Leave Her Book Alone

     After viewing the 1939 film, Wuthering Heights, directed by William Wyler, I found myself very disappointed with the entire film. How could Emily Brontė's wonderful 1847 novel have been turned into this horrible movie? There were so many things I was disappointed in, from the cast to the plot of the movie.

     Casting is a very important aspect of film making. In this film, there was only one actor who I thought seemed to fit her character. That was Cathy as a girl. Played by Sarita Wooten, she was just as vivacious and rowdy as the character in the book had been.

     The character that I thought least fit his role was Heathcliff, portrayed by Laurence Olivier. Physically, he was kind of what I had pictured. He did have the dark looks that I had imagined, but I did not expect him to be so handsome throughout the whole movie. After he came back from America, I expected him to be attractive, but I had imagined his looks fading as he became bitterer towards the end of the story. The biggest problem I had with Heathcliff was that he did not seem as harsh and mean as he was in the book. His character seemed like a completely different person in the movie. He was much calmer and seemed to have more patience with Hindley (Hugh Williams) and everyone else. That is just not the way Brontė wrote this character.

     Brontė also included a whole other plot in her novel which was left out of the movie. That was the story of the second generation of children. Little Cathy, Hareton and Linton were my favorite characters in Brontė's novel. The children's story was much more touching to me than the story of the adults. I enjoyed reading about the love story of Hareton and Cathy much more than I enjoyed observing the story of Heathcliff and Catherine's strange love affair. It was disappointing for these characters to not even be mentioned.

     Overall, I do not think that this movie did Brontė's novel any justice. Maybe, if I had not read the novel first, I would have enjoyed the movie more. I would not have had any preconceived ideas about the characters, and I would not have known all that was missing. In my opinion, the story of Wuthering Heights should have stayed in its original form as a novel.

Regina Clark

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