Jane Eyre (1944) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jane Eyre (1944)

Jane Eyre




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's gothic romance, Jane Eyre secures work as a governess. Under Jane's gentle influence, her tormented employer Edward Rochester drops his forbidding veneer, going so far as to propose marriage to Jane. But they are forbidden connubial happiness when Rochester's dark secret his revealed.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Aldous Huxley, Robert Stevenson, John Houseman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 24, 2007
RKO Pictures


Joan Fontaine
as Jane Eyre
Orson Welles
as Edward Rochester
Peggy Ann Garner
as Young Jane
John Sutton
as Dr. Rivers
Henry Daniell
as Brocklehurst
Agnes Moorehead
as Mrs. Reed
Aubrey Mather
as Col. Dent
Edith Barrett
as Mrs. Fairfax
Barbara Everest
as Lady Ingraham
Ethel Griffies
as Grace Poole
Eily Malyon
as Mrs. Sketcher
Ivan Simpson
as Mr. Woods
Erskine Sanford
as Mr. Braggs
Mary Forbes
as Mrs. Eshton
Thomas Louden
as Sir George Lynn
Gerald Oliver Smith
as Footman at Gateshead
Billie Seward
as Girls at Party
Colin Campbell
as Proprietor
Charles Irwin
as Auctioneer
Thomas Lockyear
as Sir George Lynn
Tempe Piggott
as Fortune Teller
Eustace Wyatt
as Dr. Carter
Alec Craig
as Footman
George Kirby
as Old Gentleman
Adele Jergens
as Woman at Party
Ruth Brady
as Woman at Party
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Jane Eyre

Critic Reviews for Jane Eyre

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 12, 2011
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Stevenson would go on to become Disney's most bankable director (Mary Poppins, The Love Bug, etc.), but don't expect any spoonfuls of sugar here: Jane Eyre is a dark, foreboding film.

Full Review… | January 15, 2014
Creative Loafing

One of the best Hollywood versions of Bronte's classic text, largely due to Orson Welles' powerful performance, dark visuals, and ominous music by yje genius Bernard Herrmann.

Full Review… | March 24, 2012

Audience Reviews for Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is a widely filmed adaptation from the Charlotte Bronte book of the same name. It has a story that I can only describe as a meshing of Beauty and the Beast and Rebecca. Maybe I see these parallels because Joan Fontaine is in the principle role, as she was in Rebecca, and similarly she is the stranger in a mysterious home with a gregarious and yet handsome master of the house. The story follows the always unloved and plain Jane Eyre, who is an intelligent woman with a biting wit. Finally able to leave the awful home she was raised in as a girl and ready to make a new life for herself, she becomes a governess to a French girl at Thornfield, owned by the contemptuous Edward Rochester. The film was beautifully shot, dark and foreboding. The newest adaptation from last year had amazing art direction and some vivid and disturbing scenes, but this is far more mystifying, and grandiose in comparison. This film was made to be in black and white, made to be a Victorian romance and a deep comparison to other tragic romance stories from every era. The book itself is not timeless, but the sentiment and appeal is in every person's heart, and Jane is just as reasonably loved by her audience as ever. This adaptation does not take from the literature at all times, instead choosing the story as one of devotion from Jane, who is shown as a piteous soul who has very little in the way of gull, which contemporary films have changed. Though I didn't like Jane as such a lowly creature, in contrast Orson Welles is so brooding and such a rogue, they almost balance each other out. It's gothic and heart wrenching, mostly because many of the details are not shown, especially towards the end when the unpleasantness starts. There is so much sacrifice and inherit romance to this story so it never wanders away from being over the top or unrealistic. Yes, the ending is far too feel good and wraps itself up in too neat a bow, but that was what Hollywood called upon in its romances at that time, and I cannot fault it for that. I only took issue with the booming voice of Welles, who almost seems to be compensating for his lack of knowledge towards the character. Still, he is lively, and his presence didn't take anything away from my pleasure. One of the best adaptations I have ever seen of this source material, and certainly the darkest.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

I haven't read the book, but seeing this movie makes me want to read it. Not only is the story fantastic, the acting is great too: Orson welles and Joan Fontaine. I highly recommend this movie weather or not you have read the book.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

Brooding adaptation of the book gets the gothic feeling just right, Fontaine is good as Jane but is overpowered, who wouldn't be, by Orson Welles great take on Rochester. He is incredibly charismatic even when he is dark and menacing.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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