I watched the 1944 version of Jane Eyre a few years ago and wrote about it on a blog I was keeping at the time, I’m reposting some of that blog here. I think it was the first time that I’d seen Jane Eyre since I was a child. It really brought back memories of how I felt when I saw it back then. I think I must have learned a lot from that movie.
If I had to list 5 films that I saw as a child that influenced and taught me the most about a life that I knew nothing about, Jane Eyre would be on that list. To Kill a Mockingbird and Dr Zhivago would also be on that list, I’ll have to give some thought to what the others would be. I wonder why, even though I came from a very different background than Jane Eyre, that I related to her so much. I guess it at least partially was her rebelliousness when faced with oppression that inspired me and still inspires me to this day. I was so young when I saw it before that I didn’t even remember the actors that were in it. A very very young Elizabeth Taylor played a small but important part. I’d forgotten that Orson Wells was the star in addition to Joan Fontaine. Margaret O’Brien was great as the coquettish child that Jane Eyre becomes the nanny for. Years later as an adult I met Margaret O’Brien at the wedding of a close family friend (and my dentist as a child) David Ashrow when he married actress June Allyson.