What You Need To Know:
WUTHERING HEIGHTS is bold in its artistic sense, with a style that goes beyond the merely visual. However, the movie has a humanist worldview, with Heathcliff literally running from his forced baptism. The entire movie has a bit of a depressing feel, with a love that can never be developed and death a constant problem. Going along with the movie’s bleak feel, the characters are all selfish in their own right. Heathcliff is violent and longs for revenge. Married to another man, Cathy wants an affair with Heathcliff. Meanwhile, her brother beats Heathcliff for money and gambles all the money away. There’s no sign in this version of WUTHERING HEIGHTS of any hope or greater meaning.
(HH, C, LL, VV, SS, N, AA, D, MM) Strong humanist worldview where the male protagonist literally runs away from his forced baptism, rejecting it, and the movie’s tone is bleak and depressing, but some Bible verses are read, the female lead’s brother is a Christian who talks about “the Christian thing to do” but he’s thought to not always be a good man; five strong obscenities, six lighter obscenities, no profanities; man hits himself against the wall to hurt himself, boy beats other boy, man whips boy for punishment, man whips boy, boy stabs and kills a lamb, man pushes women down, women dies from child labor; sex depicted inside marriage, adulterous desires, kissing; full male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking, but no drug use; and, racism, greed, gambling.
WUTHERING HEIGHTS is a depressing tale of love, death, and tragedy. WUTHERING HEIGHTS is exceptionally slow and artsy, playing on the senses, and has a primarily humanist worldview.
A farmer, Earnshaw, finds a boy on the side of the road and brings him into his family, naming him Heathcliff. Earnshaw’s daughter, Cathy, is around the same age as Heathcliff, and the two develop a fast friendship. It is only in her that Heathcliff opens up and starts to trust. Cathy’s brother, Hindley, dislikes Heathcliff, and the fact that they brought him into the family. Secretly beating Heathcliff, Hindley does some damage and stirs in Heathcliff a sense of embitterment. Eventually, Hindley is sent away to school, and Heathcliff and Cathy’s friendship grows even deeper into love.
Suddenly, Earnshaw dies, making Hindley the head of the house. Hindley returns with a wife to run the farm. Never liking Heathcliff, Hindley subjects him to live among the barn animals and work with the servants. He also beats him whenever he speaks with Cathy. Though this is the case, Cathy and Heathcliff have a bond and love for each other that continues to grow.
Cathy turns into a young women and gains the attention of the wealthy neighbor boy, Edgar, who asks for her hand in marriage. Conflicted, Cathy tells one of the servants about her love for Heathcliff, but she still has decided to marry Edgar. Heathcliff overhears this disappointing news and runs away.
Years later, Heathcliff returns to Cathy, but, at this point, Cathy has already been married. Heathcliff has gained wealth over the past few years and rents a room from Hindley in order to be close to Cathy. The two have a strong bond, but they can never act upon it which creates lots of angst.
WUTHERING HEIGHTS is bold in its artistic sense. It creates an experience beyond the merely visual, with its long shots of birds flying overhead and chilling sounds of wind blowing. Many times the camera is fixed upon a glimpse of some detail, like a feather in the wind or the back of Cathy’s neck. The entire movie has a bit of a depressing feel, with a love that can never be developed and death a constant problem. WUTHERING HEIGHTS doesn’t have a lot of dialog, but is rather abstract. The two main characters hardly speak to each other, but rather run through the mud and fields.
This version of WUTHERING HEIGHTS has a humanist worldview, with Heathcliff literally running away during his forced baptism. With an overall bleak feel, the characters are all selfish in their own right. Heathcliff is violent and longs for revenge, Cathy wants an affair, Hindley beats Heathcliff for money and gambles all the money away, etc. There’s no sign at all of hope and greater meaning.