Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oh Heathcliff...

 I confess, I am a professed Wuthering Heights Snob. I've studied it, dissected it, researched it, written about it, read it, watched it and talked about it with anyone who would listen.  (OK, so nobody will listen - but I talk about it anyway.)

Over the years I have read this book probably 10 times, and have seen at least 5 versions of the movie at least 3 times each.

This morning, I stumbled across the two part PBS version which I had never seen.  Seeing as it was only 6:30 a.m., and way to early to work outside, I decided to make a pot of Amaretto coffee, and watch the entire thing on the couch, in my jammies, in one sitting.

The PBS production (Masterpiece Theater) is a  beautiful rendition, with wonderful costuming, realistic setting and perfect casting. I do believe out of all the productions (PBS, BBC, Hollywood, etc.)  this is my favorite - as of today.  And may I add -  Tom Hardy's "Heathcliff," is the delicious epitome my tragic hero.

While working toward my Bachelor's in World Literature at NC State, I wrote an honors paper on Heathcliff as a tragic vs. Byronic hero.  To this day, I still cannot, with complete conviction, slip him into either category.  I really think it depends upon what version you are reading or watching, and who is playing Heathcliff that pushes him in one direction or the other.

I recall Sabrina telling me once that she was of the opinion I rated the movie versions of Wuthering Heights, " according to the degree of "hotness" of Heathcliff."  "That's ridiculous," I remembered quipping. I laughed and pretended I was  amused by her comment, but secretly I was insulted.

Interestingly, with my viewing of this most recent version of the story, I find myself thinking...
Hmmmmm, could Sabrina be right?  Could I possibly be THAT shallow that I base my "educated" opinion of this movie upon the, as she puts it, "hotness" of Heathcliff.

I feel the need to reflect.
Let's see, the four productions and Heathcliffs that immediately come to mind are:

Ralph Finnes;
Sir Lawrence Olivier;
Timothy Dalton (left); and
Tom Hardy.

Ok, now, let's rate them according to how good I thought the movie was:

Ralph Finnes ----  good
Sir Lawrence Olivier -- really good
Timothy Dalton --  even better
Tom Hardy  --  THE BEST
 Now let's add the Heathcliff rating:
Ralph Finnes ----  warm 
Sir Lawrence Olivier -- hot 
Timothy Dalton --  really hot
Tom Hardy -- super HOT

OMG......Sabrina was right. 

Oh well. Sorry Timothy. You are a good Heathcliff, and it has been  good while it lasted.  But there's a new Heathcliff in town.
At least.... for now.


Rafael's Mum said...

...and why exactly is this a bad thing :-) ? You will have to come over and visit the parsonage one day.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Hmm...everyone is talking about the latest. I must admit that Sir Lawrence was my fav. I'll have to see the newest and see what I think.

sukipoet said...

got a good chuckle from this. Dont think i've seen the latest or maybe even a few of the earlier.

you know reading wise i always love the book and hope in my life i'd find a Heathcliff.

However, sometime in my 40's or so i reread the book and couldnt bear Heathcliff. The brute. LOL.

At this point I wish I'd married a banker.

~Babs said...

I'd say normal.

I need to read it again,,,,it's been so long.
Lots longer than I care to think about,,,,

paulaexuk said...

I am so glad to see that there are other people out there that love this book and its hero, yes I will call him a hero. You haven't included in your rating list the 1967 version with Ian McShane. He to me was the best and yes I am probably basing this on "hotness". Seeing it again many years later it is a bit stilted but still brought tears to my eyes. I remember as a teenager loving this series.
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