Jorge Mistral Dominates the Role

         I think that the tone of Emily Brontë’s 1847 book and Luis Buñuel’s 1954 movie Los Abismos de Pasion are closer in relation, that the is overall tone of William Wyler’s 1939 Wuthering Heights.

         The tone of the book is based on the almost a sinister love relationship; the movie Los Abismos de Pasion is an “I love you so much I hate you” feeling between Alejandro and Catalina, but still not as foreboding as the novel. In the novel I almost wanted to hate Heathcliff, but in Wyler’s version, I found myself having sympathy for him. In Los Abismos de Passion Alejandro was nearer to a mix of the two Heathcliffs. I could feel his hatred, see his love for Catalina (Israseme Dilion), and feel empathy for his abused soul.

         I think that Laurence Oliver just could not act sadistic enough to make Heathcliff seem a bad person. To me he almost looked as if it were painful to play the dark character, whereas in Luis Buñuel’s Los Abismos de Passion, Jorge Mistral looked the part of the “evil gypsy.” Mr. Mistral was very emotional in his portrayal of Alejandro. His actions were very dramatic and fluid. I could almost feel his temper come off of the screen. In my opinion Laurence Oliver just did not have the opportunity to dominate the role of the character Heathcliff, the way that Jorge Mistral also looked more physically like Heathcliff, more tall dark and scary, not quite as handsome as Laurence Oliver, It seemed to me at any minute the character of Alejandro was going to leap off of the movie screen.

         Jorge Mistral’s actions were also more fluid than Laurence Oliver’s. He might have not had he acting capabilities of Laurence Oliver’s, but I think Jorge Mistral dominated the role much more so than did Olivier.

Samantha Andersson

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