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Jane Eyre (1996)

William Hurt , Anna Paquin , Delbert Mann  |  PG |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)

Price: $9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Anna Paquin, Elle Macpherson
  • Directors: Delbert Mann
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005GRF2UK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,638 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Academy Award® winners William Hurt (Best Actor, Kiss Of the Spider Woman, 1986) and Anna Paquin (Best Supporting Actress, The Piano, 1994) lead an all-star cast in this story of passion and intrigue. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Gainsbourg, 21 Grams) is a young woman whose will to overcome a life of hardship leads her into a passionate romance with a handsome, yet 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 Joan Plowright (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and supermodel Elle Macpherson, this enduring tale has captivated moviegoers everywhere, just as Charlotte Bronte's classic best-seller has entertained readers for generations.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 46 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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81 of 92 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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39 of 44 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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41 of 47 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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Serious casting problems March 13, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I adore Jane Eyre, and have been watching every adaptation I can get my hands on; the 2006 Masterpiece Theatre miniseries with Ruth Wilson is the best I've found so far, though the 1983 BBC version is more faithful to the book (almost slavishly so).

This one is at the bottom of the heap. There are a few problems, but the most glaring is that William Hurt is profoundly miscast as Rochester. Hurt is a great actor, but his cerebral, detached style is inappropriate for the role of a virile, passionate, angry Byronic hero. Add this to the facts that a) Charlotte Gainsbourg, although she looks the part of Jane perfectly (you can see both "plain" and "unearthly" in her face), plays all of her character's outward demureness but none of her emotional restlessness or wit, and b) almost all of the couple's lighter, playful moments have been excluded in favor of inexplicable bickering that is not original to the book, and you have a complete lack of chemistry between the two leads. This would be fatal to the film even if it got everything else right. And it doesn't: it exaggerates some aspects of the story, like Jane's childhood rebelliousness, so that the viewer feels beaten over the head with the director's themes; severely curtails major plot points, e.g. St. John Rivers, such that it's unclear why the screenwriter bothered to include them at all; and wrongheadedly eliminates some of the best scenes in the book (I can forgive the exclusion of the "gypsy woman" scene, as I think that it's unfilmable as written -- who wants to see Jane Eyre as Lois Lane? -- but leaving out Rochester's explanation to Jane after the the existence of his wife is revealed is hugely detrimental to the emotional resonance of the movie. And lightning tree!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Franco Zeffirelli!
I've seen almost every film and television version of this classic story. This is, by far, the best. The cast, the locations, the adaptation, and the directing are flawless. Read more
Published 1 day ago by jenna lindsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this film
This is my favorite "Jane Eyre" cast. I love this movie!! Charlotte Gainsbourg is excellent as Jane. Love Joan Plowright too.
Published 1 month ago by Deborah Rush
1.0 out of 5 stars the worst
I know this is pretty old but, I just rewatched after quite some time and this is the worst adaptation of Jane Eyre. I think the characters were poorly cast. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dale
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst of all the Jane Eyre films.
I love the book, the 1944 version with Joan Fontaine/Orson Welles, and the two miniseries, one with Timothy Dalton/Zelah Clarke, and the other with Toby Stephens. Read more
Published 1 month ago by See Sea
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah's Key
Probably one of the best books I have read re the Holocaust. yet part fiction and have loaned it to many who have also loved it.
Published 2 months ago by kenet
4.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Version of All
Okay, so it's not the book. Got that. The movie does a good job of telling this story though and sticking with the main ideas.

I am not a Hurt fan. Read more
Published 2 months ago by taaj
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful!
In my opinion, this is the best movie version of Jane Eyre ever. I have always loved Zeffirelli' s work and his choice of actors here is perfect. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Brontina
5.0 out of 5 stars well done
Jane Eyre is a wonderful novel and the old movie is great, but I really love this one. It is very well cast and each actor brings his or her character to life. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars The best film rendition of this classic.
This is the best movie version of this classic. It is true to original text, has the best casting of the many different movie attempts to capture the spirit of the novel, and has... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Charles E. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlotte Bronte would have enthusiastically approved....
Expertly edited and paced. William Hurt is unique, resourceful and unflawed on levels too numerous to mention. Now, as for Miss Gainsbourg -- she was born to play Jane Eyre. Read more
Published 3 months ago by chris victor
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