Take Me Back to the Moors

Although it's unreasonable to judge every book-to-film adaptation against the first iteration of a title, when it comes to Wuthering Heights it's nearly impossible to cast out of mind William Wyler's 1939 version, especially Laurence Olivier's stormy yet affable portrayal of Heathcliff, and the Hollywood-ization of the novel's morose ending. In these two regards does PBS' 2009 rendition of Wuthering Heights most severely contrast Wyler's version.

Tom Hardy's Heathcliff is one of the darkest and most menacing screen incarnations of the character, with outstanding scenes when he's intimidating young Catherine in front of the hapless Hareton and exacting his revenge against Cathy, Edgar, and Hindley in the latter half of the film.

Running nearly 2.5 hours in length, few scenes from the novel are entirely absent, though the plot sequence has been changed, and Lockwood's character has been cut.

Thankfully, the harrowing ending of the novel is kept intact, catharsis and all. Decidedly a PBS Masterpiece presentation in its staginess, the acting is nevertheless sharp, carrying the story and its characters gracefully over the moors once again.