Wuthering Heights

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Customer Reviews:

  • Very Worthwhile Adaptation
    This version is extremely satisfying as I found the acting very realistic and believeable, with every scene powerfully executed with full emotion by all the actors. Cathy is quite naive but that is to be expected as she is so very young and can't fully comprehend the long term consequences of her actions/choices. Heathcliff is permanently scarred with abandonment from his youth and together these two form an unbreakable bond early in life that one can undoubtedly see in the few scenes of tenderness exchanged by the two. I enjoyed the "liberties" taken with this adaptation as this created an aura of realism unlike any of the others up to this point. One might say the love scenes were unnecessary but the viewer witnesses intimacy of both tenderness and desperation...one feels so very right, the other so pointless, yet they occur.
    Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley were perfect together and the supporting cast acting was strong and memorable....more info
  • I quite fell in love!
    I have always meant to read the original version of Wuthering Heights, but have not yet. When this adaptation appeared as a two-part series on Masterpiece Classic, I jumped at the chance to acquaint myself with the story.

    The actors are gorgeous and emote a passion which was almost palpable. When I watched this a second time (after knowing the storyline), the part in the beginning where Heathcliffe reflects on his life while catching a glimpse of the young Catherine in the window, made me weep. The sex scenes were brief, not gratuitous, and done in good taste. I truly appreciated them!

    I do not embrace "trash tv" (as a previous reviewer described). Rather, I am thankful for this version as I now endeavor to search out the original story, and am eager to watch as many different film versions as I can find. Thank you BBC!
    ...more info
  • Hurts So Good
    I've seen several versions of Wuthering Heights and this was far and away the best. It was the most human. I would have prefered a little more ghostly chill of the book but this adaptation really managed to capture the heart of the story. ...more info
  • Realistic Heights
    Director Coky Giedroyc provides the newly thrice-spliced Masterpiece Theatre with a two and a half-hour remake of Emily Bronte's Gothic classic, "Wuthering Heights (Signet Classics)" that adequately depicts the passionate love/hate relationship made famous by Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff for readers since 1847.

    I have not had the pleasure of rereading the novel for a few years, but this adaptation seems remarkably true to the overall spirit of the story. It includes the two generations of Earnshaws and Lintons most noticeably removed from the 1939 film version starring Lawrence Olivier as Heathcliff and Merle Oberon as Catherine (Wuthering Heights 1939 Classic Black and White with Original Theatrical Trailer (Import, All-Region)). The non-linear time sequencing of the film's plot mirrors the timeline of the novel; the only real difference here is the absence of the novel's first person narrators, Mr. Lockwood (Heathcliff's tenant) and Nellie (housekeeper of both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange). Giedroyc's version employs a third person technique in both the flashback and present day storyline to retell the Earnshaw/Linton history rather than rely on the biased comments of Bronte's storytellers.

    Lockwood's absence also means the sequence of events revolving around the apparition of Catherine's ghost does not move the plotline. Instead the opening scene treats us to a vengeful Heathcliff, manipulating his sickly son Linton's marriage to the second generation Catherine, daughter of Edgar and his love. In fact, the entire aspect of the supernatural is not touched upon in the film as intensely as in the novel. Heathcliff yearns for his dead companion, and participates in a ghoulish digging up of Catherine's corpse. In a fantastic feat of cinematography the audience is privy to two vantage points: Heathcliff's vision of her--young and fully fleshed as if alive--and then the gruesome reality seen from behind Heathcliff's back--Catherine's decomposing skull. This film emphasizes the real and the gritty rather than the ethereal.

    Similarly, it includes some passionate and psychologically intense moments that add carnality to the overall telling of the story that fits well with and enhances the wild emotions portrayed by Bronte. Heathcliff and his Catherine consummate their love on the moors; Edgar desperately makes love to Catherine in their marriage bed and Heathcliff commands that his wife not look at him as he takes her after their impromptu elopement. Somehow these moments add drama and needed adult content and motivation to what the other adaptations skirted around. When Heathcliff realizes that his woman has slept with Edgar, his anger boils over with helpless indignation. He wants revenge and after witnessing his closeness to Catherine, the audience sees him more as a jilted second choice despite his accomplishment; the face of the gypsy orphan still stares back at him.

    Not that actor Tom Hardy resembles a gypsy in any way. His incontrollable mop of dark brown hair flops annoyingly onto his face; it definitely could use a trim or a ribbon holding it away. Nevertheless, he does the character of Heathcliff and the Byronic hero justice; he most decidedly reigns supreme in the scenes in which he participates. His passion seems almost Pilate-controlled from a steel core that is both practical and functional within the constraints of his world. However, like the novel's character, he loses himself frequently with a cynic's paranoia that lashes out with the intent to destroy whatever is in its path.

    Cathy, on the other hand, as portrayed by Charlotte Riley has a feral beauty that aptly suggests the novel's heroine. However, Riley's Catherine has been "de-bratted"; the novel depicts Cathy with a nasty selfish streak while this Masterpiece Presentation shows us a confused child/woman that indeed does what she chooses but then seems at odds with the results.

    Isolation plays a big part in Bronte's novel. However, this film fills the screen with an assemblage of others that makes the entire presentation more real. Rather than just the dire foursome and their progeny, villagers, church-goers, barroom card players and fighting children add authenticity to the period and in comparison more starkness to the actual footage shot on the moors.

    Bottom Line? The 2009 presentation of "Wuthering Heights" created for Masterpiece Theatre Classics smolders with a raw sexuality and practical strength that will probably not please most purists. Nevertheless, the film's team put together a good adaptation that brings the feel of the novel to life without imitating other film presentations of the past. Recommended.
    Diana Faillace Von Behren
    ...more info
  • Loved it, but...
    I loved this movie when I just recently watched it on pbs. I had read the book about three days before the first part was aired on television, so I could compare the movie fairly to the book. I truly enjoyed this movie so much. The love between Heathcliff and Cathy is truly heartbreaking. I couldn't believe how well the actors in this movie portrayed their characters personalities.

    But the fact is that this version is not close to the plot line of the book at all. There are so many little details, and big events that differ very much from what Emily Bronte wrote about. I really didn't mind them that much though except for the story between Hareton and Catherine. I actually liked the way that this movie was put together except for Hareton and Catherine. In the book Catherine despises Hareton with a passion. She can't stand him because she believes him to resemble Heathcliff. She really is quite nasty towards him until the end when she realizes that she loves him. In the movie it is quite the opposite. She is quite kind towards Hareton, and she doesn't despise him in the least. She probably says two unkind things to him in the whole movie when there should have been a lot more.

    I much prefer Emily's take on the love between Catherine and Hareton. Because of the fact that Catherine is so unbelievably harsh to Hareton, and she scolds him whenever he gets near her, it makes the end result so much better. Since she is so bent on hating Hareton, and then when he vows he will have nothing to do with her, she realizes how foolish she was thinking that she hated him when she actually loved him more than anything.

    I highly suggest that you buy this film because it is a wonderful movie. But if you want a version that is close to the story I wouldn't go with this one. I personally haven't seen the other versions but I bet that they are very close to the original plotline. So I give five stars to the story between Cathy and Heathcliffe, but I give three stars to the story between Catherine and Hareton. ...more info
  • This can't be the same story
    I watched this when it aired on PBS, I'm so glad I didn't buy it. The acting isn't that great and the actual story has been horribly changed. In fact it's so reduced it's not even an hour long! And the ending! SPOLIER ALERT! I can't believe they had Heathcliff kill himself, that is completely out of character for him. It's just awful! Don't waste your money on this version. I think the Ralph Fiennes/Juliette Binoche version is much better. Fiennes makes an outstanding Heathcliff. The only thing this movie can boast of is the scenery/settings but that certainly can't save it from the ruin that was made of the story....more info
  • Never read the book, but will now!
    To be honest, I had never heard of this novel or author before seeing the special on PBS. And to be brutally honest, I just don't have the attention span to read novels or watch movies all the way through (which would explain the former). But this movie grabbed me from the opening scenes and never let go. Before I knew it, I was lamenting that I had to wait a week to see the conclusion. Not a minute of time was wasted.

    The underlying theme of a lifelong relationship based on true love being trumped for a relationship based upon financial stability or social standing is nothing new, but the intensity of the passion and agony conveyed by the actors in this adapted screenplay was painful and palpable. The dramatic lighting, landscapes, and top-notch cinematography just add to the aura. I've never seen a movie that describes the two cliches, "love hurts" and "life isn't fair," better than this one.

    But of course, there wouldn't have been a screenplay if it weren't for the novel. And that's where I have to give this movie the biggest credit - it inspired me to actually go out and buy the novel so I could read the story in the author's very own words. Of course, Emily Bronte gets all the credit, and even though the Masterpiece Theater version of the screenplay isn't as true to the novel as many purists wished it were, it won't matter to viewers who have never read the book. Masterpiece Theater told this story in a way that was very moving and personable to me, while introducing me to a classic piece of European literature which I would have had no interest in pursuing had I not seen their screenplay. And that's the beauty of it - I now have both the screenplay and novel versions to enjoy. I can combine what I like best about the two versions and make my own unique version.

    Finally, I think it would be a tragedy not to use Masterpiece Theater's adaptation to introduce "Wuthering Heights" to anyone unfamiliar with Bronte's novel based solely upon the three very brief, hardly-nude sex scenes. The "explicitness" of the scenes pales in comparison to what kids can see on TV during daytime and primetime TV. Furthermore, I think they will be helpful for people unfamiliar with the novel to clarify the quality of the intimacy between the characters. What happens in public and what happens in private can be two very different things The screenwriter could have just broke to the next scene as soon as the the characters closed the bedroom door (and left me guessing), but because they chose not to lock me out, I knew for certain that:

    1. Catherine and Heathcliff both enjoyed their intimacy and were indeed able to consummate their relationship with each other even though they weren't married together. Both had clothing on.

    2. Catherine did not enjoy her intimacy with Edgar who rushed to have sex with her after Heathcliff returned. This scene also left no doubt in my mind that the child Catherine would later carry could definitely be Edgar's and not just Heathcliff's (after all, Catherine had rendezvous with Heathcliffe after Catherine had committed to Edgar - potentially raising doubts as to the father). This scene also had the most exposed skin and it was only of Edgar's hairy back. Catherine had a gown on.

    3. Neither Heathcliff or Isabella enjoyed their intimacy which Heathcliff clearly used as an act of revenge as he could not bear to look at Isabella's face during their intimacy. Both had clothing on.

    The above is not of consequence for those who have read the book before seeing this particular adaptation, which is why they may view the scenes as inconsequential parts of the screenplay. But because this screenplay was my first exposure to the novel, and given the non-linear storyline which can make it hard to follow at times, the scenes above added to the intense senses of love, loss, and hate which the characters felt, the actors portrayed, and I the viewer experienced.

    What a great discovery of a brilliant novel and author! Thanks Masterpiece Theater!...more info


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