Wuthering Heights, 1939
Director: William Wyler
Notable Cast: Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier
This black and white film adaptation won the 1939 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film and was nominated for the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture. The film greatly reduced the plot of the novel to focus only on Heathcliff and Cathy’s generation.
Wuthering Heights (Dupont Show of the Month), 1958
Director: Daniel Petrie
Notable Cast: Richard Burton, Rosemary Harris, Patty Duke
This black and white TV adaptation is part of a series that used well-known dramatic actors in versions of literary classics. It is a live version with breaks only for commercials. This version was lost to time until a TV archivist unearthed it in 2019.
Wuthering Heights, 1970
Director: Robert Fuest
Notable Cast: Timothy Dalton, Anna Calder-Marshall
This film adaptation mirrors the one from 1939 by focusing only on the time period in which Cathy Earnshaw was alive. It ends with her death and introduces new plot material that includes Hindley fatally shooting Heathcliff. The ghosts of Cathy and Heathcliff are then reunited.
Wuthering Heights, 1992
Director: Peter Kosminsky
Notable Cast: Juliette Binoche, Ralph Fiennes
This adaptation covers both generations of the families from the novel and sticks closer to Brontë’s original plot than previous film versions. It strikes a gothic tone and received mixed reviews from critics.
Wuthering Heights, 2011
Director: Andrea Arnold
Notable Cast: Kaya Scodelario, James Howson
This film marks the first time a Black actor portrayed Heathcliff in a major film adaptation of the novel. Arnold also removed much of the dialogue from the script and tried to portray a “pure” vision of the novel.
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