Jane Eyre 1983

Zelah Clarke, Timothy Dalton

"Do as you are told." -Mr. Rochester

"Brandy and biscuits will do. No servants needed." -Mr. Rochester

Another mini-series adaptation, this version had a bigger budget it seems than the 1973 version. Set design and lighting are improved, and the show even got it's own theme! The show was also 30 minutes long per episode which gave a different, more leisurely pace to the scenes. It seems like they wanted to make sure each episode ended on a little cliff-hanger. But with the pace slower, it sometimes felt like the actors were speaking too slow. There were long (introspective?) pauses and they even broke up scenes with time lapses and set changes. The proposal scene for instance starts in the library and Jane runs out to be alone in the garden.

As an adaptation of the novel, this is the second best film version because it has so much time to give to telling the story. Zelah Clarke as Jane is a little monotone sometimes, but she does a good job showing Jane's spirited side. Timothy Dalton's Rochester is imperious and masterly, and very charming. The script has a proper charades scene and Rosamond Oliver makes her first appearance in this adaptation. They also show an older Eliza and Georgiana which is another first.

Overall, this version is very good and is only ranked behind Jane Eyre 1973 because of dialogue/script changes and characterization.