Wuthering Heights (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Wuthering Heights (1939)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Wuthering Heights Photos

Movie Info

Growing up together in 19th-century Yorkshire, Heathcliff and Cathy form a deep bond. In young adulthood, Cathy wounds the penniless Heathcliff by marrying into wealth, and his obsession with revenge leads to tragedy. Laurence Olivier is brilliant as the brooding Heathcliff in this poetic adaptation of Emily Bronte's novel.

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Cast

Merle Oberon
as Cathy Linton
Laurence Olivier
as Heathcliff
David Niven
as Edgar Linton
Geraldine Fitzgerald
as Isabella Linton
Donald Crisp
as Dr. Kenneth
Flora Robson
as Ellen Dean
Hugh Williams
as Hindley Earnshaw
Cecil Humphreys
as Judge Linton
Miles Mander
as Lockwood
Sarita Wooten
as Cathy as a Child
Rex Downing
as Heathcliff as a Child
Douglas Scott
as Hindley as a Child
Cecil Kellaway
as Mr. Earnshaw
Helena Grant
as Miss Hudkins
Mme. Alice Ehlers
as Harpsichordist
Tommy Martin
as Little Boy
Mme. Alice Ahlers
as Frau Johann
Frank Benson
as Heathcliffe Servant
Eric Wilton
as Linton Servant
Sam Harris
as Wedding Guest
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Critic Reviews for Wuthering Heights

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (1)

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
Variety
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

Ace cinematographer Gregg Toland deservedly won the Oscar for his moody b/w imagery in William Wyler's supremely mounted production of Bronte's tragic novel; the only mediocre element is Merle Oberon's performance.

Full Review… | March 16, 2008
EmanuelLevy.Com

The definitive version.

October 16, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Audience Reviews for Wuthering Heights

½

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.

Devon Bott
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

½

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
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
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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