Jane Eyre (1971) ****

This version suffers from its continued unavailability in a decent print or DVD release. A great shame, as the music (by John Williams) is lovely, there are beautiful landscapes and scenery, and George C Scott is wonderful as Rochester. His heartbreak as he doesn’t understand how Jane can leave him after the aborted wedding is very powerful.

Susannah York is a beautiful and passionate Jane, although she doesn’t have the youth the part requires. Also in the cast, and doing well, are Ian Bannen (Rivers), Jack Hawkins (Brocklehurst, dubbed but still memorable), Jean Marsh (an affecting cameo as Bertha, trapped in her own little world).

This may be viewed as a second-string film for Scott, but it did get theatrical release in the UK and, despite the poor quality prints we see now, did have a decent budget. I like it a lot.