The List: the best (and worst) screen Heathcliffs

The many faces of the Wuthering Heights foundling

As Peter Bowker’s magnetic Wuthering Heights from 2009 is reshown (9pm, ITV3, HD), we count down the most memorable (and possibly most forgettable) screen Heathcliffs, beginning with Tom Hardy, star of tonight’s welcome repeat.

1939 – Laurence Olivier stars in William Wyler’s Oscar winner, a critical success despite the fact that it only covers roughly the first 16 of the book’s 34 chapters. The film omits any mention of Cathy’s daughter and Heathcliff’s son.

1970 – Timothy Dalton’s Heathcliff suffers a very different fate to the one in the novel. The climax finds Hindley Earnshaw fatally shooting him and remaining the owner of Wuthering Heights.

1989 – Emily Brontë’s story was transplanted to medieval Japan in Orashi Ga Oka where orphan boy Onimaru (Yasaku Matsuda) is taken in by a group of priests trying to appease the gods of anger. He falls in love with Kinu (Yuko Tanaka), who suffers a similar fate to Catherine. The clip unfortunately has no subtitles.

1992 – Ralph Fiennes is suitably brooding in Peter Kosminsky’s production, a movie notable for its inclusion of the oft-omitted second-generation story of the children of Cathy, Hindley and Heathcliff.

1996 – Many sources speculated that clean-cut Cliff Richard would not be able to carry off the role of the barely civilised foundling, but despite the resulting musical not being a success with the press, advance takings of £8.5m were believed to be a record at the time.

2003 – a modern-day adaptation for MTV finds Heath (Mike Vogel) embarking on a torrid love affair with Cate (Erika Christensen) in California. A pre-Grey’s Anatomy Katherine Heigl plays Isabel Linton.