Wuthering Heights (TV Mini-Series 1978– ) Poster

(1978– )

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A a screen drama this is really Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
taranikfab18 March 2006
I am SO glad that this 1978 BBC TV series has finally made it to DVD, so happy I thought I'd share my memory of it,(Going to rush out and buy it on Monday)

It was 1978, I was 14, the fabulous Kate Bush had been in the charts with her wuthering heights, my older Bronte-mad sister was having us drive across the Pennines from Manchester to Haworth virtually every weekend, (I'm sure she only went to university in Bradford when she did as it was near the west riding, the real Bronte country) I became transfixed with this wonderful story, having only known it from the Laurence Olivier film, which as anyone who truly loves the book will know is a California-desert pale imitation and barely even a quarter of the story. This production which I haven't seen in 28 years, (Oh my God thats a long time!) I particularly remember for Ken Hutchison as Heathcliff, this is what Emily Bronte had in mind, everything you imagine.Passionate,intense,dangerous, someone to care about, have real empathy with as well as being horrified by. I wanted to be Heathcliff so bad that I immediately wanted to be an actor, so I could do this. 14 years later they let me into a drama school. It was all down to this! It's difficult to describe the effect the whole production had on me. Particularly remember the dismally bleak, dark interiors, (obviously studio bound, but all the better for it) Heathcliff carrying a candle in his hand without a holder, with all the wax dripping down his arms, what I mean was the sense that he'd just given up after Cathy's death and had nothing else to live for was more perfectly caught here. Kay Adshead was beguiling as Cathy and more importantly showed that she was beyond even a soul mate, but indeed was Heathcliff as the character means. This has together with great sense of time, place and scenery, 5 dimensions to other dramatisations barely 1. The most recent big screen version, although with hopelessly miscast Ralph Fiennes, had a very clever adaptation into 2 hours of virtually the whole story,with an interesting bit at the beginning with the beautiful Sinead o'Connor as Emily visiting what she imagines to be Wuthering Heights. Also the 1970 version had fabulous music, dark and brooding actual Yorkshire locations and the pretty,lovely Anna Calder-Marshal as Cathy. As Heathcliff Timothy Dalton looked right and caught a bit of the self destructive power of love and anger, (Though still nowhere near as much as Ken.) The 1978 BBC version will I suspect be never bettered, certainly in my mind anyway.

Whatever happened to Ken Hutchison? I'd like to buy this brilliant Scottish actor quite a few pints!
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Now here's the REAL one! (contains spoilers to those unfamiliar with the novel)
oleander-35 September 2000
Warning: Spoilers
An adaptation of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" that actually shows us the story like it is. The people at the BBC are true masters at making film versions of classic novels. I've seen every film of WH made (except for the '98 one, which I have yet to see), and the '78 version is by far the best. Judging by the lack of votes and information, I'm guessing this miniseries is not very well-known. Which is a shame, because of all the versions I've seen this is the closest to the novel. And it should be--it's five parts, each part just under an hour. The sets aren't too flashy--they give you just the right feeling that the novel has. As well, the music fits in with the scenery and sets, dark and foreboding, just like the moors around the house. And speaking of the house, this isn't some small castle like in the '92 one, it's a large HOUSE, looking just the way it was described. And the cast! The acting was incredible. I felt as though I were watching the real characters from the novel. While there are some well-knowns such as Ken Hutchison, Pat Heywood and Cathryn Harrison (Rex Harrison's daughter), there were also many for whom this was their only film. Francesca Gerrard made a pretty young Catherine Earnshaw, and Dale Tarry a dark and handsome Heathcliff. Both of them portrayed the young lovers wonderfully. I loved the numerous scenes with them out on the moors. And John Duttine made a fantastic Hindley. It's amazing how young he looks in the beginning and the way he looks in his last days! Kay Adshead and Ken Hutchison were perfect as the older Catherine and Heathcliff. Unlike Anna Calder-Marshall from the 1970 WH, Kay Adshead didn't annoy me in her portrayal of the selfish and spoiled Catherine. And yes, Timothy Dalton DID make a good Heathcliff, but I liked Ken Hutchison better, as he was more menacing without actually being violent towards everyone, and he expressed the pain so well after Catherine died. The scene where he digs up the coffin is effective and heart-wrenching. I think Hutchison also would have made a great Mr. Rochester. Pat Heywood was EXACTLY as Ellen Dean should look, and of course, great actress that she is, she did the part just right. I won't go into them, because I'd be writing forever, but the ones who played Joseph, Edgar and Isabella also did marvelous jobs. For the second half of the novel, Cathryn Harrison plays the beautiful Catherine Linton. She looked and acted just like in the story. Though his name doesn't appear on the credits above, Andrew Burleigh was quite good as Linton, and I can't imagine anybody else but David Wilkinson as Hareton.

As a 17 year old female I'd have to say my favourite people were Dale Tarry and David Wilkinson (both IMHO, incredibly handsome). I digress, but I had to get that in there. My favourite parts were 1, 4, and 5. Part 1 focuses mostly on the young Cathy and Heathcliff playing on the moors, and ends with the part where Heathcliff shouts "God won't have the satisfaction that I'll have!" Part 4 and 5 I also loved, as they showed Catherine Linton's marriage to Linton and after his death, her gradually growing affection for Hareton. The part where she kisses his forehead and when they actually become friends was so sweet. And so was the part where they were reading together. Heck, any part where I got to gaze at David Wilkinson's handsome face was a part I loved. (No, I'm not some obsessive weirdo--I sadly haven't seen him in anything else). Anyway, I've raved on enough. I'm not saying this film isn't without its faults, but they are very few and not really worth mentioning. If you loved the novel, do yourself a favour and try to see this version. This is the real "Wuthering Heights" that would make Emily Bronte proud.
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This film was the best . I love All things Bronte.
2222-22 March 2004
I saw this miniseries once and I am trying to buy a copy. I have been reading and viewing Wuthering Heights for years and have a real passion for the work, the Bronte countryside and the wonder of it all. This series was most true to the novel as Emily wrote it and expressed the grand capacity Heathcliff has for feeling , for love, longing, passion and hate. I believe Emily Bronte was a giant in her mind and in her capacity to love all of the natural world and I see her in Heathcliff. In this version of Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff dominates like the very soul of the moors, with the windy weather, the wild heather and the huge stony outcrops. He and Catherine are one with each other and with the land, but this is achieved at a terrible price of suffering because Society gets in the way. I wish to buy a copy of this 1978 miniseries. But where?
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Truest Wuthering Heights
urbisoler-18 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I have to say that this is the truest version of Wuthering Heights that I have ever seen and I have seen quite a few (but not all). I must begin, however, by telling you that I just happened to see this version being played on television (Bravo channel) quite a few years ago. I quickly found a video tape (not a blank one unfortunately) and recorded what was left of the first segment after fast forwarding past "Making the film Jane Eyre 1996". Bravo channel was new to TV, non-commercial and showed mostly movies, foreign if I recall correctly. There are periodic blank segments from this broadcast which is rather annoying but not much dialogue is lost. There is also a background humming noise that detracts seriously from the enjoyment. Segments 3,4 & 5 run reasonably smoothly but the sound recording leaves much to be desired. I miss a lot of dialogue. In addition, Joseph speaks in dialect and I don't know that I will ever be able to understand much of what he says. I would desperately like to have a clean video of this most impressive rendition of Emily's masterpiece but there is no way I would relinquish what I have now, as poor as it is. It never ceases to amaze me that the 1939 version of W.H. is considered THE classic. How is that even possible? For openers, it is only half the story. Second, Hollywood has made it a love story which it is not. It is Heathcliff's tale and a tale of obsession. Third, Olivier and Oberon are too mature, too cultured, too well groomed to play the these rustic, young, wild hearts. Joseph says early in the '78 film that Heathcliff bears the mark of the devil. That is how the part should be played. What that tells us about Emily Bronte I hesitate to say. Terrific film.
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Its worth to see it.
jannag10 March 2007
I saw this version few days ago. First part was very good, especially Heathcliff s a Cathie's childhood, it was really nice. All actors were playing very well. I liked the most Isabella, and Catherine Linton, she was great. I was a little bit disappointed by Heathcliff,I think his sadness and cruelty was not expressed enough, I mean by his facial expression. And I think this actor looked too old for that role. Cathy was also played very good, but she was supposed to be prettier than Isabella, but wasn't. If Icompare Cathy and Catherine Linton, I think, Catherine Linton was more powerful, wild in this movie, than her mother, which is supposed to be opposite. Second part, after Cathy's dead, was quite boring, and also scenes when Cathy is dying didn't move me like when I saw the version with Ralph Fiennes. And as in every movie version, also in this one,Ellen was played by older woman, and in the book she is supposed to be in Hindlie's age, so she should be 8 years older then Cathy and Heathcliff. But its just detail, not important. If I compare, the version with Ralph was not so accurate, but it expressed all important components of the book, all passion, cruelty,hate and love, and remains still my favorite one. BBC version is much more accurate and detailed than any other, very good for people who didn't read book, and its very interesting to see for every fan of Wuthering Heights.
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Not just the most faithful adaptation of Wuthering Heights, but in the top 3 best versions of it
TheLittleSongbird14 March 2014
It's not entirely flawless. The beginning did seem a little too awkwardly staged and acted and there are some strange camera angles here and there. Richard Kay's Lockwood did very little for me too, the character's appearance is brief here but Kay's performance failed to register. However as an adaptation of one of literature's classics(but also one of the most difficult to adapt) there isn't a closer adaptation of Wuthering Heights available, in detail and spirit it's incredibly faithful and has the long length and deliberate pacing of the book just right. Standing on its own, apart from some imperfections in the early parts it's really good and is in the top 3 best versions(not sure how many people are going to agree with this) along with the Olivier and Robert Cavanagh versions, and I've seen almost all of them. None of the adaptations of Wuthering Heights are bad though, even my least favourite the 2011 version. Most of the camera work is fine once the adaptation finds its feet and generally it is a very atmosphere adaptation visually. The dark interiors and evocative scenery really set the tone of the story really well, and you can feel the atmosphere of the period too. The costume design is well done as well. The music score is haunting and not too intrusive, though the Cavanagh, Timothy Dalton(especially this one actually) and Ralph Fiennes adaptations have better and fitting scores. The script is literate and thought-provoking with a lot of Emily Bronte's prose and with its passion and feel too, it was great to spot the great iconic lines. The story is even with the length and pacing very compelling, because of how faithful it is- from memory it's the only adaptation to have the complete story- it feels coherent and complete instead of jumping about like the Dalton and Fiennes adaptations did. The chemistry between Heathcliff and Cathy is passionate and the intensely dark and emotionally harrowing nature of the book is here. The acting is not bad at all and while theatrical in places it doesn't jar too much. Pat Heywood gives the adaptation's most consistent performance, and it's a great one, though David Wilkinson is a charming Hareton and John Duttine relishes the tormenter side to Hindley's character but shows the tormented side quite well. David Robb is affecting as the meek Edgar, Isabella Linton is very nicely played too and Brian Wilde is always good value. Ken Hutchison is not my favourite Heathcliff(top honours go to Dalton) but is suitably menacing and pained, and Kay Adshead has a charm to her but doesn't underplay Cathy's spitefulness and such. Overall, in many ways a winner of an adaptation and while not perfect it satisfies on its own merits too. Yes it does have a bit of a slow start but picks up quickly so stick with it. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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The closest version of Wuthering Heights
btburr9 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was so glad to see two other comments left on this site that describe the 1978 mini series by the BBC of Wuthering Heights as the most true version. I first saw this series on television in 1982 when I was 14 years old and I'm now 37 and it still stands out in my mind as the best and most accurate character and contextual portrayal of Bronte's story. Like others, I have seen most of portrayals of Wuthering Heights but they have never lived up to expectation - except the 1978 series. I have tried to locate this version for at least five years. I contacted the BBC who told me that they hadn't put this version onto VHS, but that was three years ago - maybe, MAYBE someone out there has a copy of this series? Maybe it has been shown on television somewhere in the world and someone has a copy of it? Hoping to hear.
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My favorite Wuthering Heights adaptation.
sapphire24 September 2017
Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books of all time, having reread the book multiple times. I've seen most of the adaptations, none could really adapt, yes Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights kept both generations and the 2011 one had a dark-skinned Heathcliff but none showed as much respect for the book as this one. The 1978 BBC miniseries is fanatic to the book and every charter is kept in this one. All actors brought to life the charter, my personal favorite being Kay Adshead as Cathy, just the right balance of mischief and passion, also Ken Hutchison as Heathcliff makes me hate him and sympathize with him every time I watch it. It's not perfect, Nelly is to old, Isabella is skimmed over but if (like me) you love Wuthering Heights and have been let down by other adaptations, please give this one a try.
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