Well Done Mexican Style Despite My Criticisms

         Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, published in 1847, tells a story about how people with completely different backgrounds--Catherine and Heathcliff--grow up together. It is a very good novel, but it is extremely long. It is far too long for a film. So, the scriptwriters and director, Luis Buñuel, had to shorten the story substantially for the 1954 film Los Abismos de Pasión.

         One major thing the film makers decided to change was the setting. They wanted the story to be set in Mexico. So, along with all the other changes that were made, the film makers had to make the script seem like a Mexican production. Instead of characters having grand manors, they have haciendas. They act differently toward each other. The men--Alejandro (Jorge Mistral), Eduardo (Ernesto Alonzo), and Ricardo (Luis Aceves Castañeda) are a lot meaner, and the women--Catalina (Irasema Dilián) and Isabel (Lilia Prado)--are very reluctant to put up with the men's meanness. Also, Catherine's family seems to have more money than that of her Abismos counterpart, Catalina. However, this could be due to the lack of wealth in Mexico. The acting is very dramatic, which is not what I would have figured considering Brontë's story. When I think about it, dramatic acting actually makes sense in a Mexican version of Wuthering Heights since acting in Mexican and Spanish drama is almost always overdone or exaggerated.

         All things considered, I think that Buñuel's adaptation of Wuthering Heights to Abismos de Pasión is well done, despite my criticisms.

Alicia Christ

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