What's new
  • Announcing New Ownership at Home Theater Forum. Learn More

Wuthering Heights (1939) still has no Blu-ray release? (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
62,796
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
I kind of got roped into watching this film yesterday after my GF mentioned it to me over the weekend.

It was hard to locate, but I found a copy streaming on Amazon Prime. The condition of the print was average. It looks like it's in need of some love.

I thought the film was pretty good, though a bit too sappy for my tastes (particularly the deathbed sequence at the end). However, it was interesting to watch the young Laurence Olivier and David Niven give commendable performances.

I am surprised that this film is not on Blu-ray. It's an important film given the fact it went up against GONE WITH THE WIND for Best Picture in 1939, one of the most renowned years for film. Furthermore, given the fact Warner Bros. owns it, one would think this would be a priority for the studio to restore and release.

To sneak this title in, at least it's good to see Warner will be releasing THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942) to the archive in the near future.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
62,001
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
I kind of got roped into watching this film yesterday after my GF mentioned it to me over the weekend.

It was hard to locate, but I found a copy streaming on Amazon Prime. The condition of the print was average. It looks like it's in need of some love.

I thought the film was pretty good, though a bit too sappy for my tastes (particularly the deathbed sequence at the end). However, it was interesting to watch the young Laurence Olivier and David Niven give commendable performances.

I am surprised that this film is not on Blu-ray. It's an important film given the fact it went up against GONE WITH THE WIND for Best Picture in 1939, one of the most renowned years for film. Furthermore, given the fact Warner Bros. owns it, one would think this would be a priority for the studio to restore and release.

To sneak this title in, at least it's good to see Warner will be releasing THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942) to the archive in the near future.
Ron,

Unfortunately, it’s a Samuel Goldwynn production and I’m not sure Warner and Goldwynn still have an active physical media distribution deal. I bought the iTunes HD digital four years ago and the video presentation is mediocre at best. Much work is needed before a Blu-ray release.
 

Nick Eden

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 9, 2001
Messages
237
Agreed. This needs to be released. I've not watched in 15 or more years.
Best copy I have is a high definition shown on BBC2. It's reasonable, but it needs a lot of work.
Trouble is there are so many other titles waiting to be looked at.
And as said, I am not sure Warners has any "ownership" of the title unfortunately.
 

Capt D McMars

Bernuli Tech Vet
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Messages
3,272
Location
Colorado
Real Name
Todd Doc Sigmier
Ron,

Unfortunately, it’s a Samuel Goldwynn production and I’m not sure Warner and Goldwynn still have an active physical media distribution deal. I bought the iTunes HD digital four years ago and the video presentation is mediocre at best. Much work is needed before a Blu-ray release.
I did see a WAC dvd version, and would love to see an upgraded edition, for sure. Maybe in the next 2-3 years there's a possibility?
 

bujaki

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
6,560
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Ron, I saw this film for the last time in 1989, when it was re-released for its 50th anniversary. Beautiful 35mm print that highlighted the extraordinary B&W cinematography. The score is quite haunting as well. I'd seen it before and had liked it. Then, at age 39, and with my precocious children (10, 11 and 12) in tow, I felt Olivier was too histrionic; and Oberon too placid, lacking Cathy's inner wildness and torment.
As we exited the theater, my children commented on the gorgeous cinematography, and thought that the best performance was that of Geraldine Fitzgerald. IMO, they nailed it. Fitzgerald's is the best performance, and oh, how I wish she had played Cathy!
Olivier was still learning to act for the screen, a fact he acknowledged and that he gave thanks to Wyler for helping him achieve.
For my money, I'll take Bunuel's sadly underbudgeted and so-so acted Mexican version, which I saw as a child (and later on as an adult at MoMA), and which has haunted me ever since. The ending is a whopper and started my unconscious love for Richard Wagner's music.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
62,796
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Ron, I saw this film for the last time in 1989, when it was re-released for its 50th anniversary. Beautiful 35mm print that highlighted the extraordinary B&W cinematography. The score is quite haunting as well. I'd seen it before and had liked it. Then, at age 39, and with my precocious children (10, 11 and 12) in tow, I felt Olivier was too histrionic; and Oberon too placid, lacking Cathy's inner wildness and torment.
As we exited the theater, my children commented on the gorgeous cinematography, and thought that the best performance was that of Geraldine Fitzgerald. IMO, they nailed it. Fitzgerald's is the best performance, and oh, how I wish she had played Cathy!
Olivier was still learning to act for the screen, a fact he acknowledged and that he gave thanks to Wyler for helping him achieve.
For my money, I'll take Bunuel's sadly underbudgeted and so-so acted Mexican version, which I saw as a child (and later on as an adult at MoMA), and which has haunted me ever since. The ending is a whopper and started my unconscious love for Richard Wagner's music.

Jose,

Thanks for a nice read.

I wasn't too crazy about Oberon in the role of Cathy. Just something about her acting bothered me. It didn't seem natural.

Otherwise, I thought it was a really good film which I enjoyed discovering for the first time.
 

Andrew Budgell

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
2,230
Location
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Andy Budgell
Mine, too. I had previously posted that this is on Warner's slate.
This is great news! The Man Who Came to Dinner is one of my favourite holiday films. However, I did a search and your most recent post about the film seems to be this one, a plea for it to be released on Blu-ray: https://www.hometheaterforum.com/co...ish-list-the-1940s.374150/page-4#post-5061571

Please let me know if I'm looking in the wrong spot! Hopefully we'll see both that and Wuthering Heights on Blu-ray at some point. They're two favourites.
 

lark144

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
1,880
Real Name
mark gross
Ron, I saw this film for the last time in 1989, when it was re-released for its 50th anniversary. Beautiful 35mm print that highlighted the extraordinary B&W cinematography. The score is quite haunting as well. I'd seen it before and had liked it. Then, at age 39, and with my precocious children (10, 11 and 12) in tow, I felt Olivier was too histrionic; and Oberon too placid, lacking Cathy's inner wildness and torment.
As we exited the theater, my children commented on the gorgeous cinematography, and thought that the best performance was that of Geraldine Fitzgerald. IMO, they nailed it. Fitzgerald's is the best performance, and oh, how I wish she had played Cathy!
Olivier was still learning to act for the screen, a fact he acknowledged and that he gave thanks to Wyler for helping him achieve.
For my money, I'll take Bunuel's sadly underbudgeted and so-so acted Mexican version, which I saw as a child (and later on as an adult at MoMA), and which has haunted me ever since. The ending is a whopper and started my unconscious love for Richard Wagner's music.
It's not one of my favorite Wylers, though I'm appreciating him a lot more as I become older. Unfortunately, a lot of his films were done for Goldwyn, and they are mostly on standard def and unrestored, in states that obscure the brilliance of Greg Tolland's cinematography. WUTHERING HEIGHTS is one of them. The last time I saw it, at MOMA, I thought visually the film was really impressive though inexpressive emotionally, but that may have been because of the stiffness of the leading performances. Still, it was one of my mother's favorite films, so I should probably see it again. Like many on this form, I've been waiting for it to come out on Blu-Ray, as the DVD is pretty ragged looking. I also thought Ms. Fitzgerald gave the film's best performance, and she should have been Cathy. And I much prefer Bunuel's version, though it may be over the top for some people. I have plenty of issues with Wagner, but I think Bunuel's use of it is spot on.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
62,001
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
I concur with those saying that Geraldine Fitzgerald gave the best performance in Wuthering Heights. I was never a big Merle Oberon fan nor really of Laurence Olivier. I don't dislike them as actors, but I always thought they were kind of overrated.
 

RobertMG

Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Messages
3,921
Real Name
Robert M. Grippo
I concur with those saying that Geraldine Fitzgerald gave the best performance in Wuthering Heights. I was never a big Merle Oberon fan nor really of Laurence Olivier. I don't dislike them as actors, but I always thought they were kind of overrated.
Same with Hans Christian Andersen --- needs blu!
 

richardburton84

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
702
Real Name
Jack
Also, Hans Christian Andersen already has a Blu-Ray, which was reissued by the Archive a few years ago.

Getting back to Wuthering Heights, I must admit that I’ve never been a big fan of Merle Oberon, but she does well enough in the film, and Olivier certainly shows he could portray the brutish nature of Heathcliff despite the character being somewhat sanitized (book Heathcliff is downright sadistic). I also think Fitzgerald does a great job as Isabella and the film has one of Alfred Newman’s most beautiful scores. I would most gladly welcome a Blu-Ray of the film.
 

Garysb

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2003
Messages
5,192
The Samuel Goldwyn library of films is part of the Orion films which is part of MGM and therefore owned now by Amazon. In fact "Wuthering Heights "(1939) is available to stream free for Amazon Prime members. I assume its the same HD version you can purchase from Itunes.


As is "Dead End"

and other Samuel Goldwyn pictures like "Guys and Dolls", "The Best Years of Our Lives", "These Three" and "Dodsworth" Amazon charges for "Ball of Fire" so not all Goldwyn films are free with Amazon Prime.
 
Last edited:

ahollis

Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Messages
8,612
Location
New Orleans
Real Name
Allen
There are three Samuel Goldwyn Libraries. The first is Samuel Goldwyn Productions, which are the films that Samuel Goldwyn Sr. Produced and belong to his estate. These are the titles that supposedly Warner Bros has. There has never been another announcement on the status of these titles since the original announcement. The second library are films produced by Samuel Goldwyn Jr starting in 1979 under the title of Samuel Goldwyn Company. These are the ones that were sold to Orion then ended up with MGM in 1997. In 2000 Junior started another company called Samuel Goldwyn Films and it’s still in business as it has released four films in 2022.

Note: the Samuel Goldwyn Productions library was first licensed to MGM, then it was licensed to Warner Brothers in 2012.
 

lark144

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
1,880
Real Name
mark gross
I concur with those saying that Geraldine Fitzgerald gave the best performance in Wuthering Heights. I was never a big Merle Oberon fan nor really of Laurence Olivier. I don't dislike them as actors, but I always thought they were kind of overrated.
Generally, he's stiff and hammy, continually feeding lines in blaring tones to the second balcony, though Wyler did manage to evoke what is probably Olivier's best performance in film a little over a decade later in "Carrie", an adaptation of "Sister Carrie" which is not to be confused with the Stephen King novel.
 

Garysb

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2003
Messages
5,192
There are three Samuel Goldwyn Libraries. The first is Samuel Goldwyn Productions, which are the films that Samuel Goldwyn Sr. Produced and belong to his estate. These are the titles that supposedly Warner Bros has. There has never been another announcement on the status of these titles since the original announcement. The second library are films produced by Samuel Goldwyn Jr starting in 1979 under the title of Samuel Goldwyn Company. These are the ones that were sold to Orion then ended up with MGM in 1997. In 2000 Junior started another company called Samuel Goldwyn Films and it’s still in business as it has released four films in 2022.

Note: the Samuel Goldwyn Productions library was first licensed to MGM, then it was licensed to Warner Brothers in 2012.
Didn't the Samuel Goldwyn Company (1979) or Samuel Goldwyn Jr. personally own Goldwyn senior's library of films? He presumably would be an heir to his father's estate. The Samuel Goldwyn Company(1979) logo fronted the Goldwyn senior's films for many years prior to being replaced by the Miramax logo. Whether that was a distribution deal between Sam jr and his company or whether the Samuel Goldwyn Company owned the films, I do not know. When Orion purchased the Samuel Goldwyn company wouldn't that have included the Goldwyn Senior films or would they have stayed with SG jr? There has been no mention of the sale of those films, just distribution deals. Since Junior is no longer alive are the films a part of his estate or were they part of the Samuel Goldwyn Company (1979). It does get comfusing.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
353,127
Messages
5,008,647
Members
143,402
Latest member
Chantalc
Recent bookmarks
0
Top