The Heath is Alive with a Movie Soundtrack

05 Feb

Friday night I was wild and crazy.  I set up the portable DVD player in the kitchen and watched this movie while I prepped and cleaned up dinner.

ROTN movie

It was revolutionary.  Not the movie.  The watching while washing dishes–that was revolutionary.  Since I was multi-tasking, I grabbed an index card on which to scratch down some notes to share with you.  These are by no means exhaustive.  Fellow Blogger Christina and her husband also watched the movie.  I hope they’ll add in the comments anything vital that I forgot.

  • Clym sees Eustacia magically on the heath the 1st day he comes home.  I say magically because she appears out of the mist with a white horse.  Eustacia is played by Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Charlie does indeed hold E’s hand in exchange for her playing his part of the Turkish knight.
  • Clym recognizes Eustacia in the costume and the whole bucket in the well thing is skipped.
  • All attend Thomasin and Wildeve’s wedding.  At the wedding Susan Nunsuch stabs Eustacia with a pin during the service.  The wax figure of E is skipped, instead Susan burns a ribbon (we assume it’s E’s).
  • There is no gambling scene between Christian Cantle and Wildeve.  Or between Wildeve and Diggory Venn.
  • There is no snake.  Mrs. Yeobright keels over on the walk back to her home.
  • Eustacia immediately confesses to Clym that she did not open the door for her MIL because she thought he had.
  • The movie gave me the impression that Eustacia jumped into the water.  Thomasin, Clym. Wildeve, and the Reddleman were all there watching.  First she’s on the bridge, then she’s not.
  • The Reddleman’s love for Thomasin is downplayed.  The movie does end with their marriage.  Thomasin does not have a child.
  • The heath is not out to get everyone.

It was not my favorite rendition of the story.  I missed the force of the heath.  Sure the book was dark and depressing with the heath killing off folks left and right, but if you are going to make a movie version of a classic–do it right!  Stay true to the story!


Posted by on February 5, 2013 in The Return of the Native


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5 responses to “The Heath is Alive with a Movie Soundtrack

  1. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    February 5, 2013 at 7:17 am


    Welp, as I always say, “You can always judge a movie by its book, but you can’t judge a book by its movie!”


    • Christina Joy

      February 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Fantastic. Definitely a quote worth reusing often.

  2. Ruth

    February 5, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Sounds awful! What was the soundtrack like after all?

    • Christine

      February 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Instrumental. I remember noticing it in a few places: Eustacia’s on the top of a hill (a ala Julie Andrews), when E goes to the dance, and when everyone is in the water. I checked and yep, original music by Carl Davis.

  3. Christina Joy

    February 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Those are very similar to our observations. We were really irritated that the money and gambling played no part in the story at all. Mrs. Y’s hatred of Eustacia was really, really unfounded.

    The hand holding scene was my favorite – they showed her swashbuckling with the Turkish knight’s sword while Charlie tenderly held her other palm. Funny stuff.

    The acting (outside of CZJ) was pretty awful.

    I did see the ribbon fall off of Eustacia. Maybe when she was hugging Wildeve?

    I understood better in the movie why Susan N. burned the ribbon/made the wax effigy – she was hoping that it would heal the feverish Johnny who she believed was bewitched by E. Somehow I didn’t put that all together in the book.

    Movie Venn was down right creepy, and yes, the whole wedding at the end seemed really out of place since they didn’t show much of a connection between T and V earlier.

    The stupid white horse was stupid.

    Here’s one other thing we noticed and questioned: After Mrs. Y’s death they cut to the loading of E’s things into a carriage and her getting dressed to leave the cottage before she even admits to not opening the door. So, why was she leaving him? Weird.


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