Wuthering Heights

1939

Drama / Romance

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 96%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 85%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 16603

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 22, 2021 at 05:55 PM

Director

Cast

Merle Oberon as Cathy
Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff
David Niven as Edgar
Cecil Kellaway as Earnshaw
720p.WEB
955.36 MB
956*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Sweet Charity 10 / 10

"I cannot live without my life! I cannot die without my soul."

Being a classic film buff, I had the chance of being introduced to this film by chance one late evening when it was being aired on TCM. I fell in love with the movie, and when I was told that it would be required reading over the summer, I was ridiculously happy. As many have noted, the 1939 adaptation of "Wuthering Heights" is, more or less, merely the first volume of Emily Bronte's beautifully and powerfully written classic -- focusing less on the detail of Heathcliff's wrath post Cathy's death, but moreso on the sheer complexity of Heathcliff and Cathy's relationship (the scenes at Penniston Crag of them among the moors and heather are not in the book because Bronte had to stick to Ellen's point of view -- it was nice that we could finally have an in-depth look at the tumultuous relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff). While characters are omitted (Frances, Hareton, Linton and the baby Catherine), it still retains much of the very nature of the novel. (If you will recall, many parts of "Gone With The Wind" were changed and characters removed in the process of transferring Margaret Mitchell's masterpiece into a screen epic. After all, this is Hollywood.)

The cinematography is divine (very much worth its Oscar), perfectly capturing the very essence of the bleak, chilling, haunting Yorkshire Moors that Bronte described in her book. Laurence Olivier is, in my opinion, a very fine Heathcliff. Indeed, in the book his nature is more animalistic and devilish, but Olivier superbly exhibits what Heathcliff is all about -- dark, brooding, and terribly bitter. Even at our first introduction to him, we know by the tone of his voice that something is very, very wrong with this man and that something is very, very off in that household. Olivier expresses Heathcliff's wildness and devilishness through his voice, stance and through his facial gestures, rather than so much in other physical ways. Merle Oberon is remarkable as Cathy -- a much more dark and exoctic beauty than Isabella whose good looks are very wholesome and pure (perhaps to match the darkness of the gypsy stable-boy Heathcliff), and capturing the duality of personality that is Catherine Earnshaw -- part of her wanting to love a wild, evil, wicked stable boy... the other part longing to be part of a higher society. Particularly coming to mind is her scene in the kitchen with Ellen and that marvelously disturbing death scene -- her eyes wild. (I do wish they would have left in the part of the book where she refuses to eat and begins hallucinating -- Oberon could have performed it so well.) Also to be noted are the stunning performances of David Niven and Gerladine Fitzgerald as the long-suffering Edgar and Isabella Linton (respectively), their lives made miserable by Cathy's selfishness, vanity and greed to be part of a higher way of living, and by Heathcliff's undying love for Catherine and his course of revenge and destruction. Flora Robson is also wonderful as Ellen Dean, narrator of the whole sordid story.

Someone mentioned that this film (by focusing on the love story and by the ending, I suppose) tried to say that Heathcliff and Catherine were perfect for each other and could have, eventually, found true love. I disagree, wholeheartedly. I believe what director William Wyler was trying to say here was that Heathcliff and Catherine were not good people. Cathy was right when she said that she and Heathcliff's souls were made of the same basic fiber -- they were both greedy and selfish (he wanted her passion for him to be as deep as his passion for her and she wanted and if he couldn't have it, no one else deserved to have it, and God forbid those around him feel any kind of love, compassion or humanity; and she didn't even really know what she wanted, except to be part of the upper crust and to rise above what she had lived through when Hindley became master of their house) and because of that, their love could have never meant anything BUT tragedy. They could never have found happiness together because they were not happy people. But they could find love in death -- because in death, they could be what they really were all along -- children; mere children forced to grow up all too quickly with the death of the man who cared deeply for them, thus forcing Hindley to become head of the household. There would be no Hindley in death. And as children they were good together -- as children, Cathy, wicked as she was at times as a youngster, could restore hopes of prosperity to Heathcliff's dark, bitter soul. They were, as children, more or less all one another had. And so they could go on, as children, without a care, happily picking heather and being King and Queen on the moors.

You've GOT to see this movie.

Reviewed by jotix100 10 / 10

Soul mates

"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.

Reviewed by mark.waltz 10 / 10

Picture perfect adaption of one of the great love stories of all time.

While a lot has been removed from the original Emily Bronte book, what has been transfered into the lavishly beautiful original film version has made it a classic that holds up like very few other films do. Released in the most classic film year ever, this shines above every other film in my book, even more outstanding than the two most remembered films of 1939: "Gone With the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz".

Merle Oberon is the "wild, sweet Cathy", a pampered rich girl from the Moors who is loved by many but loves only one. Laurence Olivier is her childhood companion, Heathcliff, a gypsy boy taken in by her late father then tossed to the stables by her cruel older brother. As the years go by, Cathy and Heathcliff's affection turns into love, one that no boundaries can cross. Even when he goes away to America to make his fortune, he's not far from her thoughts. She marries a locally prominent man (Edgar Linton, played with gentility by David Niven) and out of spite, the returning Heathcliff marries Edgar's love-starved sister, Isabelle (Geraldine Fitzgerald in a truly tender performance that is downright tragic). Sick with jealousy and hatred towards what he has done simply to hurt her, Cathy regresses from life, hanging on by a balance.

Everything about this film is truly outstanding, from the breathtaking photography and glorious musical score to the art direction, editing and yes, even the screenplay which took simply the choice bits of elements from the original book. William Wyler directs with panache, and every performance is filled with subtleties that can't be denied after repeat viewings. Merle Oberon, sadly overlooked for an Oscar Nomination, gives the greatest performance of her career, showing that beyond being an exotic beauty, she was also highly underrated. Every essence of Cathy is explored, and even in her most spoiled and selfish moments, you can't help but love her. Olivier is perfectly brooding, the aches within him so deep over a love he knows he can't have on earth taking over his own tortured soul.

The supporting players are all outstanding, and special honors must go to the wise and winning performance of Flora Robson as Wuthering Heights' long-time housekeeper who seems to die herself as the climax approaches and tragedy has erupted. Hence her return to her original home which has decayed while the Lintons remained bright and elegant. Donald Crisp is wise and compassionate, yet stern, as the local doctor; Hugh Williams straight out of a Dickens novel as the cruel brother who decays along with Wuthering Heights; Leo G. Carroll as the loyal butler; and Cecil Humphreys as the kind man who took the waif Heathcliff in originally.

So purists can get off their high horse and simply accept what the writers chose to include for a lengthy film which never seems to be as long as it is. If the classic novels of all time were filmed exactly as written, they would have to be at least 3 hours long, which is why BBC and PBS (and the occasional American networks) eventually did many of them as Mini-Series.

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