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Friday, December 23, 2005

Jane Eyre 1973 Released May 8th, 2006?

First Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and now this! More news on the up coming release of the BBC's 1973 mini-series of Jane Eyre starring Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston. As previously reported on Brontëana, the 5 part mini-series is reportedly to be released by Acorn Media sometime in 2006. Now we have a date! It looks like 2006 will be a very good year for Brontëana- May for Jane Eyre, March for Tenant! Maybe the silent version of Wuthering Heights that the Brontë Parsonage is looking for will turn up as well, and perhaps Brontë will begin filming!

ETA: Just in, some new hints regarding this 'new' film of Jane Eyre mentioned in passing by Newsweek in an article about period films. I had written to the editor to confirm his information regarding this production but have recieved no reply. Brontëblog has been able to turn up the CV of the director of what appears to be a new BBC production slated for production in 2006. The writer is Sandy Welch, the producer is Diederick Santer.


frankengirl said...

Well, thank goodness! Or else, I was going to have to ask you for a word-by-word transcript for this much-praised 1973 version -:). The 1983 BBC version (Dalton/Clarke) has been my favorite for sticking more to the text than others I've seen. Perhaps this one will win my heart.

As for Tenant on DVD, Woo-Hoo! A few years back, I watched the video, and if I remember correctly, it's fairly well-done (though I'm not a big fan of Rupert Graves, as much as I would *like* to be), but I'll have to revisit it on DVD. Will they offer us a little crumb of special features? Alas, that's probably too much to ask -:)

Brontëana said...

Funny that you should say so. Thisbeciel and I are currently working on a transcript (I have the first half hour or so which only survives outside of the BBC archives from a Canadian recording), and am helping with decoding some rapid-fire French)! It will be very exciting just to finally see the entire production- even the Canadian one suffered from heavy edits.

It is far more like the novel than the 1983 version- or any version. Of course, there are many missed opportunities but I've just never seen such a well put together cast. My definative film Jane, Rochester, Blanche, Adele, Helen Burns, Mrs. Reed, St. John and sisters, and Mrs Fairfax are all from this version! In fact, the only disappointment for me is the performance of the actress playing young Jane. It is a very weak start to the series- she certainly never looks 'a picture of passion.' Rather heavy on the sad little child aspect but the script is good. They kept in such lines as Jane asking how God was going to 'perform the operation' of changing her heart. ;) Bewicks actually makes an appearance and is quoted, Julia Severn actually turns up at Lowood and Helen Burns... *gasp* has a border county accent! It is also nice to see a film Rochester actually sing rather than have a very obvious dub. ;)

Actually, there is one quibble I have with the script. You know that in any film of Jane Eyre they must figure out what to 'do' with Adele. How they portray her relationship with Mr Rochester is pivotal to how the audience identifies with him, I think. In the Clark version, Adele IS his daughter and he didn't very bad to her, generally. In the Morton one Mr Rochester ADORES Adele (playing with her on his knee while brushing Jane off etc). In the Clive version (I HAVE seen them all, you know ;) Adele is an adorable precocious imp- and Mr Rochester's neice whom he is very fond of and kind to. In any case, most of them can't seem to hit the right balance since it's a tricky relationship in the book itself. In the 1973 version I was glad to see that there is tension between them but they cut out the other side of it- he's rather covertly fond of her! (He says, for example, that he hates to be alone with children so then why is he out raking swaths and watching Adele play in the orchards when Jane returns from Gateshead? Adele seems confident enough to tease him in the carriage scene, she calls him her friend etc...). What's worse, they actually make the tension more brutal. Mr Rochester roughly spurns her attentions and she often pleads that she is trying hard to please him.

No, sadly, it looks like there are no extras.