1939’s “Wuthering Heights” #MovieReview

Film 202 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1939’s “Wuthering Heights”. This William Wyler romantic drama is based on Emily Bronte’s novel of the same name and is about a servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveler the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff. This film only covered 16 of the 43 chapters in the book. I will admit that there were points where I was bored and felt like scenes were dragging. Especially the ending. It got to the point where I wanted Cathy to die. You know you’re bored with a film when you find notifications from Instagram more exciting to look at. After reading the book many times, and seeing many versions of this film for my university course, I pretty much knew what to expect. Did I enjoy this film? Kind of. I feel like my enjoyment might have been ruined because I did know what was going to happen. It got to the point where I was sure who to root for. You can’t root for Cathy because you don’t know what she wants, except for the fact she wants wealth. I can’t root for Heathcliff because he has the look on his face that says, “Why am I here?” One quote I want to talk about is when Heathcliff says, “life is hunger and pain.” That pretty much sums up the story. Fun Fact of the Film – Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier hated each other. Sources at the time recall Merle scolding Laurence for spitting on her during a romantic balcony scene. Merle shouted to director William Wyler, “Tell him to stop spitting at me!” Laurence responded with “What’s a little spit for Christ’s sake between actors? You bloody little idiot! How dare you speak to me!” This lead to Merle running away crying from the set and William Wyler insisted Laurence apologise to her which upset him even more. If you have see this film, or the remakes, then let me know what you thought of them in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1939’s “Wuthering Heights”

Film – Wuthering Height
Year – 1939
Director – William Wyler
Written by – Charles MacArthur, Ben Hecht
Based On – “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte
Staring – Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven
IMDb Rating – 7.7/10
My Rating – 6.6/10
Length – 99 min (1h 39min)
Genre – Drama, Romance
Bit snowy outside
Those dogs are a bit friendly
Lockwood arrives at Heathcliff’s house for a room for the night
You can sleep in this dump of a room… The Bridal Chamber
I have no idea what Joseph is saying
I can’t sleep with all this banging
The voice of Cathy still haunts the house
Lockwood gets kicked out of his room so Heathcliff can find Cathy
Lockwood explains everything to a servant
Flashback to 40 years ago
Mr Earnshaw is back from Liverpool
He’s brought a young boy home with him to live with them
Here are your gifts – a violin and a crop
Don’t mock the poor!
Heathcliff and Cathy decide to have fun by having horse races
Hindley just stole Heathcliff’s horse and throws a rock at him
Heathcliff no sold the rock to the face and is already planning vengeance
Let’s have fun at Penistone Crag
I will defeat you “invisible man”
News has broken that Mr Earnshaw has died in his sleep
This means Hindley is now the man of the house
Years pass and Hindley is now an alcoholic
Heathcliff is their slave
And Cathy… is older
Cathy escapes into the moors while Hindley rides away somewhere
Heathcliff ignores Hindley’s orders to clean the stable to find Cathy at Penistone Crag
Cathy tells him to run away and become rich
Heathcliff wants be buried at Penistone Crag
Sounds like The Lintons are having a party
The two head to the party via the back wall and get attacked by dogs
Mostly Cathy who gets bit on the ankle
“Hold that man” – And I’ll hold this woman
Heathcliff is ordered to leave… because he’s poor
He has cursed Judge Linton that he will return rich
Few weeks later and Cathy returns with Edgar
Sounds like Cathy likes being rich and hanging around with other rich people
She kicks Edgar out because she loves Heathcliff
I made all this tea and now no one wants it!
Cathy is mad! So mad she strips out of her rich clothes
She then meets Heathcliff at Penistone Crag and… stands still… for a bit
Hooray! The two are still in love
Heathcliff says he went back to Liverpool and traveled to New Orleans
…But returned because all he could think about was Cathy
Have some heather
The two kiss but we don’t see it
Cathy is now back to being rich
Heathcliff enters and is mad about Edgar returning
“That’s all I’ve become to you. A pair of dirty hands. Well have them then!”
Heathcliff just slapped Cathy and leaves but not before running into Edgar
Not even the rain can wash my hands
Where’s Hindley in all this?
Heathcliff’s hands are covered in blood from punching glass
Cathy tells Ellen that Edgar wants to marry her
Heathcliff listens to all this in the next room and says she can never marry him
Heathcliff leaves before hearing Cathy saying that she “is Heathcliff”
Her relationship flip flops more than the shoe with the same name
Cathy is upset! She decides to run into the rain after Heathcliff all the way to Penistone Crag
He isn’t there! And Cathy has fallen ill
Hindley returns and Ellen tells him everything
Hindley doesn’t care and all he wants is wine
Cathy is found and brought back home and woken up by brandy
Cream and butter? That cures all illnesses?
Why are we now at Linton’s house?
Sounds like Heathcliff has ran away
Edgar arrives and tells Cathy about Hindley
He quickly changes topic and wants to look after Cathy forever
She says yes to Edgar’s proposal for marriage
Jump cut to the wedding and Edgar and Cathy are married
Years past and Cathy is a house wife who likes sewing
All Isabella wants is man with a moustache
Heathcliff is back! And he’s rich!
He’s been in America for years
All Heathcliff does is give one word answers while staring at Cathy
How is Heathcliff’s dad an Emperor of China and his Mother an Indian Queen if he apparently never knew them
Heathcliff says he’s bought Wuthering Heights from Hindley without his knowledge
Isabella gives both of them the riot act for treating him as a servant
At Wuthering Heights, Hindley wants to kill Heathcliff
Now the tables have turned. Heathcliff is now in charge of Hindley
He’s got a gun!
Hindley can’t shoot him and insteads cries
Heathcliff says Hindley can have his gun as a reminder of how much of a coward he is
Isabella arrives and chats with Heathcliff
Sounds like Heathcliff has found a new love of his life in Isabella
Time for another Linton Party
Even the servants are allowed to dance… but only with other servants
“Hold my hand, underneath my fan” – That sounds like an innuendo
Faster… FASTER!!!
You can see the hatred in Heathcliff’s eyes staring at Cathy
Shall we dance to the waltz?
Heathcliff and Cathy have a chat outside about their past together
Cathy walks away and Heathcliff is persuaded back inside by Isabella
Just realised that Isabella looks like my nan
Cathy and Isabella chat about Heathcliff
Isabella tells Cathy that Heathcliff wants to marry her
Cathy gets mad because she knows Cathy still loves Heathcliff
Back at Wuthering Heights
Cathy wants to see Heathcliff
She leaves and tells Edgar about Isabella’s proposed marriage to Heathcliff
Sounds like Isabella has gone to Heathcliff
Cathy wants one of them dead
Edgar refuses by saying nothing
Heathcliff and Isabella are now married
Hindley is extremely ill
The doctor decides he’s had enough being Wuthering Heights’ doctor
Cathy is also ill
So ill she will be die in a few days
Hindley tells Isabella that Heathcliff doesn’t really love her
I’m bored now
Ellen arrives and breaks the news to Heathcliff
Edgar wants Isabella back
Isabella wants Cathy dead so Heathcliff can be all hers
Heathcliff rides away to Cathy on her death bed
Cathy tells Edgar to get some heather from Penistone Crag
Heathcliff arrives in Cathy’s room
Oh… It’s you… I LOVE YOU!!!
“I want to die” – THEN DO IT ALREADY!!!
Heathcliff says Cathy always loved him and killed herself for wanting to be what she wanted
Cathy says she wants to see Penistone Crag one more time before she dies
Cathy dies in Heathcliff’s arms just as soon as the doctor arrives
Edgar arrives as well and wants Heathcliff to leave
Heathcliff wants the ghost of Cathy to haunt him for the rest of his life
Back to the present and Ellen’s story is over
The doctor arrives says Heathcliff has found a woman
Let’s assume he has found the ghost of Cathy at Penistone Crag
So.. Is Heathcliff dead?

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