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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 13:09 GMT
Appeal to trace early Bronte film
Angela Scoular and Ian McShane in the 1967 BBC series Wuthering Heights
Angela Scoular and Ian McShane starred in a 1967 BBC adaptation
A rare silent film of Wuthering Heights is being sought by a museum dedicated to author Emily Bronte and her family.

The Bronte Parsonage Museum wants to trace the 1920 film, which was filmed around the Bronte family home in Haworth, West Yorkshire.

It is thought to be the first Bronte adaptation and starred some of the UK's most popular actors of the time.

Museum librarian Ann Dinsdale said: "No film archive has a copy so we believe it may be in private hands."

She added: "We have contacted archives as far afield as Los Angeles but with no success.

"The film's makers went to a lot of trouble to ensure the accuracy of the film, shooting it on location, which is another reason why we are interested in it.

"It is believed to be the first adaptation of a Bronte work and covers the entire novel while most modern productions end half-way through.

Classic novel

"So little is known that we would be interested to hear from anyone who even has anecdotes about the film or seeing it."

Bronte museum
The Bronte parsonage is now a museum dedicated to the family

The museum is currently exhibiting items from the film, including an album of photographs taken during filming.

Emily Bronte's 1847 novel features doomed love and family feuds, with the area around the Bronte family's home providing the inspiration for the wild, stormy landscape.

Hero Heathcliff's tragic love for the heroine Cathy is among the most celebrated in British fiction.

The 90-minute film, which was billed as "Emily Bronte's tremendous story of hate", featured four actors playing Heathcliff at different ages.

They included Milton Rosmer, who was the star of silent films from the era including The Diamond Necklace and The Pointing Finger.

Later adaptations include the 1939 film starring Laurence Olivier, which won a best cinematography Oscar, and a 1992 movie, which saw Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes take the lead roles.

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