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John Chard
Cathy, Cathy, come in, Cathy come back to me. Wuthering Heights is directed by William Wyler and adapted to screenplay by Charles MacArthur & Ben Hecht from the novel of the same name written by Emily Bronte. It stars Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Flora Robson. Music is scored by Alfred Newman and cinematography is by Gregg Toland. OK, so it's only a part of Bronte's classic novel, and yes some liberties have been taken, but Wuthering Heights is still a wonderfully involving picture. Expertly played by the actors and directed with adroitness, it's a haunting tale of tragedy, love and passions never to be sated. Moodily photographed by Toland, who won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in the process, tale unfolds in flashback style that's aided by retrospect narration from Robson's wily house keeper Ellen Dean. Characters are perfectly formed as children, expanded upon into adulthood; with Olivier and Oberon coming into their own on the acting front, then the story reaches its denouement to leave the viewer flushed with emotion. All given dramatic impetus by Alfred Newman's sweeping score. 1939 was a stellar year for classic cinema, Wuthering Heights is deservedly a part of that upper echelon number. Brilliant. 9/10

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