|Moving Picture World, 03-September-1921|
Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel Jane Eyre has been made into movies many times. One hundred years ago this month, in September 1921, Mabel Ballin played Jane in an adaption produced and directed by her husband, Hugo Ballin. Hugo was also a muralist. Norman Trevor, who played Rochester, was born in British India and had changed his name from Norman Pritchard. In the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, he represented India and won the first two medals (silver) won by a representative of an Asian nation. Some sources say that he competed for Great Britain, but the IOC (International Olympic Committee) regards the medals as being won by India. Elizabeth Arians played Bertha Rochester. WW Hodkinson released the film.
|Moving Picture World, 10-September-1921|
I can't find any images for the first adaption of Jane Eyre, which was a one-reeler produced by Thanhouser in 1910. Irma Taylor played Jane Eyre, Frank Hall Crane played Rochester and Amelia Barleon played Bertha Rochester.
|Moving Picture Weekly, 14-February-1914|
1914 saw two two-reel productions of Jane Eyre; one was released through IMP. The IMP version was directed by Frank Hall Crane, who had played Rochester in the 1910 version, and starred Ethel Grandin as Jane and Irving Cummings as Rochester. Cummings later became a director, and was the last host of The Lux Radio Theater. Miss Burke played Bertha Rochester.
|Bennington Evening Banner, 06-March-1914|
|Moving Picture Weekly, 04-July-1914|
The Whitman version was directed by Martin Faust. Lisbeth Blackstone played Jane. Alberta Roy played Bertha Rochester. The fire that destroyed Rochester's home and killed Bertha Rochester nearly destroyed the Whitman studio and killed Alberta Roy, whose costume caught fire.
|South Bend News-Times, 23|
In 1915, Biograph released a three-reel version of Jane Eyre. Louise Vale played Jane, Franklin Ritchie played Rochester and Gretchen Hartman played Bertha. The film was directed by Travers Vale, husband of Louise. Alan Hale played a small part. Note how this ad spells Chaplin's first name and uses a photo of him without his tramp makeup.
|Daily Ardmoreite, 04-April-1915|
Note that this ad says the Biograph Jane Eyre had four reels.
|Arizona Republican, 23-June-1918|
In 1918, Select Pictures released an adaption of Jane Eyre with the title Woman and Wife. Jane was played by Alice Brady, who was a well-respected actress who continued to work into the talkie era. Elliott Dexter played Rochester. Rochester's wife, called Valerie in this version, was played by Leonora Morgan. Edward José directed.
|Exhibitors Herald, 29-December-1917|
The last silent production of Jane Eyre was made in Germany. It was called Die Waise von Lowood (The Orphan of Lowood). Evelyn Holt played Jane. Olaf Fønss played Rochester. I don't know who played Bertha. It was directed by Curtis Bernhardt, who worked in Hollywood after he fled Nazi Germany.
I may write about the many talkie versions another time.