. What your imagination will conjure I guarantee will far surpass anything you'll see here. There are no new insights and limited involvement. Basically no one attached to the project had a clue how to execute scenes or write them. The script rambles and the acting is stifled. The one exception is Geoffrey Whitehead as St John Rivers, who almost makes us forget Jane. I said almost. How to describe it. Ms. Cusack is lost to the point of seeming goofy, coyly smiling one minute- glazed over (maybe stoned, it's hard to tell) the next. It's hard to even guess what she was after, (really should we have to guess?) but a wrinkled forehead, set in over-drive, is used to express just about anything, if that's any help. Basically she looks and acts like a smug 40 year old, '-been-there, done-that-' matron, who's really a dimwit. She also seems to best Rochester in discussion after discussion. Which seems out of sync with her character. Jane is intelligent, witty and understated, not an obvious, obnoxious 'last word Sam'. Mr. Jayston, who's a big improvement over his costar (and a lot more subtle), still seems to be telling the story from a distance, often (not always) externally acting the lines, and is more dandyish than sardonic, and forceful. There is also annoying narration plunked in unceremoniously, leaping in between sentences. Presumably to create the effect of the book. But it is not a book and the results are a disrupted story. There are also many fake kisses which are unwatchable. In fact too much of this feels fake, and stagy. Even the scene after they drown the fire feels mechanical and rehearsed. You never feel that ANYTHING in the story matters very much. I thought since this was an obscure BBC version, faithful to the book that somehow I'd found a gem. The low amount of reviews, (everywhere) should have raised flags. I also should have read them more carefully. I don't think there's any comparison between this and the 1983 version with Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton, which has a lot more verve, and the one I recommend. It's also very faithful but not straightjacketed. Even with some obvious problem areas in 1983, you need a completely different standard to qualify these two in the same race. It looks like they were both done on a shoestring, but the quality of acting and writing in the later one is vastly superior. If you're after something faithful, skip this, get that, or buy the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definitly a version to be missed!! Timoethy Dalton as always turns in a subpar acting performance, and he should just stick to play comic book characters like the one he played in Flash Gordon with Sam Jones.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far the best of all Jane Eyre versions ever made, the worst being the 2006 production. Although from a purist's point of view Timothy Dalton is too handsome, tall and lean to be Rochester, he possesses the essential qualities for the role: He has an imposing physical presence, great magnetism and an air of self-assurance and authority. And despite his undeniable handsomeness he looks grim and stern enough to play the gloomy master of Thornfield convincingly. But the excellence of his performance lies in the way he renders all the facets of Rochester's character. Of all the actors who have played Rochester he is the only one to capture them all: Rochester's harshness, nearly insolence, his moodiness and abruptness, as well as his humorous side, his tenderness, his solicitude and deep, frantic love. Dalton's handling of Charlotte Brontë's language is equally superb. Even Rochester's most far-fetched and complicated thoughts ring absolutely true and natural when Dalton delivers them. He is the definitive Rochester, unsurpassed and unsurpassable, and after watching him in this role it is impossible to imagine Rochester to be played in any other way or by any other actor. Zelah Clarke delivers an equally excellent performance in a role that is possibly even more difficult to play well than the one of Rochester. She portrays exactly the Jane of the novel, an outwardly shy, reserved and guarded young woman, but who possesses a great depth of feeling and an equally great strength of will. She catches beautifully the duality in Jane's character: her modesty and respectfulness on the one hand, and her fire and passion on the other, her seeming frailty and her indomitable sense of right and wrong. She and Dalton have wonderful chemistry and their scenes together are pure delight. The language and plot of the novel are rendered with the greatest possible accuracy. Although the long dialogues are slightly shortened, the core lines which are essential for the characterization of the protagonists and the development of the plot are rendered unchanged. Thus the scriptwriter avoided any artificiality of speech, while still fully preserving the beauty and originality of Charlotte Brontë's language. In this version equal time and emphasis is given to each episode of Jane's life. It is the only Jane Eyre adaptation that has a gypsy scene worthy of the novel, and the only one which does full justice to the novel's pivotal and most heartrending scene when Jane and Rochester meet after the aborted wedding. Timothy Dalton in particular plays that scene with superb skill. He renders with almost painful intensity Rochester's anguish as he realizes Jane's resolution to leave him, his frantic attempts to make her stay and his final despair as she indeed leaves him. It is a heartbreaking, almost devastating, scene, which will stay with the viewer for a long time. With even the smaller roles perfectly cast, an excellent script and two ideal leading actors this is the definitive and only true "Jane Eyre".
Guest More than 1 year ago
If I had to choose between the books Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, I totally prefer Wuthering Heights. However, after seeing the Clarke/Dalton version, I was totally moved by this story. I do not think you could have picked 2 actors more adept at playing the roles. Timothy Dalton as Edward Fairfax Rochester IS Rochester reincarnated. Zelah Clarke was also so convincing to the true character and nature of Jane. I absolutely loved this BBC production. I particularly like the scene when Rochster gives his oath that he wants to marry Jane. The intenseness of his voice and face is absolute artistry. Tim Dalton is one of the finest actors I have ever seen. Everyone I show this to, loves it. Better than the Bronte book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I much prefurred this novel to Wuthering Heights, it was fabulous. It created that proper tension and horror perfectly when needed. I thought that Zelah and Timothy were perfect for those roles as Jane and Mr Rochester. I really loved this version and i would HIGHLY recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I did not read the book, I knew from the beginning of this movie that it followed the book almost word for word. I fell in love with Timothy Dalton as Rochester. Yes, he is handsome, but with dark features and the way he loved to bark at everyone to "bluff" them into his way of thinking made an excellent portrayal of the "brooding" character he created. Zelah Clarke was a great Jane. Her eyes gave you all the signals that weren't in the words. You could read the love, jealousy, fear straight from her eyes. My favorite scene when he finally declares his love and proposes - both actors nailed it. So much drama, I loved it. I watch it over & over. I also liked the child Jane - so much like the Jane character. 'Must compliment the good direction also. This story has a dark side, but the movie accentuates the love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen several movie/video versions of 'Jane Eyre' over the years, and this adaptation is far and away the best of the lot. It adheres to the original novel in almost every way, not ignoring or truncating certain portions of the book the way most versions do.
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