Friday, May 12, 2006

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Ah the age of yore, when leg-grabbing meant engagement

Genre: Romance Drama

Starring: Laurence Olivier (Hamlet; Rebecca), Merle Oberon

Directed By: William Wyler (Ben-Hur; Roman Holiday)

Overview: When a rich estate owner returns home with an orphan beggar to be taken in and cared for, his son resents the act, though his daughter Cathy finds in Heathcliff her soulmate. As they grow up together, we find that their love is full of turmoil.

Acting: I completely forgot that this was starring SIR Lawrence Olivier. I haven’t yet seen Hamlet, or any other of his films, but you can really tell why this guy was knighted. Holy wow. After watching I said, "oh right, the Master". He doesn’t exude an instant stage presence like Cagney, he’s more the soft sell. His mastery is in the subtlety of his icy judging gaze. Man, EVERYONE in this is super-terrific.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The costumes were nice, though anachronistic, but the rest was a little uninspired. Sure we have the heather and the hills, the horses and the manor, a lovely fireplace or two, but besides the passably haunting bridal suite, a four-poster bed with a portrait in the background is not really enough to get me Oooing and Ahhing.
Rating: 6

Script: "Even if he loved you with all his soul for a lifetime, he still wouldn't love you as much as I do for one day."

Well there's this Napoleonic Era novelist called Emily Bronte, see, and people hate reading this in high school because she's writes all flowery-bleak about an era no one remembers, and they have no appreciation for what her writing represents because they're too busy dry-humping the football captain (either sex works in this scenario, he's a grody man-whore). Uh, wild tangents aside, you hit thirty and you might think about checking this out, cause the stuff they kept in the movie, hooooly high-romance.
Rating: 8

Plot: Hits you pretty hard, I must admit. We start off with a bitter disturbed fellow, then enter the reason: the maid tells the tale of Cathy and Heathcliff, and their torrid love-torn lives. Though I found it a little strange to see Cathy change so dramatically, the ending is heavy, the characters are all engrossingly interesting and rich... Who knew Classic novels could stand the test of time...
Rating: 8

Mood: For all you people who think "Oh great, another Victorian unrequited love romance, woop-dee-doo," I say it's EARLIER than Victorian, the unrequiting is actually an up-in-the-air exciting element of it and I hate love-romance stories. This made me go and have to change my opinion. This is a damn good movie, no kidding, and the mood of it runs pretty deep too.
Rating: 8

The lesson learned is that you can't get it on with a ghost...

Overall Rating: 78% (A Bleak View, But The Place Is Nice)

Aftertaste: A pleasant surprise. I expected an overly dramatic people-in-each-other's-arms-professing-declarations-of-love film. Yeah, yeah I haven't read the novel, that much is obvious, but sometimes a film study is good because you commit yourself to being open to hating something, then you end up really liking it. This being the 73rd movie that I've crossed off my list of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, it's sure keeping the momentum going.