Jacques Rivette's version of Emily Bronte's novel might as well be called "Withering Heights" since only segments of the full plot are used, and the setting has been changed to France in the 1930s. The vengeful Heathcliff is now the vengeful Roch (Lucas Belvaux), and Cathy is the more Francophone Catherine (Fabienne Babe). Along with these changes, director Rivette distances both the personal turmoil that leads the spurned Heathcliff to seek revenge, and the despair that drives Cathy to an early death. This treatment tends to transform most protagonists into one-dimensional models, and even transforms the heroine into a easily obnoxious persona. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
The French sure screwed this one up! The only person I felt sorry for was the maid for being the only person with some degree of intelligence and putting up with everyone's stupid emotional issues. This is definitely one of the worst adaptations of a book that I have ever seen.
Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" is a story involving blustery winds and passionate people. In this version of "Wuthering Heights" (1985) the days were balmy and calm. The actors gave bloodless interpretations of their characters. The only thing approaching passion occurred in the scenes where some physical activity was required, such as an altercation; but even then, the actors' faces remained pretty bland. I got the impression of actors performing a graceful dance, with everybody moving elegantly into his assigned place. I was bored, bored, bored.
If you love beautiful old stone buildings, you might just want to turn off the sound and watch with no subtitles. I really like the original story, but this is not too close to that. The movie also ends about half way through the story, so I thought the ending was abrupt.