Wuthering Heights Voted Worst Adaptation

         If I could give a raspberry award to the worst adaptation of the year, the winner would be Wuthering Heights, directed in 1939 by William Wyler. On many levels, this film fails to do the book justice.

         First, examine the acting involved in the film. The actors are so melodramatic that it made me sick at times. Emily Brontë could not possibly have intended in 1847 for her characters to act as they do in the film.

         Another area in which Wuthering Heights fails is the setting. One particular example is evident in the view of the mountain as the sun sets. The sky in this scene is a fake-looking shade of what was probably pink in this black and white film. The film was shot in California, which is several thousand miles from Yorkshire, England, where the story takes place.

         The writing also suffers in the translation from book to film. The children of Heathcliff, Hindley, and Cathy are left out of the film entirely. As I read the book, I felt that for at least two of the children, finding happiness is a source of redemption in the book. I feel that this is important in telling the story.

         Poor acting plus poor scenery plus poor writing equals a failed film adaptation. The book itself is good, but a better film could be made.

Brandon Anderson

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