Wuthering Heights--Modern-Day Soap Opera

     It is 12:29 pm, one minute until my favorite soap opera, Days of Our Lives, comes on. I have my lunch, my remote control, and the company of my mother. It is now 12:30, and the show is beginning. But wait, this is not Days of Our Lives. The screen reads Wuthering Heights.

      My mother and I are quite puzzled, yet Wuthering Heights sounds so familiar to me. Ah, I remember now. Wuthering Heights is a film directed by William Wyler from 1939. It is based on the novel written by Emily Brontė in 1847.

     After explaining this to my mother, I start thinking about what a great idea it would be to create a soap opera based on Wuthering Heights. The film in 1939 was alone a soap opera of sorts for its time. It pushed the barriers of romance in a film. During the time that the film was made, there were a lot of restrictions put on films and especially those films that contained romance. For example, the main characters could not kiss very often or very passionately until the very end of the film. This restriction went back to the early cowboy movies directed by a very young William Wyler. Anything else would have been considered inappropriate and probably would not have been put out for the public.

     Wuthering Heights would make a good modern-day soap opera for many reasons. It has all the components needed for a successful soap opera, including romance, revenge, guilt, deception, and hatred. All of these things help glue together a good soap opera that will attract many potential viewers.

     The romance in Wuthering Heights is no doubt found between Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) and Catherine (Merle Oberon). Revenge comes into play when Heathcliff comes back and then throughout the years, wins both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. An example of guilt could be how Isabella (Geraldine Fitzgerald) feels after her runaway marriage to Heathcliff. Deception is clearly the way that Heathcliff acts to lure Isabella into marrying him. Hatred is a feeling expressed and felt throughout most of the book, whether it be Heathcliff's hatred towards Hindley (Hugh Williams) or vice versa.

     The plot of the novel Wuthering Heights itself is extraordinary. The plot is so thick that I am completely confident that it could keep viewers tuned in each day as a soap opera.

     The characters also tend to make me believe that Wuthering Heights could stand a very good chance at gaining viewers as a soap opera in today's time. The characters are so diverse; and, if the time had changed from the 1800s to the year 2001, the characters could convert to other respective characters of the appropriate era. For example, servants such as Ellen Dean (Flora Robson) and Joseph (Leo G. Carroll) could turn into a maid and a butler for today's time.

     The time is now 12:46 as my mother and I continue watching the 1939 film of Wuthering Heights. Although I believe that the novel could stand up to any of today's soap operas and win without a blow, I will have to settle for William Wyler's 1939 version--at least for today.

Vanessa Lewis

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