Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, September 12, 2008

JANE EYRE (1934)

JANE EYRE (1934). Director: Christy Cabanne.

This 1934 version of the famous story, while certainly not awful, can't compare to the later version with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. In this version Virginia Bruce is Jane and Colin Clive of Frankenstein fame is Rochester -- both of them are more than adequate although Clive doesn't summon up the haunted quality of Orson Welles in the remake. Beryl Mercer is fine as Mrs. Fairfax, but while young Edith Fellows is cute as little Adele, she's not an especially talented child performer (she was acting up until 1995, however!) and Adele comes off a bit as a cloying klutz. Aileen Pringle isn't given much to do as Blanche Ingram, who nearly marries Rochester. Claire Du Brey appears briefly as the mad Mrs. Rochester, and an unrecognizable Ethel Griffies has the small role of Grace Poole. Some lovely music plays over the opening credits, but otherwise this film has no score and needs one. Bernard Herrmann's score for the remake is another reason why it is vastly superior.

Verdict: A little on the dull side. **.

No comments: