111 user 38 critic

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 7 April 1939 (USA)
1:54 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveler the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
3,184 ( 5,452)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Wuthering Heights (TV Movie 1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mistreated foundling Heathcliff and his step sister Catherine fall in love, but when she marries a wealthy man, he becomes obsessed with getting revenge, even well into the next generation.

Director: David Skynner
Stars: Robert Cavanah, Peter Davison, Orla Brady
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man becomes obsessed with vengeance when his soul mate marries another man.

Director: Peter Kosminsky
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Ralph Fiennes, Janet McTeer
Jezebel (1938)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1850s Louisiana, a free-spirited Southern belle loses her fiancé due to her stubborn vanity and pride, and vows to win him back.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent
Jane Eyre (1943)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After a harsh childhood, orphan Jane Eyre is hired by Edward Rochester, the brooding lord of a mysterious manor house, to care for his young daughter.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, Margaret O'Brien
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Doomed lovers Catherine and Heathcliff are torn apart by their own selfishness and hate.

Director: Robert Fuest
Stars: Anna Calder-Marshall, Timothy Dalton, Harry Andrews
Dodsworth (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters
The Heiress (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Edward Ashley
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston
Horror | Romance

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate tale of the intense and demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, allegedly a Gypsy foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr ... See full summary »

Director: Elisaveta Abrahall
Stars: Paul Eryk Atlas, Sha'ori Morris, Tom Loone
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright


Complete credited cast:
Cecil Humphreys ...
Sarita Wooton ...
Cathy (as a child) (as Sarita Wooten)
Rex Downing ...
Douglas Scott ...


The story of unfortunate lovers Heathcliff and Cathy who, despite a deep affection for one another, are forced by circumstance and prejudice to live their apart. Heathcliff and Cathy first meet as children when her father brings the abandoned boy to live with them. When the old man dies several years later Cathy's brother, now the master of the estate, turns Heathcliff out forcing him to live with the servants and working as a stable boy. The barrier of class comes between them and she eventually marries a rich neighbor, Mr. Edgar Linton, at which point Heathcliff disappears. He returns several years later, now a rich man but little can be done. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


I am Heathcliff! I love a woman who belongs to another man!... My love was fierce... my hate is burning! I will have vengeance! See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 April 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cumbres borrascosas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gregg Toland rejected the typical Hollywood soft-focus, one-plane depth and strove for razor-sharp black-and-white images. To achieve the maximum contrast between shadow and light on this film, he used high-powered Technicolor arc lamps and a film stock four times faster than customary without an appreciable increase in graininess. He achieved the mood Wyler wanted for the picture by using candle-like effects, keeping the characters partially in darkness before coming fully into the light at climactic moments, and shooting from a low angle to capture the ceilings of the sets, emphasizing the confining loneliness of Wuthering Heights. See more »


During the deathbed scene, Heathcliff places Cathy's lifeless body on the bed. As Dr. Kenneth speaks, the supposedly dead Cathy reaches up with her right hand and tugs on Healthcliff's lapel. He takes her hand and we can see her fingers close around his while he speaks. See more »


Heathcliff: My tears don't love you, Cathy. They blight and curse and damn you!
Cathy: Heathcliff, don't break my heart.
Heathcliff: Oh Cathy, I never broke your heart. You broke it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: On the barren Yorkshire moors in England, a hundred years ago, stood a house as bleak and desolate as the wastes around it. Only a stranger lost in a storm would have dared to knock at the door of Wuthering Heights. See more »


Version of Vendaval (1973) See more »


The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
In the score after the wedding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Olivier is Heathcliff
8 April 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

Two of the most complex characters in all English literature are Hamlet and Heathcliff. Is it any wonder that one of the most capable English actors of them all should play both on celluloid? There is no better movie Hamlet than Olivier's. He also gives the definitive Heathcliff movie portrayal. Neither Hamlet nor Heathcliff are saints or sinners. Both are somewhere between heaven and hell. Both have dark, indistinct hues as part of their aura. Heathcliff's Ophelia is Cathy played to perfection by the wonderful Merle Oberon. Added to the immense acting talents of the two leads is the matching shadowy cinematography of Gregg Toland. Mix well and serve with just the right touches by master director William Wyler and you have a film that for once is almost as good as the literary masterpiece on which it is based. The only element missing is part of the story left out for several reasons, one being brevity. Few can argue that the best part of "Gone With The Wind" is the first half. Following the burning of Atlanta the film becomes much more melodramatic and sentimental. This does not happen to "Wuthering Heights."

The almost perfect country household in 19th century England is disrupted by the entrance of an interloper, a street urchin picked up by Cathy's do-gooder father. He is called Heathcliff, no last name. From the very beginning he is a disturbed and fanciful child, attempting to ride away and disappear on the wild moor. Also from the start, there is a bond between Cathy and Heathcliff, just as there is resentment and loathing from Cathy's profligate brother, Hindley. When the father dies, Heathcliff is turned into a lowly stable boy by Hindley. Cathy and Heathcliff find a secret "castle" where they create their own isolated paradise. This cliff hideaway continues to be their haven for the rest of their lives. Heathcliff ultimately runs away to America and only returns when Cathy marries someone else to spite him. Eventually, he spites her by gaining ownership of Wuthering Heights and then marrying Cathy's sister-in-law. What sounds rather simple in outline is one of the most complex relationships in literature created by one of the greatest literary minds of the ages, Emily Bronte. "Wuthering Heights," the movie, is one of the pivotal films of the 1930's, and one of Hollywood's finest pictures ever.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Olivier and Oberon really hated each other. powermandan
Horrible spazberryme
who would you pick for Heathcliff and Catherine (besides the originals)? druid_princess
Wots wrong with Merle??? angel_de_tourvel
Favorite quote... pithylady
Laurence Olivier perfect Heathcliff soccersweetie_83
Discuss Wuthering Heights (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page