Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jane Eyre (1973)

Another Jane Eyre adaptation, this time from 1973 and starring Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston in the leading roles. It is the third one I watch, after the 2006 and the 1983 series, and it's difficult not to keep comparing them.

I thought this was the most theatrical of the three, which is easily explained because its date (I was reminded of Emma 1972 which follows the same lines) and so the costumes and settings all seem a bit dated, not to say cheesy. I'm not one to be put off by them though as they are a common occurrence when you like to watch old series like I do.

I was looking forward to watching also because I felt Sorcha Cusack had the right type to play Jane. That small freckled face seemed right to me. However I must say that I was a bit disappointed with the acting. I know I'm probably just too used to what is being done today. Actors play their roles in a more subtle manner and the camera work is a lot more sophisticated so sometimes just a look or a gesture can show a meaning, a feeling... Here the acting seemed a bit too distant and artificial. I've read rave reviews of the series but I just can't see it. I am glad to have watched it for comparison purposes but I can't really say it's a favorite. Michael Jayston sounds a bit too loud and Sorcha Cusack a bit too confident at times. I did very much like the actor portraying St. John Rivers although I couldn't find is name on IMDB, he sounded very aware of his own importance and role just like I thought the character should be.

The script follows Charlotte Brontës work closely and comparing it with the 1983 version it covers most of the same events although it gives a lot less screen time to the period when Jane was destitute and homeless after leaving Thornfield. The gipsy scene and the goodbye scene before Jane runs away are also different and I much prefer the 83 scenes. I keep comparing it to the 83 version because that's the last one I saw.

The good thing about watching these series is that they make me want to reread the novel and watch even more adaptations. Which is all good because I'm taking part in the All About The Bronte’s Challenge and I have a few Bronte things yet to read and watch.


  1. I don't have this adaptation but ... I don't think I actually want to see it. I find stuff dating back to the 70s so weird! And I have to dose my spare time among so many interests. So, thanks for your review Ana, but I'll watch comparatively the latest ones and ... I need to hurry up with my schedule, the end of June is not that far to come!
    Have a very good weekend! MG

  2. Looking forward to your reviews ;-)

    Have a great weekend you too!


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