Wuthering Heights (1939)

Wuthering Heights




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

William Wyler's Wuthering Heights is one of the earliest screen adaptations of the classic Emily Brontė novel. A traveler named Lockwood (Miles Mander) is caught in the snow and stays at the estate of Wuthering Heights, where the housekeeper, Ellen Dean (Flora Robson), sits down to tell him the story in flashback. In the early 19th century, the original owner of Wuthering Heights, Mr. Earnshaw (Leo G. Carroll), brings home an orphan from Liverpool named Heathcliff (Rex Downing). Though son … More

Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 28, 1997
United Artists


as Cathy Linton

as Heathcliff

as Edgar Linton

as Isabella Linton

as Dr. Kenneth

as Ellen Dean

as Hindley Earnshaw

as Joseph

as Judge Linton

as Lockwood

as Cathy as a Child

as Heathcliff as a Chil...

as Hindley as a Child

as Mr. Earnshaw

as Harpsichordist

as Miss Hudkins

as Little Boy

as Wedding Guest

as Frau Johann

as Heathcliffe Servant

as Linton Servant

as Wedding Guest

as Cathy (younger)
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Wuthering Heights

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Critic Reviews for Wuthering Heights

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3)

Emily Bronte's novel tells a haunting tale of love and tragedy. Samuel Goldwyn's film version retains all of the grim drama of the book. It's heavy fare throughout.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

The cast is faultless.

Full Review… | January 18, 2013
The Nation

This is a first-class Hollywood production.

Full Review… | May 27, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Best version of the Gothic-romance revenge tale.

Full Review… | December 15, 2010
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for Wuthering Heights


Wuthering Heights is the 1939 adaptation of the Emily Bronte novel by the same name. A lost stranger comes to the broken down estate of Wuthering Heights, lost in the moors. He's put up by the hostile Heathcliff, and during the night sees a ghost. He's then told the tale of the ghost, and how it came to be. Olivier's Heathcliff is filled with nothing but impotent rage as he lashes out at the upper class which he oh-so-briefly had a taste of. His beloved Cathy isn't interested in becoming a stable boy's wife, even if she does love Heathcliff. It's a story that starts off with the promise of romance but ends on a bitterly cynical note. I get the feeling the film doesn't do justice to the novel (even having never read the novel), with it's somewhat shallow performances and a lack of exposition or character development. I was surprised to learn the role of Heathcliff was performed by the venerable Sir Laurence Olivier, it was a performance that seemingly could've been done by any reasonably handsome actor of his day. The "film" aspect of the film however, is outstanding: lighting, sets, costumes, and direction are all top notch (and I really hate to mislead, the performances are great for their day), but it's the original material that makes this film so worthwhile, rather than any contributions the filmmakers make.

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer


my only excuse for having missed on this classic for sooo very many years is that i thought it only a "chick flick". whatta maroon, shame on me. with great writing, direction, and acting par excellence (olivier is to die for - and kathy does, merle oberon's death scene is stroke for stroke gloria swanson's last scene in "sunset boulevard", and flora robson finally gets some r-e-s-p-e-c-t in a movie!) by the entire cast, this old story hinged upon class warfare ("we're better than you!" "no you're not!" yah-hoo! ah luv it!) is as fresh as the day they thunk it.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Wuthering Heights tells the story of two people destined to be together, however they do nothing but hurt each other. It's a fantastic romance and a wonderful adaptation, despite only covering half of the actual book. Olivier is cold, strong and sophisticated in a very impressive role. Despite his constant facial expression his eyes and words display a vast array of feelings. Oberon is also a class act. She is spoilt, selfish and downright mean, though often sweet and confused. Everybody gets a moment to shine, especially against the wonderfully created sets. At its core Wuthering Heights is a tale of revenge, but in the most subtle of ways. Sly conversational digs, the odd shifty look. Could have been better if they had played the Kate Bush classic at some point.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

Wuthering Heights Quotes

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– Submitted by Ron G (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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