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Wuthering Heights (1939)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 7 April 1939 (USA)
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A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveller the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Charles MacArthur (screen play), Ben Hecht (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Merle Oberon ... Cathy
Laurence Olivier ... Heathcliff
David Niven ... Edgar
Flora Robson ... Ellen Dean
Donald Crisp ... Dr. Kenneth
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Isabella
Hugh Williams ... Hindley
Leo G. Carroll ... Joseph
Miles Mander ... Lockwood
Cecil Kellaway ... Earnshaw
Cecil Humphreys Cecil Humphreys ... Judge Linton
Sarita Wooton Sarita Wooton ... Cathy (as a child) (as Sarita Wooten)
Rex Downing ... Heathcliff (as a child)
Douglas Scott ... Hindley (as a child)
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Storyline

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 lives 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

Taglines:

I KNOW..HE LOATHES ME AND DESPISES ME. I KNOW..HE MARRIED ME TO SPITE THE WOMAN HE REALLY LOVES! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cumbres borrascosas See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$593,914, 31 December 1989
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Montreal, Québec-April 6, 1939: "Wuthering Heights" may be shown in Quebec Province if certain excisions are made, Arthur Laramee, censor chairman said yesterday. He denied that the film had been formally banned. See more »

Goofs

Though the social situations, and even the soundtrack, are consistent with the novel's timeframe of 1770-1801, the Colonial/Napoleonic era, the costumes are clearly an odd mix of mid-Victorian and American Civil War. See more »

Quotes

Heathcliff: I cannot live without my life! I cannot die without my soul!
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 »

Connections

Version of Wuthering Heights (1920) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata in A major, K.331: Rondo alla Turca
(1778) (uncredited)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Played by Alice Ehlers on harpsichord
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Soul mates
22 February 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

"Wuthering Heights", based on the novel by Emily Bronte, gets a first rate treatment from its director, the genial William Wyler. The adaptation was done by Charles McArthur and Ben Hecht, two of the best writers working in the Hollywood of that era. The great cinematography by Gregg Toland makes it visually stunning. Alfred Newman's music score plays in the background, making this film a classic that will be cherished by movie lovers.

Some comments to this forum express their displeasure in the adaptation one sees on the screen. Most people forget what a task it must have been to get the essence of the Bronte novel in a cinematic form, something the adapters did with elegance and charm.

The cast that was assembled for "Wuthering Heights" is a dream come true. Presenting the young Merle Oberon in all her beauty makes one almost fall instantly in love with her. Ms. Oberon had a fantastic presence, which translated in probably her best work in films.

The dashingly handsome Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff, creates the right chemistry against Ms. Oberon's Cathy. Mr. Olivier was at the pinnacle of his career. He responds well to Mr. Wyler's direction. His Heathcliff shows a mean streak, but over all, Olivier gives an impressive performance.

David Niven is excellent as Edgar Linton, the man who wins Cathy's heart with his kindness. Flora Robson does also an outstanding job as Ellen, the housekeeper, who serves as the narrator. The young and beautiful Geraldine Fitzgerald makes a brilliant Isabella.

The rest of the players are equally wonderful, Donald Crisp, Hugh Willimas, Leo G. Carroll, Cecil Kellaway, made contributions to the movie.

Ultimately, this film is a love story doomed from the beginning. This tale of the passion between the lovers in the moors is a perfect way to lose oneself in the magic of the movies.


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