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Emily Jane

Out on the wiley, windy moors, by rundown stone cottages, the bonneted Brontë sisters feed their imagination, and Emily (aka Ellis Bell) dreams of meeting her Heathcliffe.

Documentary 1980 29 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This is a splendid documentary about Emily Jane Brontë, made on location by dedicated Leeds amateur filmmaker Jack Eley. With Jack’s typically enlivening commentary, it shows where the Brontës lived, settings for Wuthering Heights, fascinating historic items and period re-enactments drawn from the life of the sisters and their brother – with the hooded figure of Heathcliffe haunting the moors.

John (Jack) S. Eley was a major player in the very active Leeds Cine Club in the 1950s and ‘60s. He liked to make well-crafted documentaries like this one (made with the help of the Brontë Society and the Yorkshire Arts Association), with other films on Rupert Brooke and John Ruskin. His friend and fellow filmmaker Gordon Riley filmed Jack making the film, behind the scenes, for ‘The Shooting of Emily Jane’. The personnel playing all the characters in the film aren’t known, although Jack’s wife Gladys and daughter Sue are among them. A wonderful tour of the area seen in the film, including Top Withens, the possible location of Wuthering Heights, is provided by Brontë enthusiast Helen Broadhead.