Everyone always says that the book is better than the movie. In the case of the 1939 Wuthering Heights adaptation that rule definitely holds true. Emily Brontë's 1847 novel held a pretty interesting love triangle with a somewhat deranged Heathcliff being completely consumed with Catherine, who is married to Edgar Linton. The triangle was made more interesting by Hindley, who was Catherine's brother and Heathcliff's nemesis. You would think that such an interesting story would easily translate onto film. That is the assumption I made, and it was short-lived.
The acting in this film is what killed it. Laurence Olivier, who played Heathcliff, was so overly melodramatic that watching him on screen was a real snooze fest. Heathcliff was one of the most interesting characters in the novel, but watching him on screen was about as fun as watching paint dry. His character showed little to no emotion throughout most of the film and was more creepily obsessed with Catherine than in love with her.
Merle Oberon, who portrayed Catherine, was extremely annoying. I never had a twinge of hope that Catherine would be happy. I was content for her to be miserable throughout the film because she was just not an enjoyable character.
Overall the book is way better than the film. If you have not read the book you should. If you have read it then you should watch the film just so you can appreciate the book more. If you have just seen the film, then you do not know the real story of Wuthering Heights.