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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 »
A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy. Based on the classic novel by Emily Bronte.
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
In a departure from the novel, there is an afterlife scene in which we see Heathcliff and Cathy walking hand in hand, visiting their favourite place, Penistone Crag. Wyler hated the scene and didn't want to do it, but Samuel Goldwyn vetoed him on that score. Goldwyn subsequently claimed, "I made "Wuthering Heights", Wyler only directed it." See more »
In Cathy and Heathcliff's romantic scenes on the moors, and in the open window as Cathy is dying, the wind is blowing powerfully, yet the background clouds never move or change shape. See more »
If she's run off with that gypsy scum, let her run. Let her run through storm and Hell. They're birds of a feather and the Devil can take them both. Now, get me a bottle.
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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 »
Wuthering Heights is directed by William Wyler and adapted to screenplay by Charles MacArthur & Ben Hecht from the novel of the same name written by Emily Bronte. It stars Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Flora Robson. Music is scored by Alfred Newman and cinematography is by Gregg Toland.
OK, so it's only a part of Bronte's classic novel, and yes some liberties have been taken, but Wuthering Heights is still a wonderfully involving picture. Expertly played by the actors and directed with adroitness, it's a haunting tale of tragedy, love and passions never to be sated. Moodily photographed by Toland, who won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in the process, tale unfolds in flashback style that's aided by retrospect narration from Robson's wily house keeper Ellen Dean. Characters are perfectly formed as children, expanded upon into adulthood; with Olivier and Oberon coming into their own on the acting front, then the story reaches its denouement to leave the viewer flushed with emotion. All given dramatic impetus by Alfred Newman's sweeping score.
1939 was a stellar year for classic cinema, Wuthering Heights is deservedly a part of that upper echelon number. Brilliant. 9/10
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