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Directed by Robert Stevenson

United States 1943 97 mins.

Charlotte Brönte’s gothic 1847 novel about a penniless girl’s resolute journey through life stars Welles as the mysterious, brooding Edward Rochester, wealthy lord of Thornfield Hall who employs (and falls in love with) the titular heroine (Joan Fontaine). We follow Jane from girlhood through her early adulthood, from brutal reform schools to her work as governess of Thornfield and finally through her turbulent courtship with the mercurial Rochester. While Welles is credited as one of three producers, his considerable influence looms large within the film’s thick, intense atmosphere, infused throughout with Bernard Herrmann’s magnificently understated score.

Genres: Drama, Romance

Appears in: Orson Welles at 100