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The Heiress (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 28 December 1949 (USA)
A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

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(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by) | 3 more credits »
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Won 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Paul Lees ...
Harry Antrim ...
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Quintus
David Thursby ...
Geier
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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

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

28 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Erbin  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cary Grant was interested in playing Morris Townsend, but William Wyler turned him down. 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: [Referring to Catherine] How is it possible to protect such a willing victim?
Aunt Penniman: You will kill her if you deny her this marriage.
Austin Sloper: You forget I'm a doctor. People don't die of such things.
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Connections

Referenced in Three's Company: The Heiress (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Gavotte
(1786) (uncredited)
Music by François-Joseph Gossec
Dance music at the party
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Triumph for two great stars.
5 July 2004 | by (Adelaide Australia) – See all my reviews

There is no doubt that "The Heiress" was a triumph for two great stars - Olivia de Havilland and Ralph Richardson. Made over 50 years ago, this film is still extremely watchable, and the performances stand up as good as anything today. de Havilland's Oscar was well and truly warranted, as this is an acting achievement which covers every range of emotion from innocence to cruelty in an amazing way. As the plain daughter of a very bitter man, she is able to convey the frustrations, hurt and bitter revenge in a way that is completely believable - just a stunning characterization. As the unfeeling father Ralph Richardson shows his class, and warranted Best Supporting Actor recognition. Montgomery Clift was miscast to a certain degree, but under William Wyler's direction, he got through Okay. But truly, the film belongs to the two headliners alone.


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