Cinema: Romantic Backlash

"Heathcliff . . . Heeeeathcliff . . ."

When the first sound version of Wuthering Heights was filmed in 1939, that wail seemed to echo back to the grave of Emily Brontë herself. The latest remake seems to echo back to 1939. The comparison is seldom flattering. In the earlier film Laurence Olivier constructed the role of Heathcliff like a man building a castle. Timothy Dalton, who played the foppish Prince Rupert in Cromwell, now seems less landlord than tenant. He self-consciously melts and struts, breathing hard to signify passion, curling his lip to...

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