An Underdeveloped and Dull Movie

     Film has been abused from the beginning by campy, horribly acted adaptations of novels and short stories. Few are actually worth the time to sit down and watch. An excellent example of this is the 1939 film adaptation of Emily Brontė's 1847 Wuthering Heights, directed by William Wyler.

     The novel Wuthering Heights set a mood so strong that it was almost a character in itself. It was complex in description and feeling. It made me feel that I was there, and that drew me into the book. The book described the land as rainy and depressing, conveying the dreadfulness of the environment, which gave me a feeling of the torment of Heathcliff and the rest of characters. Yet the movie was the complete opposite: undeveloped and dull. It was not even a dark and dreadful place like the book. It resembled any quiet farm scene in any movie made in the 1940s or 1950s like most of the Universal Studies Monster movies.

     Going into the movie, I was hoping for at least a twisted look into this world, maybe like what lurks in Vincent Price or Tim Burton films. However, I was wrong. It was more as if it was shot on a back set at the studio; extremely poor even for that time. In the hands of a more capable director, the movie would have looked less dated and could have contained the twisted mood of the book. Rather than falling into the very simple, happy-go-lucky world of the late 1930s or 1940s, the film could have easily changed the way films were made.

     All of this was a big letdown for me. The film seemed out of place rather than a steady replication of the book that I had hoped to see. The book could easily be made into a movie in modern times and done well.

Aaron Brame

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