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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:

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

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Merle Oberon and Sir Laurence Olivier apparently detested each other. Legend has it that when Director William Wyler yelled "Cut!" after a particularly romantic scene, Oberon shouted back to Wyler about Olivier, "Tell him to stop spitting at me!" See more »

Goofs

Cathy's muff disappears when she turns around after entering the room. See more »

Quotes

Cathy: You could come back to me rich and take me away. Why aren't you my prince like we said long ago? Why can't you rescue me Heathcliff?
Heathcliff: Cathy, come with me now.
Cathy: Where?
Heathcliff: Anywhere.
Cathy: And live in haystacks and steal our food from the marketplaces? No Heathcliff, that's not what I want.
Heathcliff: You just want to send me off. That won't do. I've stayed here and been beaten like a dog, abused and cursed and driven mad, but I stayed just to be near you, even as a dog. And I'll stay 'til the end. I'll live and I'll ...
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

Referenced in Cold Mountain (2003) 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 Few Remarks on the Subtext
10 February 2014 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Talk about a brooding outdoors, those moody moors may represent a sense of liberation for the lovers, but they're not exactly inviting. Besides, it rains all the time, so best to be in the house even if mansions represent the confining space of class and class privilege. That's the trouble. Cathy is 'to the manor born', as they say. Thus she's really torn between the wild outdoors and the comforts of ballrooms and servants.

Then there's the enigmatic Heathcliffe, a dark wild-souled type guy, perfectly at home in those bleak rolling hills. He was a street ragamuffin before Cathy's elderly father adopted him into the manor as a stable boy. But he and a young Cathy manage to bond despite the class difference, a bond that eventually blossoms into true love. But that true love only breaks to the surface in the wild outdoors where a common humanity replaces artificial social distinctions. If only Cathy could find the will to break free of the leisure class.

What a great visual experience, the b&w expertly coordinated with the settings. When the two lovers approach the rocky crag, there's almost a feeling of an outdoor altar calling to them amidst the brooding hills. It's such a perfect visual contrast to the high-key ballrooms and parlors of the Lintons. The Lintons, however, are not to be despised despite their airs and privileges. In fact, they are very real victims of Cathy's suppressed feelings and Heathcliffe's cold calculations. As it turns out, there is no spectral salvation for them. As a result, the love being portrayed here is a kind of mad love, one that brings tragedy to all concerned. Thus, there's a reason those moors brood in dark fashion, while the movie itself remains the best of the many makes and remakes.


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