Directed by: Robert Fuest (The Abominable Dr. Phibes)
Starring: Timothy Dalton, Anna Calder-Marshall, Harry Andrews, Pamela Brown, Julian Glover, Ian Ogilvy
While Robert Fuest’s 1970 version of Wuthering Heights is better than the grotesquely overrated 1939 William Wyler film (never have so many talented people toiled so hard to make such a stiff, dull movie), I can’t say that I was overwhelmed by it. It’s good—albeit invariably plagued by scant production values—but there’s something just a little bit off about it. And it’s also a little too Masterpiece Theatre for my taste. The story—at least essentially—is there, complete with all the “Heathcliff!” yelling across the windswept moors you could possiby want (assuming you want any in the first place, of course). I think part of the problem lies in the casting. Anna Calder-Marshall isn’t a particularly compelling Cathy, and while Timothy Dalton broods with the best of them, there are too many close-ups in the film where he reminded me of the young Oliver Reed in Curse of the Werewolf (1961)—to a degree that I half expected him to sprout hair and fangs. It’s still good, though, and the supporting cast is definite plus. All in all, I still think Luis Buñuel’s 1954 Mexican version is the best I’ve seen. Unfortunately, that’s hard to find.
The Hendersonville Film Society will show Wuthering Heights at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 28, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.