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The Reader’s Guide to Charlotte Brontë ’ s “Jane Eyre”

Movie and TV adaptations

Jane Eyre has been filmed many times and there is a bewildering choice if the reader wishes to watch an adaptation of it. Which is the best is a matter of opinion but, on this page, I compare some of the versions so that you can see which are the most accurate and closest to the book.

The table below lists several versions with some basic details. It also shows whether certain characters are present (Yes) or absent (No). There are also four incidents which are often excluded. Prominent characters which appear in every version (such as Aunt Reed, Brocklehurst and Adèle), are not included.

If "Yes" appears in brackets, it means that the character or incident is included but differs from the novel in several ways.

  1934 1943 1983 1996 1997 2006 2011
Media Movie Movie Television Movie Television Television Movie
Length (mins) 62 97 239 116 108 240 120
Jane Virginia Bruce Joan Fontaine Zelah Clarke Charlotte Gainsbourg Samantha Morton Ruth Wilson Mia Wasikowska
Rochester Colin Clive Orson Welles Timothy Dalton William Hurt Ciaran Hinds Toby Stephens Michael Fassbender
Eliza No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Georgiana Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bessie Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Helen Burns No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Miss Temple (Yes) No Yes Yes Yes (Yes) No
Miss Scatcherd No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Richard Mason No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
St John Rivers (Yes) (Yes) Yes (Yes) Yes Yes Yes
Diana Rivers No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Mary Rivers No No Yes (Yes) No Yes Yes
Hannah No No Yes No No Yes Yes
Rosmnd Oliver No No Yes No No Yes No
Pilot No Yes Yes* Yes Yes* Yes Yes
Gypsy meeting No No Yes No No (Yes) No
Mrs Reed's death No Yes Yes Yes (Yes) Yes No
Inherits money No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Related to Rivers No No Yes No No Yes No
"Yes" total 2 6 17 9 10 14 12
* In these versions, Pilot has the correct black and white appearance.