Wuthering Heights (1939 film)

1939 film by William Wyler / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Wuthering Heights is a 1939 American romantic period drama film directed by William Wyler, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, starring Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier and David Niven, and based on the 1847 novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The film depicts only 16 of the novel's 34 chapters, eliminating the second generation of characters. The novel was adapted for the screen by Charles MacArthur, Ben Hecht and John Huston (uncredited). The supporting cast features Flora Robson and Geraldine Fitzgerald.

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Wuthering Heights
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam Wyler
Screenplay byCharles MacArthur
Ben Hecht
John Huston (uncredited)
Based onWuthering Heights
1847 novel
by Emily Brontë
(credited as Emily Bronté)
Produced bySamuel Goldwyn
StarringMerle Oberon
Laurence Olivier
David Niven
Flora Robson
Donald Crisp
Geraldine Fitzgerald
Hugh Williams
CinematographyGregg Toland
Edited byDaniel Mandell
Music byAlfred Newman
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release dates
  • March 24, 1939 (1939-03-24)
  • April 13, 1939 (1939-04-13) (US)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$624,643[2] (1989 re-issue)

It was primarily filmed in Thousand Oaks, California, with scenes shot in Wildwood Regional Park and at the current site of California Lutheran University.[3][4][5]

The film won the 1939 New York Film Critics Award for Best Film. It earned nominations for eight Academy Awards,[6] including for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. The 1940 Academy Award for Best Cinematography, black-and-white category, was awarded to Gregg Toland for his work. Nominated for original score (but losing to The Wizard of Oz) was the prolific film composer Alfred Newman, whose poignant "Cathy's Theme" does so much "to maintain its life as a masterpiece of romantic filmmaking."[7]

In 2007, Wuthering Heights was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".