Masterpiece Theatre (1998)
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Critic Reviews for Masterpiece Theatre
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Audience Reviews for Masterpiece Theatre
Don't know if this was the best version. Can only judge it as a film on it's own merit, and it left me wanting.
There is a lot wrong with this version of the classic tale. First and foremost the compressing of the story into two hours, the original and best version with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon only told a fraction of the book and it was of equal length, makes everything feel rushed and motivations fuzzy. Almost as damaging is the miscasting of Robert Cavanah in the lead. Heathcliff is a complex, difficult, mostly unlikable character which requires an actor of great personal magnetism to bridge that gap for the audience, Cavanah is not that guy. He just seems cruel, insane and totally unsympathetic. Orla Brady is a bland Cathy making Heathcliff's mad devotion all the more puzzling. Another sore spot no one ages! Once the main characters reach maturity their looks never change even though decades pass. The one bright spot is Matthew MacFayden whose performance is controlled and centered unfortunately his part is small and comes late in the proceedings so he can do little to rescue this woeful effort. Watch the 1939 version instead.
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