“Oh Cathy, I never broke your heart. You broke it! …You wandered off like a wanton, greedy child to break your heart and mine.“
Monday evening two friends and I headed North to the ultra gaudy Beverly Hills, home to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to see Wuthering Heights (Wyler, 1939) which is a part of the Academy’s current film series: Hollywood’s Greatest Year – The Best Picture Nominees of 1939.
The film started at 7:30pm and we got there around 7:15pm, so we had some time to check out the displays in the lobby.
As you can probably tell, these pics were taken with my iPhone. I left my camera in the car. Doh! Oh well. Here, Kendra (probably the biggest Laurence Olivier fan under the age of 50) stands next to the french poster for Wuthering Heights.
Here, Kendra gives her thumbs up next to a photo display for the film. She was excited! So was I! The costume sketches were great.
Our $3 (with student ID) not only got us entry to see this wonderful film in the gorgeous theatre, but we also received this great program with fun behind the scenes information about Wuthering Heights.
We eventually found our way into the theater and it was PACKED! The screening began with a vintage Mickey Mouse cartoon which co-starred the always funny Pluto. Then an introduction was given by some guy who’s name I can’t remember. Next, Samuel Goldwyn Jr. came up to the stage to share with us the story of how his father (who produced this film) got a hold of this script by chance. One day he saw writer Ben Hecht moping around the studio and asked him what was wrong. Apparently his (and co-writer Charles MacArthur’s) adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Wuthering Heights was not being well received by studio heads. They were saying that it was too morbid. So Mr. Goldwyn read the script, and luckily for us, he loved it! It was nice of Mr. Samuel Goldwyn Jr. to share that story with us. We also had the privelege of seeing a 40 second behind the scenes clip of the cast and crew on location in Thousand Oaks, California where they filmed the cliff scenes. Very neat.
I don’t think I have the words to adequately express how fabulous this film is. This is the first time I’ve sat through the entire film and paid full attention. I’ve seen it probably 5 or 6 times before this, but always half-watching while working on my laptop. The acting in this film is top notch. The same cinematographer who shot Citizen Kane also shot this film. The costumes evolved beautifully throughout the film and supplemented the storytelling. Olivier is really intense as Heathcliff… but when is he not intense? I thought David Niven as Edgar was absolutely dreamy. I told Kendra that I thought he was more attractive than Olivier in this film and she responded “FAIL.” Haha. Lastly, I thought Merle Oberon played Cathy well. Cathy was such a bitch!
I highly recommend this film, if you have not had the pleasure of seeing and experiencing it already. If you enjoy romantic dramas, I guarantee you will appreciate this film.