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Jane Eyre

3.7 out of 5 stars 315 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Samantha Morton, Ciaran Hinds. A young governess struggles to win the love of her heavy-hearted employer in this lavish British production of Bront+«'s beloved masterpiece. 1997/color/108 min/NR/fullscreen.

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The fascinating British actress Samantha Morton stars as the titular heroine in this provocative version of Jane Eyre, based on Charlotte Bronte's oft-filmed, 1847 novel. The familiar contours of Bronte's story are all here: Jane, the unhappy orphan, grows up to become governess at Thornfield, a gloomy estate owned by the imperious and worldly, but curiously desperate, Mr. Rochester (Ciarán Hinds). While the latter's grasping attentions stir the inexperienced young woman, the gothic goings-on at Thornfield suggest layers of unwholesome secrecy in Rochester's life. Most productions of Jane Eyre carefully reflect Bronte's absorbing balance between romance, horror, and Jane's psychological passage to adulthood. But this 1997 television movie is interesting for its near-reckless emphasis on Jane and Rochester's mutual obsession and galloping jealousies. The dramatic strategy throws off the story's overall tone, but such problems are worth it to see Morton and Hinds explore Jane Eyre's darkest possibilities. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • About Charlotte Bronte

Product Details

  • Actors: Samantha Morton, Ciaran Hinds, Gemma Jones, Timia Berthome, Deborah Findlay
  • Directors: Robert Young
  • Writers: Charlotte Brontë, Kay Mellor, Peter Wright, Richard Hawley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • 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: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 5, 2000
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767020294
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,119 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jane Eyre" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This is the 3rd adaptation of Jane Eyre I saw. I liked this one more than 1983 and 1996 versions, because the characters were very likable, and the passion on screen was moving. Some reviewers found Ciaran Hinds stiff; I disagree. He was a wonderful Mr. Rochester, as was Samantha Morton a perfect Ms. Eyre. This is something you would want to watch over and over again, if you are a romantic person, preferably an Austenite. However, the adaptation is really loose, and important details from the book are omitted. So if you are looking for a faithful adaptation, or watching the movie to avoid reading the book, this is not the one. 83 version is very loyal to the book, but they are almost reading from the book. 96 version is generally loyal, but the omitted parts are the romantic parts, so where is the fun? This one is the best one I have seen until now, but I will keep looking for a miniseries that includes all the main details, and brings the passion in the book alive. (I am not obsessed with loyalty to the book in general, but Jane Eyre is a perfect book, and I miss all the parts that are left out.)
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Format: DVD
Cirian Hinds and Samantha Morton are wonderful actors, but why didn't the screenwriters even glance at Charlotte Bronte's book when they wrote this screenplay? It was a very strange experience to see some of my favorite characters of literature saying and doing things that weren't even remotely connected to the story. Rochester screaming at Jane to leave Thornfield? Jane and Rochester shopping downtown for wedding clothes and "bumping into" Blanche Ingram? I don't think so! Not only did the screenwriters make up entirely new scenes, the dialogue in familiar scenes was often totally unrecognizable. I watch film adaptations to see my favorite characters and scenes fleshed out, not given a major overhaul.
Two things they got right -- the age difference and chemistry between Rochester and Jane (although Samantha Morton is too pretty. Come on! She can't be pretty Harriet Smith in the A&E version of "Emma" and plain-Jane Eyre in this movie!) If you just like to watch good acting, you might like this. But if you, like me, are a fan of the book, this is a very jolting and unpleasant ride.
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Format: DVD
"Faithfulness" in movie adaptations of literary works is admittedly a subject of much debate. Personally, I found this version of Jane Eyre disappointing in the adaptation of both story and character. As many other reviewers of this DVD, I have seen almost every adaptation of Jane Eyre in film. When viewing a two hour movie, one expects a great deal of plot manipulation to fit both the time frame and the personal view of the director. Hampered by a poor screenplay that slaughters Bronte's language, this version completely fails to capture the novel. Both the screenplay and the language conspire to alter the characters beyond recognition--especially in the case of Rochester who appears as nothing more than an ill-mannered, mean, crude boor with pent up sexual frustrations. This is not a knock to the acting abilities of either Samantha Morton or Ciaran Hinds who have both appeared in other works to their credit. As written and portrayed, both characters become far more static than in the novel and the movie's own obsession with the concept of "obsession" not only misrepresents Bronte's novel, but becomes a superficial excuse to ignore the real layers of Bronte's work and still appear "deep" or "cutting". A better pick for a two hour experience would be the 1996 Zeffirelli adaptation with Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt. Though problemetic itself and doing less justice to Jane's character, William Hurt's performance as Rochester is more valid than Hinds. This in itself salvages a great deal of the movie.
Any true admirer of Bronte's Jane Eyre must see the BBC miniseries with Zelah Clarke as Jane and Timothy Dalton as Rochester. Be warned--this is NOT a MOVIE experience.
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Format: VHS Tape
This version of "Jane Eyre" with Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds is truly the absolute best, most heart-wrenching one I have seen. The William Hurt and Timothy Dalton versions bored me to tears. This was the first "Jane Eyre" film I have seen where I was weeping at the end. The actors have a true gift for bringing out the emotions of the characters. It was truly superb, unbelievably moving and achingly beautiful.
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Format: DVD
This production on A&E was my introduction to the greatest actress I've ever seen, the incandescent, fearless, intense and radiant Samantha Morton. At that time, her Jane Eyre was the greatest performance by an actress I'd ever seen -- and I'm fairly savvy and discriminating, Peggy Ashcroft being the greatest I'd ever seen till I saw this tv film. Many of the reviewers here seem to miss the point. It doesn't matter whether the script is a scrupulous adaptation or not, or whether this actress is too plain, too pretty, or even if her interpretation doesn't match the picture of this famous literary heroine which you've got in your head. The point is her incomparable performance -- what Shakespeare called "the thing itself." Her greatest gift, among so many, is her seemingly effortless capacity, quietly and with extraordinary discipline and restraint in one so young (18 or 19 at the time), to break our hearts. There's no one with comparable power and it is her gift to us, "a largesse universal, like the sun." How Shakespeare would have loved her.
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