Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

April 24, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 11:08 pm

Limited Time Offer

I haven’t made one of these limited time offers for some time (I know many, many of you want more Jane Eyre: The Musical. I apologise, but I am quite behind in answering emails. I have not forgotten!). This time, we have Jane Eyre from 1950, starring… Donna Reed as Jane Eyre and Vincent Price as Mr Rochester, courtesy of Thisbeciel.

Yes, I said Vincent Price as Mr Rochester. Family Theater- Jane Eyre. Here is Thisbeciel’s mini-review:

This version has all the earmarks of a bad and cheesy adaptation- it is 30 minutes long, and how can you compress Jane Eyre well in such a short time frame- made shorter actually because there is some time spent preaching (“The Family that prays together, stays together”)- it’s not called ‘Family Theater’ for nothing. And c’mon, Vincent Price as Rochester? He’s not high on my potential Rochester list. And up until a certain point I really did think this version was pretty cheesy (reference one bit in the Hay Lane scene- you’ll know when you hear it 🙂 but somewhere in the middle of the ‘after the fire’ scene, I changed my mind. This version became really good- and I don’t mean in a “Well, it’s good for it’s time and with the time constraints”- no, it is just really good. In case you don’t believe me, I’ll say two words- Gypsy Scene.

But, wait, there’s more! Screen Guild Theater- Jane Eyre from 1941 with Bette Davis as Jane Eyre and Brian Aherne as Mr Rochester!

Unfortunately the same can’t be said about this version. Still it was funny. Bette Davis as Jane has quite the backtalking tongue, and Brian Aherne as Rochester emphasized “abruptness” in the first scene. I was expecting him to say to Jane- “Stand up. Sit down. Go moo.” (Sorry, been watching Monty Python) But don’t feel bad for Jane as she gives as good as she gets (although she doesn’t take being called plain very well).



  1. Have just listened to the Vincent Price/Donna Reed version, and I was surprised to find how good it was. Vincent Price made an excellent Rochester – the final scene of their reunion was wonderful. Haven’t listened to the other one yet – saving that for later!

    Comment by Anonymous — April 25, 2006 @ 6:20 am |Reply

  2. That has been the consensus so far! I was quite skeptical about Vincent Price as Mr Rochester, and how enjoyable a 30 minute adaptation could be but I am happily surprised! I think this goes to show how one aspect of the story can be successfully developed in such a short space of time when there’s thoughtful cuts and excellent acting.

    The other one is certainly interesting! It isn’t as bad as I anticipated, but they made some very interesting (and sometimes silly) changes. The introduction and commercials are even more interesting… Women, you leave all of that car stuff to your husbands. There’s a dear! Humph!

    Comment by Brontëana — April 25, 2006 @ 5:51 pm |Reply

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