Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

February 9, 2006

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Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 5:23 pm

The Latest on JE 1973

(All the pictures in this post come from scenes that were cut from the American broadcast of Jane Eyre (BBC 1973)

The director of programing has sent word via Thisbeciel that the US release for the DVD of the BBC’s 1973 Jane Eyre with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston will indeed be June 2006. However, UK fans will also have to wait until June- instead of May.

I can only hope that this means we’ll be getting some extras 😉 Probably not, but I’ll hope for them anyway. Obviously some parts which did not air in America will be on the DVD, and that’s something to look forward to, considering that this includes all of Jane Eyre up to the point when Jane leaves Lowood (episode One in the American broadcast begins with Jane’s voiceover: ‘Hitherto I have narrated…’ which was a natural point to chop off nearly an hour of footage).


The Canadian broadcast was more complete although I maintain that some pieces were cut… I’m an artist, and have a good eye for changes. It seems that the individual frames where sliced out of the American broadcast, as well as little bits of dialogue.

The most obvious instance of this editing is the Hay Lane scene. In the Canadian broadcast there is a part in the middle which had been cut for American television. When Jane approaches Mr Rochester (just before the commercial break), he looks up at her and says: “Who the deuce sent you?” (this version follows the novel very closely, but this addition brings it to precisely one more ‘the deuce?’ than the novel). There are also several seconds more footage showing the results of the accident.


I’m convinced that something was cut from the scene of the day after the proposal. In both versions the dialogue is:

Jane: …I have observed in books written by men that period assigned as the furthest to which any husband’s ardour extends.

Rochester: Humph! Distasteful! And like you again!

The words are directly out of the novel but there’s something missing- Rochester’s lines don’t make sense without Jane’s musing that she hopes she will never be distasteful to him and that he may learn to like her- not love her- after the passion wears off (it is not particularly ‘like her’ to say these things).

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2 Comments »

  1. Hi Bronteana
    I was wondering if the young-Jane part of this version is better than any other as well.

    Comment by mysticgypsy — February 9, 2006 @ 8:09 pm |Reply

  2. I really feel that her performance was the weakest point in the entire production. Her part is so vital, and she really did a terrible job- I think.

    See the expression on her face just after she was hit by the book? Does she look at all distressed? She looks just like that most of the time. She does a lot of sighing mostly… She plays the role as though Jane really was a little actress- her childish angst is really over stated and absurd sometimes. And then to top it all off, she barely gets worked up when she turns on Mrs. Reed (even though Jane’s adult voice over is telling us that her ‘soul expanded’ etc…). She looks just as she did before. :-

    The script is better than the others, but it’s a shame she played the part in that way. My favourite young Jane is the one from the 1983 BBC version. The Reed children are also very good in that production. The Reeds in the 1973 version are pretty good. The script highlights more- adult Jane tells us more about them, and we see John calling his mother ‘old girl’ and disregarding her- slipping glasses of brandy behind her back etc.

    On the other hand, Helen is marvellous. I think she’s the best Helen so far. They even have her speak in a northern accent, and her faith never seems fantastic. It is profound but real. Again there’s more here- they include the scene where Jane and Helen have a seedcake with Miss Temple- and Helen quotes Latin.

    One very interesting addition? In the schoolroom there’s a shot of Miss Temple teaching Geography. There’s a lot of noise so only isolated things can be heard or seen. At one point we can hear Miss Temple giving a talk about the Sargasso sea.

    Comment by Brontëana — February 9, 2006 @ 8:48 pm |Reply


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