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Jane Eyre

530 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jane Eyre (DVD)

Amazon.com

Jane Eyre--the mother of all gothic romances--gets abundant passion in this 11-episode BBC miniseries. Young Sian Pattenden is wonderfully willful and impetuous; viewers will immediately identify with the child Jane as she fights against ill-treatment at the home of her aunt and at boarding school. It's a shame to see her grow up into Zelah Clarke--until Clarke asserts her own quiet yet fierce spirit. The plot really starts rolling when Jane takes a position as governess at Thornfield, a handsome estate owned by the imperious and tortured Mr. Rochester (Timothy Dalton, a few years before he became James Bond). From there, this 1983 adaptation rips through the perilous highs and devastating lows of Charlotte Bronte's powerful novel, in which the courtship of these two prickly personalities gets twists and turns galore. Though the visual style is a bit pedestrian, the well-crafted script and skillful performances grow more gripping with every episode. The necessary feverishness springs from simple yet effective means, like macabre laughter floating down the halls of Thornfield. The scenes between Clarke and Dalton crackle with chemistry; Bronte fans will not be disappointed. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Dalton, Zelah Clarke, Jean Harvey, Carol Gillies, Blance Youinou
  • Directors: Julian Amyes
  • Writers: Charlotte Bronte
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Full Screen, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 19, 2005
  • Run Time: 311 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (530 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000784WMW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,662 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jane Eyre" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

532 of 542 people found the following review helpful By Rosie Cotton on May 6, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
A few months ago I watched both this 4-hour BBC production and the more recent A&E version starring Ciaran Hinds and Samantha Morton in one sitting ... an Eyre-athon! And in my opinion, this version EASILY won hands-down as the best (I've already seen just about every other filmed version). I've since watched it many times and never tire of it. If you love the novel, what a glorious, breathtaking treat this is!!

Yes, this production is long (good news for Bronte fans!) and it has a somewhat dated feel, but both the casting and acting are so brilliant that you won't want to watch any other version!

Timothy Dalton IS Edward Rochester... it's that simple. I don't care that other reviewers claim he's too handsome. Dalton is attractive, certainly, but no pretty-boy. In fact he possesses a craggy, angular dark charm that, to my mind, is quite in keeping with the mysterious, very masculine Mr R. And he takes on Rochester's sad, tortured persona so poignantly. He portrays ferocity when the scene calls for it, but also displays Rochester's tender, passionate, emotional side as well. (IMO the A&E production suffers in that Ciaran Hinds - whom I normally adore - seems to bluster and bully his way throughout. I've read the book many times and I never felt that Rochester was meant to be perceived as a nonstop snarling beast!)

Whenever I reread the novel, I always see Zelah Clarke as Jane. Ms. Clarke, to me, resembles Jane as she describes herself (and is described by others). Small, childlike, fairy... though it's true the actress doesn't look 18, she portrays Jane's attributes so well.
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110 of 114 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I've seen every version available (even the Scott/York one), and the Dalton/Clarke version is light years ahead of them all.
Timothy Dalton IS Rochester....passionate and vulnerable, flawed and ALIVE, his very existence tainted by that one "fatal error" that wrecked his past and threatens his future (with Jane). He drew me in completely, making me feel all of Rochester's conflicting emotions, aided by a delightful script that was faithful to Charlotte's great book. Whole passages of dialogue appear to have been excerpted, and oh! did those words ring true when filtered through Dalton's resonant, warm, perfectly-accented voice. His performance was so magnificent, I was able to suspend disbelief over the one flaw in casting him--he really *is* too good-looking (technically speaking) to play Rochester.
As for Zelah Clarke, she simply made Jane Eyre come to life, straight from the pages of Bronté's book, and there is no better compliment I can give her. I've heard some say that she was too "old" to play Jane, but she had such a grasp of the character, embodying Jane's very mannerisms, that honestly, this point never even occurred to me while watching the video. Now THAT's the mark of a great performance!
This video is a definite "must-buy"---one to be watched and savored over and over again. Enjoy!
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171 of 181 people found the following review helpful By baltimore0502 on July 19, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Jane Eyre is without question my all time favourite book. I first read it in high school and I vivdly recall the hairs standing up on the back of my neck the first time Jane heard "Grace Pool"'s insane laughter in the night! This is the most faithful film version I've yet to see. OK, Timothy Dalton is too handsome to play Rochester, but he has the character nailed to a tee - passionate, tortured, sardonic with just the right level of bitterness at the way "fortune has knocked me about". And Zelah Clark is the best Jane I've come across. Quiet, understated, but she's no shrinking violet and does not hesitate to stand up to the brooding, unpredictable and intimidating Edward Fairfax Rochester. And the wonderful dialog comes almost directly from the book. I think the reason this is the best is because it was a mini-series and could accommodate the entire story (for the same reason the Firth/Ehle version of Pride & Prejudice is the best version of that story). A two hour movie cannot do either story justice.
I absolutely abhored the Zefferelli version - who in their right mind would cast William Hurt as Rochester???? And Charlotte Gainsbourg's Jane was a bit pouty and petulant. Plus, some scenes were combined or compressed to fit the time requirements distorting the story. For many of the same reasons, I didn't care for the A&E version, though Samantha Morton was a pretty good Jane. But the usually wonderful Ciaran Hinds (see him in Austen's Persuasion) portayed Edward as so overly bitter (bordering on pathetic) that I couldn't see why anyone would fall in love with him. I don't think that I've ever seen the George C Scott/Trish Van Devere version.
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I love Jane Eyre as a novel and this wonderfully in-depth BBC version is the only filmed Jane Eyre that I think brings alive the period mood and murky, turbulent romanticism of the book. Zelah Clarke seems a bit too old to be the Jane of my imagination but she is a highly accomplished actress and brings the perfect amount of Victorian propriety and Brontesque-feminist assertiveness to the character. She plays the part young and shy... and yet ageless and bold at the same time. Her Jane is not a 20th century interpretation; she seems to be the real thing right out of Bronte's mind. And she's adorable; a friend you would want to have. Timothy Dalton is so seductive that one has to laugh when Jane calls him ugly; but his looks are unique enough to accept that he is not of the ideal Victorian mold of attractiveness. Like Clarke, Dalton understands the inner fire of his role and can play his Rochester as a self-brutalizing "non-beauty". Where his Rochester excels over all others is in his sensual utterance of Bronte's wonderful words (oh a screenplay that chooses to use the novel's own best lines; how refreshing!)... his beautiful command of the language and his magnetic power of presence give us finally the Rochester that made Bronte legendary. Clarke and Dalton have tons of chemistry in their scenes together; and it's never tame. Their cat-and-mouse courtship is worth the price of the whole video alone. The production values aren't the most lush ever filmed; they're of a typically early-BBCtv-enclosed look... but it takes only a minute or two to forget that completely as the characters blossom to life and fill the screen with real passion and vividness.Read more ›
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Not as good as I hoped
I agree. This was the best Jane Eyre adaptation I've seen. The worst being William Hurt and the next Orson Welles.
Feb 5, 2010 by Nicola Gardiner |  See all 5 posts
subtitles
no sadly
Sep 30, 2006 by eugene |  See all 4 posts
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