Finally picked up this 2007 edition of Jane Eyre: really terrific, with lots of interesting extras, and a beautiful print. It's an interesting production, kind of an unofficial Mercury production, what with no less than 5 former Mercury members on board. Jane Eyre was the first film Welles was involved with after the collapse of Mercury in 1943, and he claimed he produced it; Joseph McBride, who delivers a marvelous commentary along with Margaret O'Brien, quotes a Selznick office memo which reveals that according to information from 20th Century Fox, Welles:
a. made changes in the script
b. participated in the casting (according to Welles, he hired Elizabeth Taylor)
c. invented some of the shots (however Welles maintained he never went behind the camera, only made suggestions)
d. was in charge of the editing
Personally, I can believe that Welles edited this film: it really moves in a Wellesian way, and also that some of the shots are his: it's very gothic. In addition to his contributions, there is Agnes Moorehead, Erskine Sanford (in a cameo) and the amazingly evocative music of Bernard Herrmann: you can easily feel you are watching the sequel to Kane and Ambersons. And if anyone knows the music of Herrmann's opera of "Wuthering Heights", you will recognize many themes which he recycled from this film score for Jane Eyre; Herrmann was an early beleived in recycling!
And finally, John Housemann worked on the script, along with Aldous Huxley and the director, Robert Stevenson.
This is the closest we'll ever get to that elusive third 'A' Mercury film (not counting the 'B' "Journey into Fear").
My edition is the Cliff Notes version: for $12.99 you get a book containing summaries, character studies, historical notes and essays, along with the DVD. It's for students, but I used it this week for teaching; the book is in itself a very interesting read with plenty of references:
http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Eyre-Cliffs- ... 536&sr=1-1
Oddly enough the DVD sans the Cliif Notes book costs more: $14.99, yet the DVD and DVD case in both is identical:
http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Eyre-Orson-W ... 670&sr=1-4
If you don't have it, you might want to consider getting it: it's a bargain in either release, and, as I said, an unofficial Mercury production from 1944.