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 »
Paul Eryk Atlas,
The Earnshaws are Yorkshire farmers during the early 19th Century. One day, Mr. Earnshaw returns from a trip to the city, bringing with him a ragged little boy called Heathcliff. Earnshaw's son, Hindley, resents the child, but Heathcliff becomes companion and soulmate to Hindley's sister, Catherine. After her parents die, Cathy and Heathcliff grow up wild and free on the Moors and despite the continued enmity between Hindley and Heathcliff they're happy-- until Cathy meets Edgar Linton, the son of a wealthy neighbor.Written by
Marg Baskin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Heathcliff learns of Cathy's death, he cries out in anguish. When his mouth is open, silver-colored fillings (amalgam) are visible in his back teeth. During the time period the movie was set in, this type of dental procedure was not in existence. See more »
After a funeral scene, the opening credits appear in blue letters on a background of darkened, almost silhouette like, Yorkshire moor landscapes, scenes which appear again later in the film. See more »
A video released in the UK in the '80s ran only 80 minutes and was rated 'U', but the 2003 submission was the full 100 minute version and rated 'PG' See more »
This version of Wuthering Heights was pretty much dismissed by the major reviewers back in 1970. Many of those reviewers couldn't get past the American International logo before ridiculing the movie as second rate teen angst. It has been treated more kindly in later years (three stars in Maltin's guide), but the film falls short in several areas. It's true that AIP spent more money on this than they normally did. Even the Corman Poe movies had a lower budget than WH. They hired a few middle level "name actors," primarily Harry Andrews and Pamela Brown (who is in only two scenes). Robert Fuest was not exactly a name director (before or after this) but he had delivered a big hit for AIP in "The Abominable Dr. Phibes." So, this was probably his reward.
I agree that the photography was the film's best asset, and the late John Coquillion, who shot it, went on to a fairly distinguished career, including shooting three Peckinpah films. The decision to film "on location" was also good, and the moors look appropriately bleak.
The major problem for me was not that the movie ends (as the 1939 version did) halfway through the novel, but that the transitions are abrupt and jarring. Now I have only seen it on vhs--the original EMI- HBO tape, not one of the later cheap versions--but I think It was uncut. There is, for instance, an unexplained gap from Cathy's decision to marry Edgar. Suddenly she married him, and his parents are both dead. There was a lame attempt to explain this in a scene of Edgar and Cathy in the graveyard. The sequence of Heathcliff seducing Edgar's sister is trite, as is the "shampoo commercial" ambiance of the love scene between Heathcliff and Cathy.
On the plus side Andrews and Julian Glover (as the adult Hindley) give good performances. I get the feeling that if AIP had been willing to spend a bit more, and maybe rework the script a bit for pace, this could have been a very good film. But as Sam Arkoff was once quoted in an Esquire magazine article about the AIP Beach Party movies, "Sometimes we get some director over here from the majors, and he says 'Sam if I could just have two more days, I could make you a good picture.' The hell with that," Arkoff continued. "We're not 'artsy-fartsy' at AIP!"
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