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Wuthering Heights
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Wuthering Heights (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Wuthering Heights -- 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...

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   10,707 votes »
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Down 33% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Charles MacArthur (screen play) and
Ben Hecht (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Wuthering Heights on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 April 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Story of Vengeful Thwarted Love See more »
Plot:
A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveler the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(485 articles)
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User Reviews:
Heathcliff And Kathy See more (105 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Merle Oberon ... Cathy

Laurence Olivier ... Heathcliff

David Niven ... Edgar
Flora Robson ... Ellen

Donald Crisp ... Dr. Kenneth

Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Isabella
Hugh Williams ... Hindley

Leo G. Carroll ... Joseph
Miles Mander ... Lockwood

Cecil Kellaway ... Earnshaw
Cecil Humphreys ... Judge Linton
Sarita Wooton ... Cathy - as a Child (as Sarita Wooten)
Rex Downing ... Heathcliff - as a Child
Douglas Scott ... Hindley - as a Child
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Benson ... Heathcliff Servant (uncredited)
Romaine Callender ... Robert (uncredited)
Richard Clucas ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Vernon Downing ... Giles (uncredited)
Alice Ehlers ... Madame Ehlers (uncredited)
Harold Entwistle ... Beadle (uncredited)

Peter Gowland ... Dancer (uncredited)
Helena Grant ... Miss Hudkins (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Party Guest / Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Susanne Leach ... Guest (uncredited)
Tommy Martin ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Schuyler Standish ... Little Boy (uncredited)
William Stelling ... Dancer (uncredited)
Diane Williams ... Little Girl (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Linton Servant (uncredited)
Philip Winter ... Cathy's Partner (uncredited)
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Directed by
William Wyler 
 
Writing credits
Charles MacArthur (screen play) and
Ben Hecht (screen play)

Emily Brontë (from the novel by) (as Emily Bronté)

John Huston  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Samuel Goldwyn .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
 
Cinematography by
Gregg Toland (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Daniel Mandell (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
James Basevi 
Alexander Toluboff (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Julia Heron (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Omar Kiam (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Robert Stephanoff .... make-up artist (as Blagoe Stephanoff)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Walter Mayo .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Paul Neal .... sound recorder
 
Visual Effects by
W. Percy Day .... matte painter (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Jewel Jordan .... stunt double: Merle Oberon (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Robert Russell Bennett .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... conductor (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Samuel Goldwyn .... presenter
Jack Crosby .... dances (uncredited)
Lynn Farnol .... general press representative (uncredited)
Gus Schroeder .... location manager (uncredited)
Peter Shaw .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
104 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 (1955) | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1947) | UK:U | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Passed (The National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #5104) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier apparently detested each other. Legend has it that when William Wyler yelled "Cut!" after a particularly romantic scene, Oberon shouted back to her director about her co-star "Tell him to stop spitting at me!"See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Near the end of the deathbed scene, Cathy has her arms around Heathcliff's neck, and takes them away. When the camera angle changes, her arms are around his neck again.See more »
Quotes:
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 »
Movie Connections:
Version of "Cumbres borrascosas" (1976)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Wedding MarchSee more »

FAQ

How closely does the movie follow the book?
What does 'wuthering' mean?
What is 'Wuthering Heights' about?
See more »
8 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Heathcliff And Kathy, 12 June 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Before I wrote this review I talked to someone else who also had done a review of this film here. Young Heathcliff is brought to the Yorkshire moors by Cecil Kellaway who was the father of Merle Oberon and Hugh Williams. He seemed to be dropped into the Earnshaw family without any rhyme or reason. Kellaway finds the scruffy kid on the streets of Liverpool and brings him back to the family estate in Yorkshire. I asked if in fact Emily Bronte wrote more of this than what we saw. The answer was no. That in itself was curious because the version we see here was quite condensed from the original story.

Still enough of Wuthering Heights survives on the screen to tell Emily Bronte's tale of lost love that cannot be because of class distinction. Merle Oberon is a beautiful and fetching Kathy who grows up with scruffy young Heathcliff and she becomes his soul-mate. Yet class being what it was and to some extent still is, she can't and/or won't marry him. He's just the stable-boy, and her brother is jealous of him and his presence.

One piece of snobbery becomes too much and Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff leaves as he promised for good to make fame and fortune. That was a common theme in English literature, used by Dickens among others as well as Emily Bronte here. It was an indirect attack on the class system of Europe, let alone the United Kingdom. The opportunities are in the new world and the colonies.

Olivier comes back, but the love and tender feelings he did possess for Oberon are replaced by a brooding vengeance seeking man. He successfully humbles the people that snubbed him, but at a terrible cost to his psyche.

Laurence Oliver came back to America after a previous visit to Hollywood where he didn't set the world on fire. His trip was almost an afterthought, his wife Vivien Leigh was to be Scarlett O'Hara, so he signed to do Wuthering Heights at the same time under Sam Goldwyn with William Wyler directing.

Though he may have been inpatient with William Wyler's deliberate style of movie-making, he credited Wyler with being the first director who really taught him the difference between acting for the stage and for the screen. Olivier got the first of his Oscar nominations for Best Actor and he was up for that award with Clark Gable for Gone With the Wind, James Stewart for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Mickey Rooney for Babes in Arms. They all went down to Robert Donat in Goodbye Mr. Chips.

Wuthering Heights took one Oscar home, best black and white cinematography for Gregg Toland. Geraldine Fitzgerald got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress as the woman on the neighboring estate who develops a Statue of Liberty size torch for Olivier who can't see her for beans, but marries her anyway in some twisted act of revenge against her brother, played by David Niven, who married Oberon. Oscar nominations went to the film for Best Picture and to William Wyler for Best Director and several other technical nominations went to the film as well.

David Niven liked working with Olivier, Oberon and the rest, but he hated his part of Edgar Linton. He felt it had no depth to him, but it was a typical David Niven part, full of surface charm and little else.

Over 60 years later Wuthering Heights is still a film for lovers of all ages. We all hope in the next world that Olivier and Oberon have a better life and start on an equal plane.

Was the above review useful to you?
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