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Jane Eyre (1996)

William Hurt , Charlotte Gainsbourg , Franco Zeffirelli  |  PG |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)

Price: $18.69 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Joan Plowright, Anna Paquin, Elle MacPherson
  • Directors: Franco Zeffirelli
  • Writers: Charlotte Brontë, Hugh Whitemore
  • Producers: Dyson Lovell
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: February 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007K02F
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,278 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jane Eyre" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(R)-winner William Hurt (1985 Best Actor -- KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN; SMOKE) leads an all-star cast in this story of passion and intrigue! Jane Eyre (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is a young woman whose will to overcome a life of hardship leads her into a passionate romance with a handsome -- and mysterious -- gentleman (Hurt). Swept up in the possibility of a happy new life, Jane is shattered when terrible, untold secrets from his past are revealed, threatening to tear her and her lover apart forever! Also featuring the talents of Anna Paquin (THE PIANO), Joan Plowright (ENCHANTED APRIL), and sexy Elle MacPherson (SIRENS), this enduring tale has captivated moviegoers everywhere, just as Charlotte Bronte's classic best-seller has entertained for generations!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Moody, Evocative JANE EYRE October 29, 2006
Format:DVD
Oddly enough the Charlotte Brontë's classic novel 'Jane Eyre' has had more cinematic transitions than almost any of the old novels. The story is powerful but with the frequency of film adaptations, even the story grows tired, unless someone breathes new life into the interpretation. In this case that breath comes from director Franco Zeffirelli who has engaged Hugh Whitemore to open the story as a screenplay. The results give a different emphasis to the story and one that for this viewer works well.

In this particular incarnation the rags to riches heroine Jane Eyre is played with subtlety by the beautiful Charlotte Gainsbourg (with Anna Paquin as the younger version) and Rochester the master of the manor is a William Hurt, playing his character more for life and flesh than the usual darkly sinister keeper of secrets. What results from the combination of cast and crew is a film that is far more a romance than a vapid mystery: the fire between Jane and Rochester is palpable and is given more space and time than the other versions which elect to dwell on the mad 'wife' upstairs finally destroyed in the fire that brings Rochester down to Jane's initial stance on the social scale.

The cinematography by David Watkin captures the period beautifully as does the musical score by Claudio Capponi and Alessio Vlad. As with all period pieces the cast of supporting characters paint the various aspects of the novel and here such luminous actors as Joan Plowright, Geraldine Chaplin, Joséphine Serre, Maria Schneider, Elle Macpherson, and John Wood among many others offer fully realized portraits of the class distinctions that ruled the era. This is a fine film version of the Brontë novel and one well worth watching repeatedly. Grady Harp, October 06
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83 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Well Done October 20, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
The sets and costumes are really really great, but the highlight of this film is the truly wonderful acting on the part of William Hurt. He plays the elusive, eccentric country noble Mr. Rochester exactly the way he should be played. He's quietly passionate, sexy, and smoldering, while still exhibiting signs of being a real stuffy gentleman. Inwardly tormented, Rochester is perfect.
Charlotte Gainsbourg takes on the challenging role of the title character, petit and plain Jane Eyre. Gainsbourg's unearthly prettiness adds immeasurably to her character, but she represses some of Jane Eyre's passion that we find in the book. The chemistry between Gainsbourg and Hurt is tense and shaky - exactly how it should be.
Zeffirelli has created the best screen version of this book that I have ever seen!
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Remember, The Shadows Are As Important As The Light" February 12, 2006
Format:DVD
A somewhat slow but overall rewarding version of the Bronte classic , 'Jane Eyre.' Beautifully filmed as all Franco Zeffirelli films are, we are taken on a journey of contrasts as Zeffirelli explores the darker nature of human suffering, regret and memory as played out against the lush, natural beauty of the English countryside.

William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg deliver wonderful, though rather subdued performances as the two star-crossed lovers and Anna Paquin is absolutely marvelous in her all too brief role as the young Jane Eyre.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My least favorite adaptation of the movie October 18, 2008
Format:DVD
I'm a huge Jane Eyre fan (both written and film/TV) so I was very excited to see this version. William Hurt is a terrific actor and I've enjoyed his other work, so I looked forward to his portrayal of Rochester.

I enjoyed the adaptation until halfway into the movie. Then everything went horribly wrong - Jane leaves right after the failed wedding to go to Gateshead? The Rivers family (minus one sister, I forget if it's Diana or Mary) live at Gateshead? She met St. John when her Aunt Reed died? Why take huge liberties with the storyline that are completely untrue to the story? I'm not a Jane Eyre purist, but the William Hurt/Charlotte Gainsbourg version was just as awful as the Ciaran Hinds/Samantha Morton version.

Bottom line:

1) If you've never read Jane Eyre, I would NOT recommend seeing this version before you read the book. Actually I wouldn't recommend this version on any level.

2) If you've never seen a film/TV adaptation of Jane Eyre, I'd recommend starting with the Timothy Dalton/Zelah Clarke version first and move on to the Toby Stephens/Ruth Wilson version afterward. The TD/ZC version is 6 hours and does a fantastic job of keeping the integrity of the novel in tact. The TS/RW is 4 hours, takes a few liberties with the novel, but the two leads' performances are absolutely electric and this version is very well done. Enjoy!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic April 17, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I was expecting great things from this film. The actors are terrific, and the novel has been my favorite since childhood. Wow - was I ever disappointed! This is a pathetic, mutilated version of one of the best novels of all time. If given the choice of staring at a wall or watching this film, I'd take the wall in a heartbeat. If you are even remotely a fan of Charlotte Bronte or her novel, do yourself a favor and rent the 1980's BBC version with Timothy Dalton, instead.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Totally disappointing. December 3, 2008
By Johanna
Format:DVD
(Spoiler alert) I recently read "Jane Eyre" and was very excited about watching the several film adaptations of this most wonderful book. I am very disappointed with this version of the film (Hurt & Gainesbourg), so much so that I have not yet tried to watch any of the others. Having read the book so near to the time that I watched the film, I was aghast that so much of the story was ignored! Jane's time spent between leaving Thornfield and going back to Mr. Rochester was COMPLETELY skipped over. Much of her childhood was likewise left out. The cruelty that Jane experienced at the hands of her aunt and cousins was only briefly touched upon, and hardly any attention was given to the relationships she cultivated at Lowood School. Perhaps most diappointing, the relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester was hardly developed at all. There were no moments when the viewer felt an unspoken yearning or tension between them that would foreshadow their union. There was simply nothing going on between the two characters that would hint at love or interest in each other, making the proposal scene (a very beautiful scene in the book!) very, very lackluster. Furthermore, the actors, in my opinion, did not truly portray the characters as they were written. While young Anna Paquin is quite talented, I don't feel that she gave the best portrayal of young Jane (this is probably the fault of those who counseled the actress), because she portrayed Jane as insolent, sullen, and mouthy. The child Jane in the book is none of those things. Charlotte Gainesbourg gave a fair performance as the adult Jane. But, as much as I admire William Hurt's performances in his countless other roles, he was simply NOT Mr. Rochester. Hurt displayed none of the dark brooding and sharp wit that the Mr. Rochester in the book displayed. This adaptation is very disappointing, and I would urge those who love the story to choose another means in which to waste 2 hours.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not well-adapted from the book.
This is not a book that is just well adapted to being cut to two hours. I've seen just about every iteration of Jane Eyre that have ever been made and the only ones that stand up... Read more
Published 2 days ago by KTFaye
5.0 out of 5 stars A favorite
Love this movie! Both of the main actors portray their parts with great charm.
Published 11 days ago by Shannon Juhl
3.0 out of 5 stars England looks very overcast.
I've never read the Bronte sisters and their premises sound crazy and pro abusive like Marlo Brando territory so I really don't care. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Dwight
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this movie... have watched it many times... and will again.
Published 21 days ago by T. Madison
1.0 out of 5 stars Total Departure From Book
Started off ok but then completely abandoned the book. What a disappointment. I have heard the Timothy Dalton version is the closest and truest, guess I'll hunt that one down.
Published 24 days ago by Jack Patrick
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not great
I love Jane Eyre, I'm on the road to watching and reading every adaptation and sequel. I remember watching this years ago and loving it but now that I've read the actual book and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good quality
Published 1 month ago by Sandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My favorite of all the film adaptions of the book.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite version of this movie.
Charlotte Gainsbourg does the best Jane Eyre of all of the versions of this movie. Jane is not supposed to be bubbly or vivacious. She has had a very harsh and strict childhood. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Luv 2 Save
5.0 out of 5 stars Bronte Fan
Each version has plusses and minuses and are unique because of the artful interpretations and choices of actors. Much pleasure received when watching.
Published 3 months ago by Sharon C Turner
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