Wuthering Heights: Again…

         The original Wuthering Heights screenplay, written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur in 1938, was not that good. The book, written in 1847 by Emily Brontë, was not that good either. Since the screenplay skipped a lot of what the book originally said, it was a little better. I would remember William Wyler’s 1939 movie because it is a very good love story. The storyline has a lot of meaning; the main part that I would take out would be the beginning. I do not like the idea of the story being told and then written down. I would get it in the present day and with the story being told by one of the characters. My choice of character would be Heathcliff. The screenplay would be based on him just like the novel and original screenplay, but from his perspective.

         The actor that I would choose to play Heathcliff (instead of Laurence Olivier) would be Brad Pitt because he is awesome at acting, but he also has a sensitive side to him, and that is what Heathcliff has as well. For Catherine (rather than Merle Oberon) it would be Julia Roberts because of the way that she carries herself and her wonderful personality. Those are my two choices for my main two characters. To me they are main characters because most of the story revolves around them.

         As for Hindley, I would use Ray Liotta (instead of Hugh Williams) because he seems like the kind of man that could show a jealous personality very well. Charlize Theron would be perfect for Mrs. Linton (who does not appear in Wyler’s movie) because of her performance in Robert Redford’s 2000 Bagger Vance. She plays a southern women, and her accent is perfect. Brittany Murphy would work well as Cathy Linton (she also is absent from Wyler’s movie) because she can be playful at times but also have the lady-like attitude that is needed since Mrs. Linton is so proper. As for Edgar, I shall choose Leonardo DiCaprio (rather than David Niven) because of his stylish charming ways. His performance in Titanic was unbelievable.

         The setting for this play would take place down south in the swamps, possibly the Everglades. The time would be anywhere from 1940-1950. These were times when people would get all dressed up just to go to the store. The families would be very wealthy. The elaborate costumes would be just like the time period. Women would have big-flowing dresses with extremely decorative hats and gloves. The men would wear fancy suits out and always have the manners of rich southern gentlemen. The part of the story where Catherine is bit by a dog would be changed to her getting bitten by a poisonous snake. Also, when Mrs. Linton teaches her to be a southern woman, it would not be because Catherine does not know how to be one but because she does not know when and where to be one. Catherine would be the one who usually does things at the wrong time and place.

         There are so many different characters in this novel/screenplay that I cannot keep up with them all. Mr. Earnshaw (originally played by Cecil Kellaway) should be performed by Bruce Willis, and Mrs. Earnshaw (not in Wyler’s movie) by Meg Ryan. Isabella Linton (rather than Geraldine Fitzgerald) shall be depicted by Angelina Jolie. She is perfect for this role. Frances Earnshaw (Hindley’s wife, also not in Wyler’s movie) should be portrayed by Paris Hilton. I just want her to have this part because Paris is an idiot, and she dies anyway. Mr. Linton has been the hardest choice for me because I need someone who is a total “badass,” someone who no one will try and mess with. I chose Vin Diesel because of how muscular and threatening he looks. Hareton Earnshaw (not in Wyler’s movie) will be acted by Ben Afflack, and Linton Heathcliff (absent from Wyler’s movie) by Matt Damon. As for Joseph (originally Leo G. Carroll), Zillah and Mr. Green (both not in Wyler’s movie), since their roles are so small I will probably just find three random people and try to further their acting career.

         The other parts of the movie that I am going to change involve time limits. Instead of Heathcliff leaving for three years, which is too long, two years is enough. Also the time frame of the story is dragged on far too long. I am going to make the story happen in about five to seven years.

         If this set of actors actually went into a set to make this movie, I think that it would turn out very well. All of these actors are very sophisticated and fit their roles perfectly. It is just a matter of paying them enough money!

Hunter Ford

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