Masterpiece Theatre (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Masterpiece Theatre (1998)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Emily Bronte's enduring tale of a love struggling against all odds is brought to the screen once again in this adaptation created for British television. Cathy (Orla Brady) is the daughter of the goodhearted Hareton Earnshaw (Matthew MacFadyen), who allows a lost soul, Heathcliff (Robert Cavanah), to move into their home. While Cathy and Heathcliff outwardly appear to have little in common, they soon feel a strong attraction to one another, and Heathcliff pledges his undying love to her. However, circumstances conspire to keep them apart; Cathy's brother doesn't want Heathcliff to see her, her wealthy family sees a marriage between them as unthinkable, and in time Cathy agrees to an arranged marriage with Edgar Linton (Crispin Bonham-Carter). But none of this changes the desire Heathcliff feels for the woman he loves. Wuthering Heights first aired in the United States as part of the award-winning anthology series Masterpiece Theatre.

Cast

Orla Brady
as Catherine Earnshaw
Robert Cavanah
as Heathcliff
Ian Shaw
as Hindley
Crispin Bonham-Carter
as Edgar Linton/Nelly Dean
Peter Davison
as Joseph Lockwood
Flora Montgomery
as Isabella Linton
Matthew MacFadyen
as Hareton Earnshaw
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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.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

½

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.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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