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Saturday, October 21, 2006

1952 Jane Eyre

This is the last clip that I will post for awhile, I promise. I won't flood Bronteana with video clips and neglect discussion. This is a clip from the 1952 production of Jane Eyre for Westinghouse Summer Theatre in 1952, starring Katherine Bard and Kevin McCarthy. If it looks a little familiar there is good reason. The set is nearly identical to the 1947 version with Mary Sinclair and Charleton Heston.



This scene is the scene where Jane rescues Rochester from the fire. Most stage adaptations find it difficult to stage this scene as written in the book. A very common solution is to shift the scene to the drawingroom where Rochester has fallen asleep in his chair. This solution produces another problem- the audience know that Grace Poole is not behind the fire. Although this is a televised play, and they could have filmed the scene elsewhere, they have stayed with the theatrical conventions in this regard.

It is a little bit silly... Jane looks like she pushes him into the flames. Rochester seems to have a problem with his lines throughout. He repeats himself constantly, as if needing a moment to remember the next piece of dialogue.

9 comments:

ChrisV said...

Bertha is too funny. Those poor lace curtains. Makes me think of Jane's unfortunate wedding dress ablaze and dragged through the halls of Thornfield.

At least he does try to use Jedi mind tricks when he persuades her to tell the details of the events to no one.

Brontëana said...

They bring her out in chains later. Someone in the party asks 'is this really necessary?' I don't think it is...

Jedi? I never thought of it that way. I suppose there is more to this Star Wars theme than I had anticipated!

Eyris said...

Despite the uber-cheesiness I like how Bertha seems to be setting Jane up, with how she leaves the candle directly outside of Jane's door.

Brontëana said...

to eyris:

I like the little nod to the audience after Jane has run off!

rinabeana said...

Kevin McCarthy... EWWWW!!!

I'm still giggling about the Jedi mind trick, btw...

Brontëana said...

to rinabeana:

Maybe I should have posted the part where he throttles Mr Mason. That's always been one of my favourites... He's unusually calm when the wedding is interrupted and then he just snaps.

ChrisV said...

While doing some laundry, it occurred to me...Rochester COULD have tried Jedi mind tricks on Briggs and Mason...

Rochester (with a wave of his hand): this is not the wedding you are looking for...

Briggs and Mason (in unison and in a monotone): this is not the wedding we are looking for...

Rochester: you can go about your business now...

Briggs and Mason: we will go about our business now...

Rochester: Move along, move along...

Briggs and Mason: off we go...

Jane, however, would be immune to Rochester's Jedi "parlor tricks"

Brontëana said...

to chrisv:

I think I chose the wrong clip. In the 1957 version (with MacNee) he is able to convince all of his guests that Mason just fell down the stairs into the drawingroom, holding a bloody knife, and muttering about how 'she' stabbed him and bit him- accidentally.

ChrisV said...

Rochester (with a wave of his hand): Mr. Mason has always been a bit clumsy...