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Directed by William Wyler • 1939 • United States
Starring Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, David Niven
Often cited as the definitive screen version of Emily Brontë’s classic novel, William Wyler’s moodily poetic adaptation casts Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon as the immortal lovers Heathcliff and Cathy—he a brooding stable boy, she a willful beauty who spurns him by marrying into wealth—whose tragic, all-consuming love for one another transcends death itself. The spellbinding gothic atmosphere is enhanced by the sumptuous art direction and the deep-focus expressionism of Gregg Toland’s Oscar-winning cinematography.