Wuthering Heights (1847) is a novel by Emily Brontë and is hailed world wide as a literary classic. Well the rest of the world may think it is a classic, but I have yet to find the appeal. I much preferred the cheesy romantic version of the movie, directed in 1939 by William Wyler. Wuthering Heights varied drastically from the novel to the movie. One was depressing and deranged, the other bordering on a cheesy romance.
Wuthering Heights is a novel full of love, hate, jealousy, and revenge. These things are fine to have in a novel, but Brontë overwhelmed me with so much of the hate and anger that everything else was overshadowed. Brontë's characters hovered on sick and deranged. Catherine seemed almost bipolar or to have a spilt personality, and Heathcliff seemed to hover on the line of a stalker or even a sexual predator. Even if I was able to read past most of the seemingly mentally ill characters, Brontë kept dragging the story on and on. Some things I read I want to keep going because they are so interesting; this novel was not one of those and at times resembled the Energizer Bunny because it kept going and going.
Wuthering Heights the movie, directed in 1939 by William Wyler, was a truly great romance film, with a yummy cheesy flavor. Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon as Heathcliff and Catherine were wonderful. The screenplay, adapted by Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht, should really be what Brontë wrote. They whittled away all of Brontë's mentally ill people into just angry people. Heathcliff came across as loving and just jealous; and Catherine did not seem to be bipolar or have a split personality; she seemed simply conflicted. The movie was had another great feature, it got to the point and stopped. The film version also did away with the "second half," or the children, in the novel. This suited me just fine.
Maybe because I like happy endings, or it is that I am a fan of the "cheesy romance novel or film," but for me Wyler's film beats Brontë's novel any day. I may be a variation from the normal, but I do not like being depressed when I read. I read for enjoyment and relaxation and the "cheesy romance novel or film" fulfills that role.