Jane Eyre 1957

Ilaria Occhini, Raf Vallone

This adaptation is in Italian, and the copy I have has no subtitles, so I'm reviewing this with only the acting and the gist of the scenes to go by.

This is a 5 part adaptation (oddly each episode is not quite the same length) and it begins with Jane meeting Mr. Rochester by felling his horse. From there, Jane's childhood is told through some flashbacks. Some of the more interesting adaptation choices this version makes is to have Jane much older when she finally leaves the Reeds house. And a new sort of character is introduced - by the name of Jack Lloyd. He seems to be a combination of John Reed and St. John, in that he is Jane's cousin on the Reed's side (maybe?) and is in love with Jane from the beginning. While the first episode mostly deals with Jane's childhood, we still get scenes in the next three episodes to what the Reeds are doing and especially Jack Lloyd. Jack also turns up at Thornfield to take Jane away to visit sick Mrs. Reed. I was very entertained by what seemed to be Mr. Rochester's jealousy over Jack! Another interesting thing about this script is that Mr. Rochester hires a gypsy and listens in on the readings she gives (just like in the 2006 miniseries). And then, he comes out to comfort Jane because she has become distressed.

The feel of this adaptation is very dramatic, there is an emphasis on Gothic elements (forbidden rooms, screams, portentous secretive glances) and the audience sees things from Bertha's point of view a couple times, as she wanders Thornfield's halls. Jane and Rochester are smitten with each other very quickly. I found it funny how often they stare at each other as if there was no one else in the room. (Sometimes there was.) Jane can seem a bit moony, and Mr. Rochester has a few mood swings. He can seem really nice one minute and then suddenly speak very sharply. This adaptation is a bit slow, and takes some interesting liberties with the story, but I found it very entertaining and romantic. And Mr. Rochester regains his sight in a dramatic moment in the end during the wedding. A nice dramatic wrap-up.