Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

April 3, 2006


Jane Eyre 1973 Available for Pre-Order in the U.S.

Well, last week I emailed BBC America. They informed me that they have no plans to release Tenant of Wildfell Hall, although it has recently been released on DVD in the UK. As for my questions about the release of Jane Eyre with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston they said nothing at all. Ah well, Thisbeciel has come through for us once again!

Jane Eyre 1973 can now be pre-ordered from this American website.

The American release date is: June 27, 2006 .

They also have a link for Canadian customers.

The price is $39.98 for the 2 DVD set, ($49.98 Canadian). And here's what they have to say about the production:

Jane Eyre is the moving story of an unwanted orphan girl in mid-19th century England , her spirited fight against adversity and her search for love and happiness in a harsh, class-ridden society. Stars Sorcha Cusack (The Real Charlotte) as Jane and Michael Jayston (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) as Mr. Rochester in the best-loved BBC adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece.

And if you don't believe it is best-loved… why, just look here, here, here, and here… and well… this very blog! And you must remember that it hasn't been seen for more than 30 years in most places. I personally cannot wait to see the production in full!

The price might drop- I see that the BBC lowered their price for the DVD 3 pounds in one week.



  1. I found it funny that the description (except from where it starts to say “Stars Sorcha Cusack” is all from the Radio Times edition that I have. And of course they say it is the best-loved adaptation- someone did their research! 😀

    Comment by ThisbeCiel — April 4, 2006 @ 12:14 am |Reply

  2. lol! Well, they have good taste then. It reminds me so much of the publishing work I’m doing. I so despise writing back cover copy- I can imagine someone just taking it off of your site (honestly, where else would they get it from?… I mean, aside from here… 😉

    This is indeed a fact which cannot be denied. As moved as I was by the 1983 version, I cannot imagine myself holding out for 30 years until it came out in any form.

    Comment by Brontëana — April 4, 2006 @ 12:48 am |Reply

  3. This is good news! But what a disappointment about Wildfell Hall–I was really looking foward to seeing that :/ I suppose I’m going to have to order the Region 2 version and figure out how to play it on my computer…

    Comment by Mythosidhe — April 4, 2006 @ 4:42 am |Reply

  4. So glad for you outre-Atlantics! By the way, you mentioned an old audio version of JE on the Bronte mailing list. I’d really like to hear it again if you still have the files.

    Comment by Liz — April 4, 2006 @ 5:05 am |Reply

  5. to Mythosidhe:

    I have a feeling that whoever answered my email merely searched their catalogue. I wrote them because it wasn’t in their catalogue. The BBC had denied any plans to release JE 1973 too until we heard from the company doing the work for them, so Tenant should come along too… eventually… *waits*

    Comment by Brontëana — April 4, 2006 @ 10:24 am |Reply

  6. to Liz: I do indeed. I’ll see if I can upload them here again. I really think, if it had been a video as well, it would have been one of the best productions. St.John is especially well done.

    Comment by Brontëana — April 4, 2006 @ 10:28 am |Reply

  7. I’m going to pre-order it today, and tell my sister about it too. I’ll probably get copies for friends for Christmas as well. I’m not surprised that the BBC wasn’t very helpful when you wrote them. For years people sent emails and petitions pleading with them to release this, and the answer was always the same: ‘no plans’. I think our emails were just lost in the cavernous bureaucracy. Last year I figured that we’d NEVER get anywhere with the BBC directly, so I sent an email to Eureka Video in the UK, since I noticed that they’d released some BBC titles under their own label, and I suggested they get the rights to ‘Jane Eyre’ and release it. I got an answer back from Ron Benson of Bensonsworld Video (I discovered that a lot of these independent video places are connected and even run from the same address!) thanking me very kindly and saying that it was an interesting suggestion and they’d look into it. Well, maybe that started the ball rolling, because I recommended other people write as well, and here we are just over a year later, FINALLY with results! Huge organizations like the BBC just don’t respond to individuals the way a small company can – I hope they sell a lot of copies!

    Comment by Wanda — April 4, 2006 @ 10:45 pm |Reply

  8. to Wanda:

    That could very well be the case. I think they probably had forgotten about it, since there’s other Bronte films languishing in their archives as well (the Villette mini-series, and the 1960s Jane Eyre). I’ve done a bit of advertising for a publisher I’m studying with at the moment, and it seems like this is the right time for them to bring it out- when they’ve just released the 1983 version on DVD, and are preparing a new one. They’ll sell lots of the 1983 DVDs, and the interest should carry over to the 1973 version that not many people have even heard of, and interest from THAT should contribute to the success of their new production.

    I remember the time when we thought Eureka was coming out with it. And the BBC said no, and Eureka said yes, then the BBC said Eureka was releasing it, then Eureka said the BBC was releasing it… then Acorn Media took over, it seems.

    They will sell a LOT of DVDs. I bought a copy recorded from someone’s 30 year old tapes. I kept in touch with her, and she told me that she made more than 30 copies for people in only a few months, and through word-of-mouth alone. And these were incomplete copies as well!

    Thisbeciel did some calculations, and it looks like we can expect 15 minutes of new footage, not counting the first episode (which should be around 55 minutes long).

    Comment by Brontëana — April 5, 2006 @ 12:51 am |Reply

  9. Bronteana: Heheh, you might have one of the offspring of my original tape! I had a copy from my sister decades ago, and I made a half-dozen copies for members of the Yahoo Bronte group. From there, it has probably gone out into the world. “Je seme a tous les vents,” as the lady on the Larousse dictionary says! Well, I look forward to finally seeing ‘Jane Eyre’ in a clean copy with non-wobbly music, and my old tape can retire with honour.

    Comment by Wanda — April 6, 2006 @ 11:14 am |Reply

  10. to wanda:

    I got mine from a woman named Susan who recorded my copy from tapes she recorded long ago. But I have two- to be honest 😉 I have one which was originally recorded in British Columbia and has the first episode.

    Indeed! Although I think I will miss the fun of being in such a small, close-knit group of admirers. However, I am glad that the actors will finally get their due.

    Comment by Brontëana — April 6, 2006 @ 6:01 pm |Reply

  11. Yes, me too. I’ve seen other things that Michael Jayston did, but this was by far the most inspired casting, and his acting was the best I’ve ever seen him do. I think this will be his legacy as an actor, and it’s one to be proud of.

    Comment by Wanda — April 11, 2006 @ 12:21 pm |Reply

  12. to Wanda:

    You know, Michael himself finds his performance in Jane Eyre to be his favourite of all his television roles? he mentioned it in an interview for one of the John LeCarre audiobooks he did recently. I have it somewhere… I think he was asked what was his favourite television role and he said Mr Rochester because the character was romantic and witty 😉

    Comment by Brontëana — April 12, 2006 @ 11:22 pm |Reply

  13. Another really good performance in this adaptation is by the actor who plays Mr. Brocklehurst. So often that role is turned into an almost camp villain, a Mr. Murdstone kind of sadist. But in this one, you really do see a completely deluded man, who is CONVINCED that he’s good and pious, and saving these girls’ souls through all the austerities that he wouldn’t dream of inflicting on his own daughters. And his look of dismay when he has to face the contempt of the investigators after the typhoid outbreak – the actor does it really well, showing a character who is finally forced to know himself. I also quite enjoy his little fencing match with the child Jane: “That proves your wicked heart! You must pray to God to change it; to give you a new and clean one.” “How would He perform that…operation?”

    Comment by Wanda — April 13, 2006 @ 11:17 am |Reply

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