Wuthering Heights is one of my most beloved books.
Divorce yourself from the book. Just... trust me. REFUSE to tempt yourself in comparing. Yes, Olivier is too damn good-looking for the part, yes they omit half the novel, yes Heathcliff is made more sympathetic...
But face facts: the book in and of itself does not work as a movie. I love the book, with all my heart, but it is not a three act structure. It crosses two generations and the female lead dies halfway through. And they weren't gonna put in my favorite scene of the book in a post-Hayes code world. (When Heathcliff digs up the body of Catherine).
Now, let's look at this movie as inspired by and of it's own.
It is pure glorious black and white 30's Gothic romance. I love the way the moors were shot. I love Olivier's strong performance. I love the way it was shot, the way it played with candlelight. I love the play with weather, the rain, the snow, the fog... And, oh, the score is perfect.
This movie is the epitome of historical romantic melodrama and it does it perfectly. I first saw this movie as an impressionable 7 year old and it has stuck with me and made me a love of this type of thing ever since. I can recite and do the death scene from memory.