Wuthering Heights versus Los Abismos de Passion

         Luis Buńuel’s 1954 Los Abismos de Passion was very different from William Wyler’s 1939 Wuthering Heights. Although, they followed a similar story based on Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel, I did not really find a dominant connection between the two. There are several reasons that I felt they differed. The plot was not the same in both films and the characters seemed as almost completely different people.

         Besides the obvious fact that they all had different names (except Isabella, who was Isabella in Wuthering Heights but Isabel in Los Abismos de Passion) the way they acted towards one another was very different. Catalina from Los Abismos de Passion seemed much crueler than Catherine (Merle Oberon) from Wuthering Heights. Catalina was very blunt (as well as everyone else in Los Abismos de Passion) and did not care whom she hurt in the film. She only cared about herself and was a bit more of a “drama queen” than Catherine had been. Catherine from Wuthering Heights had her moments of cruelty but genuinely cared about other people. Also, Edgar (David Niven) was friendlier and less violent than the coward Eduardo (Ernesto Alonzo) was. Eduardo seemed to have more jealousy with Catalina than Edgar had with Catherine. Edgar, also, seemed to have more respect for others than Eduardo had.

         In the screenplay of Wuthering Heights that we watched, the story focused more of the time when they were children and how Heathcliff (Rex Downing) and Catherine (Sarita Wooten) came to love each other. However, Los Abismos de Passion starts from the time Alejandro (Jorge Mistral) returns to the Mexican equivalent of Wuthering Heights to the point of Catalina’s death. Also, Alejandro and Catalina’s love for one another is more public than Heathcliff and Catherine’s love. I think this make a very significant difference because the reader/ watcher will perceive each relationship differently. For example, Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship and love is much more romantic and dignified. Everyone knows about it, but no one ever mentions it. I think this shows respect, like the respect Catherine has for her husband, Edgar. It is romantic because Catherine and Heathcliff long to be together, but Catherine refuses because of her commitment to her husband. However, in Los Abismos de Passion, it is not very romantic. Catalina and Alejandro tell everyone of their passion for one another, even Catalina’s husband, Eduardo. They seemed rude, inconsiderate, and selfish. I felt sorrow for Catherine and Heathcliff but annoyed with Catalina and Alejandro.

         Although, they are several similarities between the two films, I feel like they were too far apart to be portraying the same story written by Emily Bronte. I enjoyed greatly William Wyler’s Wuthering Heights but did not like Luis Buńuel’s Los Abismos de Passion.

Chelsie Taylor

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