Wuthering Heights the Movies

         After watching both of the movie versions of Wuthering Heights, I mentally compared both of the films to one another. Both movies have a very compelling story line that was written by a brilliant woman named Emily Brontë in 1847. I was compelled to watch the movies because they represented the true nature of love and the complications that can follow. The most fascinating aspect of both versions of the movie was the acting. When reading the novel, I could not accurately picture all of the characters and the emotions they portrayed. However, I preferred the film version directed by William Wyler, that was made in 1939 because I thought the acting was much better than in the Spanish version, Los Abismos de Pasion, that was directed by Luis Buñuel in 1954.

         In the version directed by William Wyler, the acting was more convincing because the actors exaggerated both their feelings and facial expressions. This type of acting is beneficial, for love can be an exaggeration of feeling. Furthermore, I was drawn to the characters because of the way they expressed themselves through their dialogue. When Cathy, played by Merle Oberon, would get upset because of her love for Heathcliff, I believed that she loved him. I was most drawn to Heathcliff's character, depicted by Laurence Olivier, because he conveyed his feelings for Cathy using the external and internal method of acting very well. The methods of acting were very apparent because of his expression of his emotions that seemed to be very deep with expressions and emotion.

         While watching Los Abismos de Pasion, directed by Luis Buñuel, I was not very convinced or drawn into the characters as much as I was while watching the William Wyler version of Wuthering Heights. Since the movie was in Spanish there were English subtitles, which made it difficult to read and watch the acting at the same time. This was a disadvantage because I could not observe the actors' performances and additions to the characters, which I find to be the most rewarding aspect of watching any movie. However, the acting that I did observe seemed to be over-exaggerated, especially by Jorge Mistral's too emotional Alejandro. It became more of a distraction from the important elements of the movie.

         In conclusion, I preferred Wyler's version of Wuthering Heights over Buñuel's Los Abismos de Pasion because I was more involved in the characters and the story, for I did not have to strain myself to watch both the acting and the subtitles at the same time. Also, the acting was not as exaggerated as it was in Los Abismos de Pasion. It was much more enjoyable and relaxing for me to watch Wuthering Heights.

Maria Ratliff

Table of Contents