If You Are Going to Remake a Movie, Stick to the Story Line

         Nothing is more frustrating then watching a remake of a movie, and the story line is nothing like the original; When characters and plot settings are so far from the truth, you wonder if you are in the right movie. In my opinion, that is how Wuthering Heights andLos Abismos de Pasion deviated so far from Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel.

         Ellen, in the Brontë version, helps the two love birds and seems to almost be rooting for them, especially Heathcliff, as she, as played by Flora Robson, does in Wyler’s version. However in Buñuel’s movie, it is opposite, as Maria (Hortensia Santoveña) tries to destroy the two.

         In the first version of Wuthering Heights, directed by William Wyler in 1939, Heathcliff (Rex Downing) and Cathy’s (Sarita Wooten) love for one another is kept somewhat a secret. The family members are aware of the deep longing that both have to live their lives together. Even as the story goes on and they grow up, it is kept more of a secret especially once Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) runs off and Cathy (Merle Oberon) marries Edgar Linton (David Niven).

         In the Mexican version, Los Abismos de Pasion, directed by Luis Buñuel in 1954, we do not see this. Heathcliff (Alejandro) (Jorge Mistral), and Cathy (Catalina) (Irasema Dilian) seem to almost make a joke out of their love one another. They go about the whole movie flaunting their love, even in front of her husband, Eduardo (Ernesto Alonzo). Therefore, this movie did not do a proper job of portraying Brontë’s true love story.

         As one could see, there are many differences between the two movie versions. Secret love affairs are no longer a secret, Ellen is confused over whether to support or destroy the love between Heathcliff and Cathy, and there are issues of public displays of affection. I enjoyed both version, but felt that they were two completely different messages being sent out. All in all, I will say it again, if you are going to remake a movie, stick to the story line.

Ashley Stensland

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