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ConnieAnnKirk
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Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Catherine & Heathcliff's Relationship in The Masterpiece Classics Film


Peppermill wrote:

Missed the viewing last Sunday and just got through all the episodes tonight, so now I have a sense of what you all have been saying this past week.

 

I will only comment here that it is an interesting adaptation.  I liked much of it, but I'm not sure I would have recognized the book if the title (and names and inscriptions on the walls) had been different.


 

I'm glad you've caught up with us, Pepper.  We are going at a quick pace through these classics.  I'm looking forward to seeing the second part of WH tonight.  I think Pete has been very honest with us about the choices he had to make and the reasons.  Many seem for expediency's and efficiency's sakes in working with the television format rather than for creative reasons.  I appreciate his insight and frankness.  I also think saying "from the novel" in the credits allows him more room to make changes.  So far, I agree, though, that the film is different from the novel as I read it.  I don't think I've ever seen any other film adaptation of WH, though, so I don't know how this one compares with any others. 
~ConnieAnnKirk




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Everyman
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Re: Catherine & Heathcliff's Relationship in The Masterpiece Classics Film

SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T WATCHED THE FULL SECOND EPISODE YET.

 

"From the novel" certainly carried the day this second Sunday.  Heathcliff shooting himself?  Egad.  

 

And no mention of the lawyer and planning to change his will?  Sutherland makes a great deal out of that; his theory is that Cathy (the elder) comes back to haunt Heathcliff to death in order to prevent him from making a will leaving everything away from Hareton and Catherine; that this symbolizes Cathy taking her only non-self-centered action, thinking of others instead of just herself.  It's an interesting theory, IMO.  

 

But egad. How far can one stray from a book and still contend that one is filming the book?  Perhaps it should not even had said "From the novel," but "based on the characters of Wuthering Heights."  

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Laurel
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Re: Catherine & Heathcliff's Relationship in The Masterpiece Classics Film

It was certainly a letdown for me. Fortunately, my PBS station followed the film with a Poirot episode that I had not seen. It changed the book a bit too, If my recollections are right, but not so drastically.

Everyman wrote:

SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T WATCHED THE FULL SECOND EPISODE YET.

 

"From the novel" certainly carried the day this second Sunday.  Heathcliff shooting himself?  Egad.  

 

And no mention of the lawyer and planning to change his will?  Sutherland makes a great deal out of that; his theory is that Cathy (the elder) comes back to haunt Heathcliff to death in order to prevent him from making a will leaving everything away from Hareton and Catherine; that this symbolizes Cathy taking her only non-self-centered action, thinking of others instead of just herself.  It's an interesting theory, IMO.  

 

But egad. How far can one stray from a book and still contend that one is filming the book?  Perhaps it should not even had said "From the novel," but "based on the characters of Wuthering Heights."  


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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JohnP51
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Re: Catherine & Heathcliff's Relationship in The Masterpiece Classics Film

Had I not read the book and known of the departures from it, I would have liked the broadcast. I read the book but did not like it and have to say I enjoyed the broadcast much better. However, I can see how a fan of WH would not feel the same way.
John

"Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else." ~ Mark Twain
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dulcinea3
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Re: Catherine & Heathcliff's Relationship in The Masterpiece Classics Film


Everyman wrote:

And no mention of the lawyer and planning to change his will?  Sutherland makes a great deal out of that; his theory is that Cathy (the elder) comes back to haunt Heathcliff to death in order to prevent him from making a will leaving everything away from Hareton and Catherine; that this symbolizes Cathy taking her only non-self-centered action, thinking of others instead of just herself.  It's an interesting theory, IMO.  


I don't know who Sutherland is, but I don't buy it.  If Cathy does come back to haunt Heathcliff, it is for herself and nobody else (except maybe Heathcliff).

 

My guess is that a shot to the head is a lot quicker than four days of starving oneself and wandering out in the elements!  Time constraints, again?  I have to say, it was a shock, and I was left sitting there, just thinking, "Wow."

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simple_girl
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Re: Catherine & Heathcliff's Relationship in The Masterpiece Classics Film

I also cannot believe they had Heathcliff shoot himself. The books ending is much more powerful. The movie makes it look like he chose any easy way out when he really didn't. Also what was up with the scene where Catherine is wandering in the rain before she dies? I did not see the relevance in it although I do understand what it was meant to protray. Overall I did not like the second half of the movie.
"It is not what we say or feel that makes us what we are. It is what we do or fail to do."
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w001jep
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Ms. Bronte regrets

Call me old school, but I like to see an "adaptation" come as close to the original as possible.  After all, the book is still in print after almost 200 years, so Emily must have done something right.  Why would the "screenwriter" think he could tell a better story than Ms. Bronte?  Or, if he does, possibly he could write his own novel and hopefully, it would still be widely read in 150 years.  What happened to Hindley?  What happened to Isabelle?  In the book, it's explained, even if in passing.  If you haven't read the book, you are left wondering how these two fared.  Heathcliff shot himself?  I've tried and tried, but I can't find that in the book.  He died of madness, (with no shot) if you must put a name to it.  Or, possible Kathy got him.  You don't quite know.  

 

Mr. Hardy projected cruelty, not anguish.  This Kathy must have been a masochist (since you want to drag this novel of darkness and supernatural into the 20th century) to have been attracted even in the beginning to his unfeeling (even before his abuse by Hindley, because, remember how long he was at the farm with the love and regard of the father) Heathcliff.  I found him a lout, while Ms. Bronte wanted us to feel his passion, his conflict.  Give me Ralph & Juliette, or even Merle and Orson any day. Ms Riley certainly showed more passion, albeit  fish-wifey, and certainly died well.

 

Perhaps the screenwriter thought it would appeal to more modern sensibilitits to include more sex and play down the self-control expected in that time (even though those people were just as lusty as they are now, they seemed to deal with it better).  I say less sex,  more story.

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ConnieAnnKirk
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Heathcliff's Death

Wow.  I just finished watching Part II, and I must say I'm surprised at this adaptation as well.  There are so many choices available in adaptation, most of which would be what to include and what to leave out from the originial work, I should think.  I'm never clear on why adapters invent new scenes altogether, though sometimes they work to help pull the story together visually in a way that the text alone translated to film does not quite accomplish.  They can be done well, even to those of us who are textual purists, if they remain true to the story at its core, are well thought out, and are not too long, complicated, or distracting.  I'm thinking of the prison scene in Tess, for example. 

 

Heathcliff is such an iconic figure in literature.  I join many of you in wondering why his death was treated so differently in this adaptation.  What was achieved for the filmmakers in portraying his death in such a way?

~ConnieAnnKirk




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MaryE935
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Re: Heathcliff's Death

Heathcliff's death is mysterious in the book, and many comments have been made that a strong, healthy man (even emotionally disturbed) would not likely die from exposure and starvation in four days, leading to much speculation as to his cause of death.  However, perhaps the adaptation is correct- perhaps Emily meant to imply that Heathcliff did commit suicide.  She would not have included it overtly in her novel, any more than she would have described the sex, in order for her novel to have a chance of being published. 

 

In the text, I don't see any evidence that Heathcliff didn't kill himself, out of despair, tiredness, and desire for an afterlife with Cathy.  The narrator, Nelly, might have covered up the suicide as a faithful servant and to provide him with a Christian burial.  She would not have revealed this to Mr. Lockwood any more than Emily revealed it to her readers. 

 

Therefore, in adapting for modern film audience, the shock of a gunshot to the head provides the dramatic effect and emotional impact, even if it's not exactly identical to the book.  Perhaps Heathcliff poisoned himself in the book....

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Omnifox
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Re: Wuthering Heights: The Masterpiece Classics Film

I have to say I really enjoyed the movie over the book. It was a bit of a departure in how they choose to retell the story but I found it easire to understand all that was going on. The book was one I just could not get into. Very diffrent from Tess. All the characters in this book seemed sellfish and insane. Maybe that was the point of the novel to show how love makes you do crazy things. Very dark. I enjoyed seeing how the plot played out on screen.
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prettybrowneyes
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Re: Wuthering Heights: The Masterpiece Classics Film

The movie adaptation of Wuthering Heights was excellent! I watched most of part 2 online. In the film, I did not enjoy the fact that Cathy was so jealous of Heathcliff marrying some other woman. I do not understand why they shouldn't have just married and lived together. It was sad, though, that she died at the end
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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Wuthering Heights: The Masterpiece Classics Film


prettybrowneyes wrote:
The movie adaptation of Wuthering Heights was excellent! I watched most of part 2 online. In the film, I did not enjoy the fact that Cathy was so jealous of Heathcliff marrying some other woman. I do not understand why they shouldn't have just married and lived together. It was sad, though, that she died at the end

 

I know--what was their deal, anyway?  Ha.  Why Cathy betrayed Heathcliff is one of literature's great unanswered questions.  It makes sense when you think she married for money and position, but the book leaves it more open than that for many readers. 
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]