Jane Eyre 1973

Sorcha Cusack, Michael Jayston

"Please love me." -Young Jane

"That may be your experience sir. It will not be mine." -Jane

"I too have a master to serve." -Jane

This is the best version of Jane Eyre to date. I wouldn't say there was an overall tone for the miniseries- it comes off as a straightforward interpretation of the novel. Production values are lacking in that set design and blocking are less than inspired, but it does have great costumes and outdoor sets. There are really just two reasons why this is the best version in my opinion. Script and characterization. The script uses much of the novel's dialogue (finally!!), and sometimes brings out interesting elements of humor that one might not have noticed before. And I feel like Jane Eyre has many funny moments or comments that are mostly overlooked in other adaptations. And in condensing the material they kept so much of the story intact it's surprising. I am only disappointed by how they shortened the Gypsy scene by having Jane discover Rochester too quickly. But every other important scene is done beautifully.

As for the actors, I am only disappointed in Juliet Whaley's Young Jane, whose acting is stilted sometimes, but she was young. Sorcha Cusack portrays a nice blend of shyness and independence and Michael Jayston is superb as Rochester. His performance is nuanced and mesmerizing. Stephanie Beacham is probably the best Blanche I have ever seen as well- she comes off as snobbish and selfish but I can see how she might be captivating and charming to men.

There is not much else I can say about this, my favorite adaptation. I think every one who is a fan of the novel should see this version.