Such Great Heights

         A wise woman once said, “Don’t ever think a man is God; you’re asking for trouble.” When one is viewing films, the main thing one will notice is relationships. When approaching interpersonal relationships, as most will throughout one’s life, a certain measure of dignity is taken, and decisions are made as to the longevity of this meeting. Current and past literature, art and music tell tales of momentous love and heartbreak. With this in mind, I shall examine the dedication of one’s life and combination of two halves to make a whole.

         Now, some fail to distinguish between meaningful dedication and hopeless admiration, while others stand and wish from afar. Such is the case in William Wyler’s 1939 version of Emily Brontë’s 1939 Wuthering Heights. This version of the classic novel most accurately displays what I mean when I spoke of longing and heartbreak. All of the characters failed to distinguish between compassionate emotions and the actions individuals take to benefit themselves.

         Most heart wrenching of all is the conflict Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) experiences within himself. The love of his life (Merle Oberon) is paraded in front of him. He is allowed to develop a connection with her, but then suddenly everything changes. She is stolen away from him, changed into a faceless member of high society, then returned to taunt him endlessly. I think about if I myself had been in this situation. No wonder he was cruel and unrelenting. Modern psychologists would cringe at the psychotic mess this man had been put through.

         “All you need is love,” said John Lennon. It seems that in the case of this classic love tale love is the last thing they needed. In the end, love ruined the lives of these people. If the compassionate father (Cecil Kellaway) would not have taken Heathcliff in, if Catherine had not let love ruin the relationship with her brother (Hugh Williams), and if Heathcliff in the end could have just let her go, this tale would have ended without so much heartbreak.

Lauren Taylor