Jane Eyre

  • Film
  • Period and swashbuckler films
Charlotte Bronte reduced to straight Gothic romance, but surprisingly effective right from the opening shot of a wavering candle being carried down a long, dark corridor. The early sequences of Jane's schooling are probably the most stylistically consistent and vividly realised (Daniell's chillingly pious sadism as the headmaster, Moorehead sourly petting a piggish little fat boy, young Elizabeth Taylor dying from cruel negligence). After Welles makes his thunderous appearance out of the mist, thrown from his startled horse but still able to swirl a cape with fine braggadocio, the film becomes more erratic, but always looks as though Orson had at least one eye behind the camera. And the cracks (notably the discrepancies in acting styles between pallid Jane and full-blooded Rochester) are neatly papered over by a fine Bernard Herrmann score.

Release details

Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Robert Stevenson
Screenwriter: Aldous Huxley, Robert Stevenson, John Houseman
Cast: Orson Welles
Joan Fontaine
Margaret O'Brien
Peggy Ann Garner
John Sutton
Sara Allgood
Henry Daniell
Agnes Moorehead
Hillary Brooke
Elizabeth Taylor
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