Film and action summary

The family farms from the beginning of the 19th century. Yorkshire in the early 20th century. One day the father returns from a trip to town and takes a little boy with him. His son doesn’t like the boy, but his daughter does. When their parents die, the other three grow up wild, free and happy, that is, until the daughter meets the son of a wealthy neighbor.

Howling Heights Report

Below is an overview of the spoilers.

Wuthering Heights (1970) Robert Foust’s adaptation of Emily Brontë’s classic Wuthering Heights is passionate, spirited and, above all, uninspired. Foust shows the first half of Brontë’s novel and its first generation of characters. Nellie (Judy Cornwell), the lifelong maid, tells the story of the Earnshaw family from Yorkshire, who live in Wuthering Heights. When Mr. Earnshaw brings in a gypsy orphan from Liverpool… Years of conflict, rivalry, passion and jealousy follow. Hindley’s eldest son (Julian Glover) dislikes newly adopted Heathcliff (Timothy Dalton), while Katie (Anna Calder-Marshall) accepts him as the other half of her wild and shameless soul.

With Earnshaw’s death, Hindley returns to claim the Heights for himself and demotes Heathcliff to the rank of illiterate. Katie and Heathcliff cheerfully continue their swampy escapades until they spend the night at nearby Thrush Pass Gorge. The Lintons, the magistrate’s elite family and Earnshaw’s closest neighbors, take the wretched Katie under their wing and turn her into a very talented lady who is shocked by Heathcliff’s animal language and dirtiness. As Katie swings between Heights and Thrushcross Grange (and her feelings shift from Heathcliff’s humiliation to the kindness and charm of Edgar Linton [Ian Ogilvy]), Heathcliff vows revenge on Hindley, whose vilification and mistreatment has brought him to such a low point.

That fateful night, Heathcliff overhears Cathy’s conversation with Nellie: Edgar Linton asked her to marry him, and she accepted. Katie explains that no one can marry Heathcliff. He’s a wild animal! Marrying Heathcliff would be, in a word, humiliating. Heathcliff disappears immediately, much to Katie’s regret. She wanders the marshes all night looking for him, but only returns to the heights after she is soaked to the bone and seriously ill.

It’s been three years. Katie eventually married Edgar Linton and moved to Thrushcross Grange. Hindley, disheartened by the death of his wife, reduces himself to a degenerate drunk and compulsive gambler. Wuthering Heights is in debt and the man who appears, Heathcliff, is elegantly and mysteriously richly dressed. Heathcliff buys a place in Hindley’s circle of friends and then heads to Thrushcross Grange to take on Katie. Despite the exciting challenges that follow, Katie and Heathcliff face each step of the way with tenacity. Heathcliff’s annual plans take precedence as he works to buy and earn every inch of Wuthering Heights from the Hindley store. In an attempt to harm the Lintons and win the Barn, Heathcliff seduces Edgar’s sister Isabella (Hilary Heath) and pushes Katie into self-destruction.

Heathcliff comes home with an abused Isabella as his fiancée. Katie is close to death, but she can survive if she keeps her mouth shut – but Heathcliff has to go to her and sneak into the Listergulch that way. Katie and Heathcliff furiously embrace each other, pouring out their souls and regretting the mistakes that separate them. When Linton returns and Heathcliff retires, Katie leaves.

In the climax of the film, Heathcliff kneels at the foot of Cathy’s grave and says a prayer: You will not rest as long as I live. Katherine’s ghost appears and begins to playfully lure Heathcliff across the moors to Wuthering Heights, where Hindley and Isabella are waiting with a gun. When the shot is fired, we see young Heathcliff running towards Katie in the swamp. Hand in hand, the two men wander the marshes while Heathcliff’s body rests on the upper rim.

Additional information about the film

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