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Wuthering Heights Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

Wuthering Heights

(1939)
Not Yet Rated In Theaters 04/13/1939 , 104min.
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Plot & Details

William Wyler's Wuthering Heights is one of the earliest screen adaptations of the classic Emily Brontë novel. A traveler named Lockwood (Miles Mander) is caught in the snow and stays at the estate of Wuthering Heights, where the housekeeper, Ellen Dean (Flora Robson), sits down to tell him the story in flashback. In the early 19th century, the original owner of Wuthering Heights, Mr. Earnshaw (Leo G. Carroll), brings home an orphan from Liverpool named Heathcliff (Rex Downing). Though son Hindley Earnshaw despises the boy, daughter Catherine develops a close kinship with Heathcliff that blossoms into love. When Mr. Earnshaw dies, Cathy and Heathcliff grow up together on the Moors and seem destined for happiness, even though Hindley forces Heathcliff to work as a stable boy. When Cathy (Merle Oberon) meets wealthy neighbor Edgar Linton (David Niven), Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) gets jealous and leaves. Cathy marries Edgar, and Heathcliff returns with his own wealth and sophistication. He buys Wuthering Heights from the alcoholic Hindley (Hugh Williams) and marries Edgar's sister, Isabella Linton (Geraldine Fitzgerald), out of spite. Still obsessively in love with each other, Cathy gets deathly ill while Heathcliff grows into a bitter old man. Ellen continues telling Lockwood the story as Dr. Kenneth (Donald Crisp) enters and reveals the fateful ending.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1939 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Black and White Cinematography Gregg Toland Won
1939 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actor Laurence Olivier Nominated
1939 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actress Geraldine Fitzgerald Nominated
1939 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction James Basevi Nominated
1939 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director William Wyler Nominated
1939 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Screenplay Ben Hecht Nominated
1939 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Screenplay Charles MacArthur Nominated
1939 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Nominated
1939 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Score Alfred Newman Nominated

American Film Institute

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 American Film Institute 100 Greatest American Movies Won

Film Daily

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1939 Film Daily 10 Best Films Won

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1939 National Board of Review Best Picture Nominated
1939 National Board of Review Best Acting Laurence Olivier Won
1939 National Board of Review Best Acting Geraldine Fitzgerald Won

New York Film Critics Circle

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1939 New York Film Critics Circle Best Picture Won

New York Times

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1939 New York Times 10 Best Films Won

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