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Wuthering Heights (1939)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 7 April 1939 (USA)
Trailer
1:53 | Trailer
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:

A Story of Vengeful Thwarted Love 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

The Mitchell Camera Corporation selected cinematographer Gregg Toland and this movie to be the first to use their new Mitchell BNC camera. This camera model would become the studio standard. See more »

Goofs

As Cathy walks uphill to see Heathcliff, her entire costume changes. See more »

Quotes

Cathy, as a child: Oh, it's a wonderful castle! Heathcliff, let's never leave it.
Heathcliff, as a child: Never in our lives! Let all the world confess, that there is not in all the world a more beautiful damsel than the Princess Catherine of Yorkshire.
Cathy, as a child: But I - I'm still your slave.
Heathcliff, as a child: No, Cathy. I now make you my queen. Whatever happens out there, here you will always be my queen.
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

Featured in The Brontes at the BBC (2016) 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

 
Olivier is Heathcliff
8 April 2006 | by krorieSee all my reviews

Two of the most complex characters in all English literature are Hamlet and Heathcliff. Is it any wonder that one of the most capable English actors of them all should play both on celluloid? There is no better movie Hamlet than Olivier's. He also gives the definitive Heathcliff movie portrayal. Neither Hamlet nor Heathcliff are saints or sinners. Both are somewhere between heaven and hell. Both have dark, indistinct hues as part of their aura. Heathcliff's Ophelia is Cathy played to perfection by the wonderful Merle Oberon. Added to the immense acting talents of the two leads is the matching shadowy cinematography of Gregg Toland. Mix well and serve with just the right touches by master director William Wyler and you have a film that for once is almost as good as the literary masterpiece on which it is based. The only element missing is part of the story left out for several reasons, one being brevity. Few can argue that the best part of "Gone With The Wind" is the first half. Following the burning of Atlanta the film becomes much more melodramatic and sentimental. This does not happen to "Wuthering Heights."

The almost perfect country household in 19th century England is disrupted by the entrance of an interloper, a street urchin picked up by Cathy's do-gooder father. He is called Heathcliff, no last name. From the very beginning he is a disturbed and fanciful child, attempting to ride away and disappear on the wild moor. Also from the start, there is a bond between Cathy and Heathcliff, just as there is resentment and loathing from Cathy's profligate brother, Hindley. When the father dies, Heathcliff is turned into a lowly stable boy by Hindley. Cathy and Heathcliff find a secret "castle" where they create their own isolated paradise. This cliff hideaway continues to be their haven for the rest of their lives. Heathcliff ultimately runs away to America and only returns when Cathy marries someone else to spite him. Eventually, he spites her by gaining ownership of Wuthering Heights and then marrying Cathy's sister-in-law. What sounds rather simple in outline is one of the most complex relationships in literature created by one of the greatest literary minds of the ages, Emily Bronte. "Wuthering Heights," the movie, is one of the pivotal films of the 1930's, and one of Hollywood's finest pictures ever.


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