Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

May 3, 2006


Jane Eyre 1952 and 1934

Thisbeciel posted these quite some time ago, but I have been putting off posting them here. It is a good time to add these to the other footage and screencap posts from a few months ago (one more). The 1952 production is extremely rare. The production stars Katherine Bard as Jane Eyre and Kevin McCarthy as Mr Rochester. For my thoughts on this production see the posts here.

She has also uploaded all of Jane Eyre 1934 with Virginia Bruce as Jane Eyre and Colin Clive as Mr Rochester. This production is currently in the public domain. It is the acknowledged failure of all Jane Eyre adaptations, but I think it does have some charm even though it often only barely resembles the story at all. Mr Rochester has a faux air of Mr Darcy, I think, and Adele sings and falls into vases. See? It isn't all bad! It is often quite funny, actually.

Jane Eyre 1952: The First Interview
Jane Eyre 1952: The Second Interview
Jane Eyre 1934: Part One
Jane Eyre 1934: Part Two

Image is of Katherine Bard and Kevin McCarthy in Westinghouse Summer Theater One's Jane Eyre from 1952.

ETA: I have corrected some of the dates. When I first posted this, I wrote '1943' each time I meant '1934'. Thanks to an anonymous reader caught the error.


  1. This is the 1934 production, not 1943. I think the numbers were transposed!

    Comment by Anonymous — May 3, 2006 @ 9:44 am |Reply

  2. Oh! Yes, indeed, they were! Thank you for pointing that out.

    Comment by Brontëana — May 3, 2006 @ 9:58 am |Reply

  3. Is this a good version? Which versions, besides the well-loved 1973 version that I can’t wait to see, would you recommend?

    Comment by mysticgypsy — May 3, 2006 @ 11:35 am |Reply

  4. Have you seen the 1944 Welles/Fontaine version, MG? It is very nice – booooming music, plenty of mist, and Welles is almost my favourite Rochester, and the one I still visualise even now when reading the book. Oho his spiffy martial-style dressing gown even now brings me out in a sweat.

    I confess I am liking the 1952 version more and more – lovely spiky likeable Jane and a Rochester who is nicely deformed and gregarious and appears to have no sense of personal space! I know I am always asking for things but I would love to see more of it!

    Comment by Liz — May 3, 2006 @ 2:14 pm |Reply

  5. to mysticgypsy:

    Good is so relative… It is entertaining, ridiculous sometimes. I was never moved, although the reunion is warm and nice. It is worth it for the ridiculous parts alone, but I seldom watch it myself.

    The 1983 version really is the best next to the 1973 series. The only ones I have real objections to are the 1970 and 1997 versions. Even the 1996 one has redeeming qualities and is enjoyable. I think the 1944 version with Orson Welles is beautiful, and just overdramatic in many places. (A friend once rightly commented that Rochester looks like he is ‘conquering France’ whenever he walks across the lawn. Very Zamorna-like, with a swirling cape and thunerous musical theme).

    So, basically you should see them all, but personally I can’t stand the 1970 version and the script and Ciaran Hinds’ acting ruined the 1997 version.

    Comment by Brontëana — May 3, 2006 @ 4:36 pm |Reply

  6. to Liz:

    I’ll see if Thisbeciel has the time to pick out another clip for us.

    Comment by Brontëana — May 3, 2006 @ 4:42 pm |Reply

  7. Hello. I just discovered your website. I’ve been a JE fan for years. I’m looking forward to the 1973 DVD coming out. Tell me, have you ever seen the 1956 BBC TV mini-series adaptation of JE starring Stanley Baker and Daphne Slater?? It is supposed to be very good. I’ve never seen it and would love to.

    Comment by Linda — May 28, 2006 @ 8:48 pm |Reply

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