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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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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 »

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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:

UNFORGETTABLE IN ITS EMOTIONAL APPEAL! (British Quad) 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:

Wuthering Heights See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,493, 9 April 1989

Gross USA:

$624,643

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$624,643
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

This was not a big financial success when first released. It had to be re-released several years later to earn a profit. See more »

Goofs

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

Dr. Kenneth: Hindley, why don't you hit yourself over the head with a hammer when you wake up every morning?
Hindley: Why?
Dr. Kenneth: Well, if you do, you'll achieve virtually the same results as you do with a bottle of whiskey, with much less wear and tear on the kidneys.
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 Matinee Theatre: Wuthering Heights (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

A nearly flawless classic
29 March 1999 | by OrielSee all my reviews

This classic version of the Bronte novel is probably familiar to most movie fans, and with good reason. Although the recent Ralph Fiennes version is also excellent, nothing can quite surpass the 1939 film's bleak black-and-white cinematography or the impassioned performance of Laurence Olivier. Some of us still mourn that his then-wife, Vivien Leigh, wasn't granted her wish to be cast as Catherine, but Merle Oberon is nonetheless excellent: her Catherine isn't quite likable, but then, she isn't supposed to be. Instead of sugar-coating the story as Hollywood is so wont to do, the filmmakers give us Cathy and Heathcliff as they should be: ruthless, selfish, destructive, and fascinating. The only major drawback is the saccharine musical score, which tries to make this wild, haunting story into a candy-box romance. Fortunately, all the other elements resist this tendency. Even though the film only covers half the novel, you'll find it satisfying and unforgettable.


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