MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,279 this week

The Heiress (1949)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  10 February 1950 (Sweden)
8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 8,743 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 48 critic

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director:

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Interview: Magic Mike

The Magic Mike XXL guys give some relationship advice to a 74-year-old fan.

Watch Now

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 12 Dec 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 26 Dec 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 16 Oct 2013
 
8
a list of 22 titles
created 20 Oct 2013
 
list image
a list of 45 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Heiress" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Heiress (1949)

The Heiress (1949) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Heiress.

User Polls

Won 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Snake Pit (1948)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the 20th century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters
The Search (1948)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the Post-War Berlin, an American private helps a lost Czech boy to find his mother.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Ivan Jandl, Aline MacMahon
The Letter (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson
Dodsworth (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A graduating poet/teacher falls in love with a Southern woman, and then the Civil War and her past create problems.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint
Carrie (1952)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Carrie boards the train to Chicago with big ambitions. She gets a job stitching shoes and her sister's husband takes almost all of her pay for room and board. Then she injures a finger and ... See full summary »

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jennifer Jones, Miriam Hopkins
Jezebel (1938)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A haughty headstrong Southern Belle in Antebellum Louisiana loses her fiance due to her stubborn vanity and pride and vows to get him back.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix
Lonelyhearts (1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Eager to land a journalistic position, Adam White goes to work as an advice-giving newspaper columnist. His editor, Shrike, takes pleasure in browbeating his alcoholic wife Florence for her... See full summary »

Director: Vincent J. Donehue
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Myrna Loy, Robert Ryan
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Vanessa Brown ...
Betty Linley ...
...
Mona Freeman ...
Selena Royle ...
Paul Lees ...
Harry Antrim ...
Russ Conway ...
Quintus
David Thursby ...
Geier
Edit

Storyline

In the mid-1800's, the wealthy Sloper family - widowed surgeon Dr. Austin Sloper, his adult daughter Catherine Sloper (Dr. Sloper's only surviving child), and Dr. Sloper's recently widowed sister Lavinia Penniman - live in an opulent house at 16 Washington Square, New York City. They have accrued their wealth largely through Dr. Sloper's hard work. Despite the lessons that Dr. Sloper has paid for in all the social graces for her, Catherine is a plain, simple, awkward and extremely shy woman who spends all her free time alone doing embroidery when she is not doting on her father. Catherine's lack of social charm and beauty - unlike her deceased mother - is obvious to Dr. Sloper, who hopes that Lavinia will act as her guardian in becoming more of a social person, and ultimately as chaperon if Catherine were ever to meet the right man. The first man ever to show Catherine any attention is the handsome Morris Townsend, who she met at a family party. Catherine is initially uncertain as to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Greatness in a motion picture (insert) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 February 1950 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Die Erbin  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Montgomery Clift learned to play the piano for the scene where he sings, "The Joys of Love" to Olivia de Havilland. See more »

Goofs

In the scene in the rain, Catherine takes Morris' cloak off herself and wraps it around him. After the next cut the cloak is missing, then in the following closeup it reappears and Catherine buttons it around Morris' neck. See more »

Quotes

Austin Sloper: You have found a tongue at last, Catherine. 'Tis only to say such terrible things to me.
Catherine Sloper: Yes. This is a field where you will not compare me to my mother.
See more »

Connections

Version of Washington Square (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Gavotte
(1786) (uncredited)
Music by François-Joseph Gossec
Dance music at the party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
If I could choose one word to describe this film, it would be "masterpiece"...
4 December 2006 | by (Petersburg, Vasaria) – See all my reviews

Along with THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937), PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1943), and PETER IBBETSON (1935), this is one of my favorite films set in the 19th Century. It's a truly excellent film that won tremendous critical acclaim upon its release but was a box office failure in comparison to the enormous success of Paramount's other film of 1949, SAMSON AND DELILAH. Whereas Hedy Lamarr's magnificent beauty and screen presence were the only redeeming features of SAMSON AND DELILAH, THE HEIRESS is a dramatic masterpiece and a film that has withstood the test of time. Its star, Olivia de Havilland, went home with a deserving second Best Actress Oscar for her outstanding performance as Catherine Sloper, the naive and plain title character.

The direction, acting, casting, writing, production values, and music score of this film are perfect. I have no complaints whatsoever on any of these departments. However, others have criticized these departments of the film and I would like to point some of these criticisms out. Some have remarked that Montgomery Clift's performance as Morris Townsend is "too modern," especially in his speech. I found his performance authentic to the period—how else would a charming 19th Century New York gentleman act, let alone a crafty fortune hunter? Others have also criticized the film as a "melodramatic soap opera." This film is a breath of fresh air amongst the vast crowd of heavily melodramatic films that were a trademark of 1940s cinema—the sincere performances are subtle and underplayed here, as is the Oscar-winning Aaron Copland music score which rarely reaches the level of "melodramatic musical cue" throughout the film. Due to the film's level of excellence, the film is timeless and could be viewed comfortably amongst many members of today's generation despite its meticulous black-and-white cinematography by Leo Tover. I have seen this landmark film three times so far and it improves with each viewing—I am also ready to buy the upcoming DVD of the film in early 2007. Although I'm not a huge fan of William Wyler's other films, including the hokey "British" wartime melodrama MRS. MINIVER (1942), THE HEIRESS is one of the few films of his that belongs on my shelf sometime soon.

Although this is generally a thinking person's film, the story is simple and I suppose all of us could relate to Catherine Sloper in a way. All of us have faced the dominating, somewhat emotionally abusive presence of our parent(s) at some point in our lives, especially when the parent(s) disapproves of the new friend or intended future spouse we have discovered. However, Catherine's father (Ralph Richardson) proves right in a shocking revelation here. As with Catherine, I can't help but despise Dr. Sloper despite his correct views on Morris Townsend.

Next to the wholly convincing performance of Olivia de Havilland, my favorite element of the film is the haunting music score by Aaron Copland. It's a tragic yet beautiful score that stirs the emotions in all the right places in the film. As I may have said before, the score is used sparingly and rarely reaches a sentimental level.

In short, this marvelous film is a timeless masterpiece. And who could not forget the ambiguous and abrupt ending?


26 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Letdown of an ending akoolaidroom
After watching this a third time, I'm convinced... capital_letters
I think she will be just fine maharani78
What if they HAD married? benhere
top 5 performances (by an actress) troifrer
Aunt Penniman thirtyspokes
Discuss The Heiress (1949) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?