Alejandro: A Hispanic Rendering of Heathcliff

        The 1847 book Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontė, has spawned several film adaptations of its story. Of those adaptations we have seen William Wyler's 1939 film and a 1954 Hispanic version, entitled Los Abismos de Pasion, directed by Luis Buńuel. Each version has its perks and its flaws, but I felt that the Hispanic version did a better portrayal of Heathcliff.

        In Los Abismos de Pasion, Hindley's character, Ricardo (Luis Aceves Castaneda), like in the book, has a son, Jorecito (Jaime González ). His son is treated horribly throughout the film by many of the other characters. The ability to see Heathcliff, or Alejandro (Jorge Mistral), treat the boy so horribly and for him to stand by and do nothing while Ricardo treats him even worse seems to make the Heathcliff character appear more cruel and heartless than in Wyler's version. Audiences turn away from an character that mistreats a vulnerable child.

        In Los Abismos de Pasion, the courtship and marriage of Alejandro and Isabel (Lilia Prado) exposes a more brutal version of Brontė's Heathcliff. During their courtship, Alejandro displayed his "affection" towards Isabel is more public and physical. His persistent pursuit of Isabel made it more believable that Isabel actually thought Alejandro loved her. After their marriage he was even more brutal to Isabella. He left her vulnerable to Ricardo and practically abandoned her emotionally and physically. He acted as though she did not exist. Every woman can relate to being in love with a man and feeling as though he does not know they exist.

        Los Abismos de Pasion gives a more desired ending than the endings in Wyler's film or the book. Watching Ricardo shoot Alejandro in the heart for the way he treated him, Isabel, and Catalina (Irasema Dillian) and then shooting him between the eyes for Ricardo's own gratification gave the audience more closure. To know Alejandro and Catalina were together in death, Isabel was free and back in the security of her brother Eduardo's (Ernesto Alanzo) home, and Ricardo regaining his home for the time being, allowed the audience to leave, knowing the main story was concluded.

Brittany Fentress

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