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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.

Director:

Writers:

(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

Complete credited 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

Taglines:

A truly great motion picture (one-sheet) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Erbin  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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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

After seeing The Heiress on Broadway, Olivia de Havilland approached William Wyler about directing her in a screen adaptation of the play. He agreed and encouraged Paramount Pictures executives to purchase the rights from the playwrights (Ruth and Augustus Goetz) for $250,000 and offer them $10,000 per week to write the screenplay. The couple were asked to make Morris less of a villain than he was in their play and the original novel in deference to the studio's desire to capitalize on Montgomery Clift's reputation as a romantic leading man. See more »

Goofs

This story takes place at the end of the 1840s, but none of the men wear the cravats--material bound around the neck and tied in either the front or back--that were fashionable in that period; instead they wear neckties and bow ties, which did not come into fashion until the late 1850s. See more »

Quotes

Aunt Penniman: Now, Catherine, if you will stay by me this evening, you will see that what I say is not always of the greatest importance, but dear, that doesn't keep me from talking.
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Connections

Referenced in The Age of Innocence (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Queen of the Flowers
(1860) (uncredited)
Music by Eugène Ketterer
Dance music at the party
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Meticulous adaptation
7 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

Henry James novel of spinster daughter of wealthy doctor being wooed by a fortune hunter is meticulously brought to the screen by Wyler and a stellar cast. The beautiful de Havilland, made to look plain and dull, is quite good in her Oscar-winning title role. Also fine are Clift as the gold digger and Hopkins as de Havilland's understanding aunt. However, the best performance is given by Richardson as the cold, domineering father who wants to protect his daughter but also despises her meek existence. Brown, who plays the maid, looks like a young Grace Kelly. The cinematography is excellent and there's a fine score by Copland.


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