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Book to Film: Wuthering Heights

wuthering heights the movie

While flipping through Netflix today I found a 1992 adaptation of Wuthering Heights. After just finishing the book this past week i thought what a perfect movie to watch.

As per my review, I really loved Wuthering Heights. I read an excerpt from one of the Bronte sisters, I don’t remember from what, and did not think that I would like it, but I loved it. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed in the movie.

For the most part I think they did a good job about getting the premise of the book correct, but as with things in Hollywood, they often change the script and actions to appeal to the movie goers. For one, I really didn’t like how they seemed to downplay the cruel acts the Earnshaws committed against Heathcliff when he was younger. The story also neglected to talk about Hindley’s bad behavior and its affects on Hareton and others. Catherine was also much less wild and more sentimental. It made the small accurate parts about her cruel nature seem out of place and awkward.

The movie also made parts of the movie into a ghost story. In a sense, I guess this was accurate when Lockwood saw Catherine’s reflection in the glass and how Heathcliff would often look off as if he was seeing a ghost. It was likely Bronte hinting at the return of Catherine to the manor. Rather then the story being retold to Lockwood by Nelly, they had the story being told by Bronte as she was writing the story. Not that I disliked this, but I thought Nelly’s story telling to be a better fit as it made it more fun to listen to while also expressing the importance of Nelly to Wuthering Heights and its inhabitants.

All in all the movie wasn’t bad. They stayed true to a lot of the book but deviated as well. I don’t think there will ever be an adaptation that is 100% true to the text, accepting that has made many of these adaptations a bit easier to analyze and watch.

Have you ever seen this movie? If so, what did you think?

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