Some of the Differences between Wuthering Heights and Los Abismos de Pasion

         You can tell a lot about a culture based on the artifacts or media the people leave behind. William Wyler’s 1939 Wuthering Heights showed the highs and lows of the upper class. Luis Buńuel’s 1954 Los Abismos de Pasion presented how important love and family were to the Spanish culture. Both movies were based on the same book, Emily Brontë’s 1847 Wuthering Heights. The difference between the two movies from each other is highlighted by the settings, the differences in the cultures in which the movies were based and finally the reactions of the characters.

         The movie Wuthering Heights had a similar setting to the book. In the movie it was very obvious when Wuthering Heights, Catherine (Sarita Wooten) and Hindley’s (Douglas Scott) childhood home, had a loving family living in it, the house was clean, bright, and everything else was well managed. The movie Los Abismos de Pasion started after Catalina (Irasema Dillian) and Ricardo’s (Luis Aceves Castaneda) father had died; the happiness of their home as children was never shown. Another difference between the movies is that the Grange, home of Edward (David Niven) and Isabella Linton (Geraldine Fitzgerald), seemed to be the center of the social circle in the movie with a couple of balls where everyone was elegantly dressed. Both homes in Los Abismos de Pasion seemed to revolve more around the family that lived there rather than the society within the city.

         The next huge difference between the two films was the different way Catherine (Merle Oberon) and Catalina reacted to the return of Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) and Alejandro (Jorge Mistral) respectively. When Ellen (Flora Robson) announced the return of Heathcliff, Catherine was almost outraged. She denied her love for him and told Edgar, her husband, that she loved him, Edgar, as if she were trying to convince herself. When Alejandro came back, Catalina did everything but hide her love for him. She openly admitted that she had once loved him. As Catherine was in the book, Wuthering Heights, Catalina was so happy to see him come back but convinced Eduardo, her husband, she was in love with him, Eduardo, in a different way.

         It is to be understood the directors and actors have their own motives and emotions, inspired by the book. Both of these movies showed the tragic love story of Catherine and Heathcliff as well as the influence other characters had on their lives. The settings differed in the two movies to because of the influences of each ones respective nation. It seems that both films wanted to show the importance of love but in a non-traditional way. Both Catalina and Catherine loved the boys from their childhood but married for money instead, only to discover that true love conquered their hearts anyway.

Maggie McKay

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