MovieChat Forums > Jane Eyre (1944) Discussion > Henry Daniell as Mr. Brocklehurst

Henry Daniell as Mr. Brocklehurst


Henry Daniell as Mr. Brocklehurst is one of the most memorable, most powerful characterizations in ANY adaptation of Jane Eyre.

An entire movie should be built around this character and this characterization.

I see him being seduced by a Sadie Thompson type and ending up in complete disgrace like the Emil Jannings character in "Blue Angel."

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Yes, I also felt that Henry Daniell was excellent in this role - he struck just the right balance as a man seemingly high-principled (at least, when the parents were around) but vicious and cruel as soon as their backs were turned. In real life, of course, Jane Eyre was very close in many respects to Charlotte Bronte's own life, and she and her sisters attended a school not unlike Lowood called Cowan Bridge, under the authority of the principal Reverend Carus Wilson (I think I've got the names right - forgive me if not).

It's very illuminating to read Mrs Gaskell's "Life of Charlotte Bronte" on this point, as I believe Reverend Wilson was still alive at the time she wrote it, so she had to be careful what she said about him. What I find interesting is that, when she refers to the conditions at the school and the outbreak of disease there, she keeps stressing that of course the Reverend Wilson couldn't possibly be able to see to everything at the school .. but she says it so often, you wonder whether she's really getting at the complete opposite. After all, bearing in mind that Charlotte nearly died there, she wouldn't be too well-disposed towards him. You do get the impression that Mr Brocklehurst wouldn't be too far away in personality from Reverend Wilson - I think Charlotte would have been very impressed by Henry Daniell's interpretation. As you said, it would be gratifying to see him get his comeuppance.


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I pictured him getting run over by several chaise and four. So yes, he did a good job making me hate him.

"and ending up in complete disgrace"

Mr Brocklehurst is a complete Christian. Isn't he?

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[deleted]

good stuff. totally agree.



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Yes, he did a wonderful job being a contemptible bastard.






Schrodinger's cat walks into a bar and doesn't.

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Until I saw this movie, his Moriarty in 'The Woman In Green' had always been my favourite role of his. But now I have seen his cruel Mr Brocklehurst, this has to be his most defining part ever for me.

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