Wuthering Heights Fits the Shoes

        The 1939 film version of Wuthering Heights, directed by William Wyler, was quite a change from the original 1847 novel, written by Emily Brontë. There are many obvious differences between books and the movies that follow, and to me this was no different in that sense. I usually prefer books over films, but this case seemed the opposite. The film version of the book did justice where justice was necessary, while the book was not quite what I was looking for in a published novel.

        The book to me was way too explanatory. Most people expect books to have quite a bit of explanation, but I personally thought that this particular book included far too much. Emily Brontë seemed to ramble on and on about anything that she could. This type of writing simply pushes me away from novels, making them obviously unappealing. The mental pictures I received of the characters, especially Heathcliff and Cathy, in the book were somewhat clear, although not as clear as I would have liked, considering the overdose of description. I obviously, just like everyone else, made everything in my mind throughout the reading process. It just seemed so far away from what she was trying to get out through her writing. There were, however, things that stayed fairly clear to me in the book; those things were environments and buildings. My mental thoughts of these structures were very good, in comparison to the characters anyway. She seemed to love to explain everything about the areas that were involved throughout the story. Once again though, there was too much information with these places, leaving me quite bored and uninterested. I think it is great to have description in books; she just needed to subtract some information from the environments and simply add it to the characters.

        William Wyler's film version was quite good to me. From the actors to the locations, everything seemed to fit in place. The actors portraying the characters were excellent, not just with their acting skills, but they portrayed the characters just as I pictured them. It is almost as if they saw the characters from the book the same way that I did, but I do not believe it was quite the way Emily Brontë wanted them to appear. The love between Catherine (Merle Oberon) and Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) was displayed in a great way. They seemed so distant from one another, but their feelings for one another were still so obvious. It is quite a task to display such love in a film, even with todayís standards; William Wyler pulled it off though. The film seemed as if it was not trying to mimic the book, but make something of its own...to an extent of course. This type of feature is always attractive to me. I never expect films to be just like their written counterparts, but a slight modification of story and emotion is right up my alley. William Wyler seemed to do exactly what I was looking for, which in return, made me quite fond of the movie.

        During the entirety of the film I was quite capable of understanding and relating to the events that took place. Most people watch movies because they are easier to consume than books, which in this case this was no different. The book was not capable of fulfilling the task of allowing me to understand, leaving me somewhat confused and definitely bored at times. William Wyler seemed completely knowledgeable of what was to be intended of this film, which made it a decent flick (even for how old it is.) Emily Brontë could have possibly changed some of her ways of explanation in order to ease the information into the readers mind. If you are looking for a good read, then I would recommend a different book than this. If you are looking for a decent romantic film however, then this movie fits the shoes.

Shaun Brown