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Wuthering Heights (1967)

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Wuthering Heights (1967)(DVD)

Amazon.com

Fans of British teledramas, and of talented actor Ian McShane (Lovejoy, Deadwood), will not want to miss this impressive BBC version of Wuthering Heights, from 1967. McShane apparently cultivated his dark, brooding persona early in his career, as he makes for a sultry, deep Heathcliff and is absolutely mesmerizing in this production. Wuthering Heights opens when the papa of the wild Earnshaw estate, Wuthering Heights, returns from Liverpool with a street urchin so wild, the wee lad can't speak. The young foundling is dubbed Heathcliff, but is referred to as "it" by the rest of the household, including young Cathy and her resentful brother, Hindley. Over the years, Cathy and Heathcliff develop a bond, but Hindley never outgrows his resentment--so that when Mr. Earnshaw dies, and Hindley inherits the estate, he expels Heathcliff from the home and forces him to be a stablehand.

The eternal and very English collisions of class and propriety are shot through the story of Wuthering Heights, and are shown in their extreme in this admirable production. The acting is uniformly splendid, though it's McShane who steals the show, giving a far wilder, darker, more threatening performance than Laurence Olivier's more famous, but far more polished, one. Angela Scoular, a veteran British TV actress, is appropriately dewy and heartfelt in her love for Heathcliff, as well as in her conflict of loyalty to him and to her brother and the class system. William Marlowe is a true scoundrel as Cathy's brother Hindley, though he lets just enough vulnerability show through to indicate how threatened he is by Heathcliff's mastery of the wilds of Yorkshire.

And here is another highlight: For a TV production, the utter desolation of the Yorkshire moors is portrayed unflinchingly--and very hauntingly. The winds never seem to quiet down, and the trees are barren, the horizon foreboding. All of which gives this Wuthering Heights its affecting torment a stunning claustrophobic feeling--despite, or perhaps in spite of, the enormous open, desolate spaces. --A.T. Hurley


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ian McShane, Angela Scoular, John Garrie, Anne Stallybrass, Anthony Edwards
  • Format: Black & White, DVD, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009
  • Run Time: 195 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002GSXKRE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,721 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wuthering Heights (1967)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A. J Terry on October 31, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've probably seen every film and TV version of "Wuthering Heights" (in addition to having read the book several times). When I ordered this DVD I wondered if it would really add anything to my collection. The answer is yes. The actors manage to pull off the most difficult task for this story: Making the characters sympathetic. Considering that faithful family servant Ellen is the only voice of normalcy and stability in a nest of emotionally driven and self-centered people, most of them obsessed with revenge, self-destruction, and/or death, that's a feat. (The four episodes are titled "The First Revenge," "The Second Revenge," etc.) Angela Scoular as Cathy Earnshaw comes across as wayward but often enchanting--in many films Cathy is just a, ahem, female dog. A young Ian McShane plays Heathcliff. He has the same deep (but somewhat less gravelly) voice as in "Deadwood," the same semi-scarcastic, semi-Shakespearean delivery--and having not yet acquired jowels, he's broodingly handsome. The 1960s black-and-white format seems a bit primitive today, but it some ways it adds power. The climate looks cold and wet, the fields look stony, the scarce trees look blasted. The Wuthering Heights farmhouse looks drafty, dirty, and crudely furnished. Food looks unappetizing; it consists largely of porridge and tea. This cheerless atmosphere is greatly aided by a soundtrack of constantly whistling wind, for both indoor and outdoor scenes. I was literally so cold that I turned the heat up to watch this series.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael Jolly on November 14, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an early recording of Wuthering Heights by the BBC and is in black and white. Despite this it seems to have more atmosphere than later productions, acting is good, and seems to be quite an accurate rendition of the book. Very pleased with this but beware - this is a USA zone DVD (if in UK, check playable zones).
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Raker VINE VOICE on August 6, 2009
Format: DVD
First off, I am not rating this film as a romance, nor am I critiquing how well Ian McShane or Angela Scoular can act in misfitting roles. Instead, I am critiquing this adaptation of Wuthering Heights in comparison to Emily Bronte's novel, which I have read numerous times.

Now, let me say that this adaptation of Wuthering Heights, 1967, is NOT worthy of being called a BBC classic, as the cover tries to convince the potential buyer.

Why?

Answer: Because the plot of this production is horribly badly because it alters important dialogue. It is the equivalent of a Hamlet production, by the BBC under the label "classic," where Hamlet says "Should I kill myself or no?" instead of "To be or not to be, that is the question?"

Yet, the plot is not the only problem. Also, Ian McShane is too old to play Heathcliff, at least the teenage scenes (which have been altered into youth adult scenes thanks to horrible script-writing).

Born in 1942, this MAN plays Heathcliff for the whole film, except for the first eight minutes, when some little five year old (or someone who appears five) is brought home by Mr. Earnshaw from Liverpool. Now, I understand the desire for constancy in acting. Four different individuals playing Heathcliff over 30 years might make some viewers disappointed. Yet, in this adaptation, how can anyone feel sorry for Heathcliff when 50 pages of the novel are removed - the most important 50 pages in understand why Heathcliff becomes so bitter and angry.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Reardon on February 13, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I didn't even know this version existed. It's been a while since I read the book so I can't speak to any liberties taken with Ms. Bronte's source material. I very much still like the Timothy Dalton version with the lovley Michel Legrand score, but there was much to like in this 60s British TV version. A nice companion to the also neglected made-for-TV George C. Scott/Susannah York "Jane Eyre." Those Bronte girls could certainly write up a storm!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mylz on March 29, 2015
Format: DVD
Ian McShane as Heathcliff?!! Handsome, wild, and brooding, McShane is more than suitable for the dark, romantic lead in "Wuthering Heights". On the flip side is Angela Scoular who rightly portrays Cathy as a flighty creature. Unfortunately, this Cathy is so overbaked that she frequently comes across as batty and irritating. What's more, the casting director has Scoular playing Cathy's equally insufferable daughter, Catherine. Overall, the acting is slightly glitchy. Do not expect a glorious production, as might be judged from the dvd cover. This four part mini-series is in black and white and sometimes has the semblance of a stage play. It takes a chronological approach rather than beginning with the lodger who stumbles upon Thrushcross Grange (as written in the novel). While it aims to be seriously dramatic, I couldn't help but laugh at the abundance of bad hair. If you make it to the end of this seemingly interminable version, you'll see the liberties that the make-up artist took with Heathcliff's appearance. And so, silently, you mumble to yourself, "Where the feck did this werewolf come from?!!"
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