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

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Won 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Selena Royle ...
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

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Language:

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Release Date:

10 February 1950 (Australia)  »

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

On September 29, 1947, the original Broadway play "The Heiress" by Ruth Goetz and Augustus Goetz opened at New York's Biltmore Theater starring Wendy Hiller and Basil Rathbone. The stage play ran for 410 performances. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Sloper goes into his office to examine himself because he isn't feeling well, as he opens up his doctor's bag, the middle finger of his right hand is shown quite unusually extended, but then the next cut shot shows it in a different position. See more »

Quotes

Austin Sloper: [Referring to Morris] I'll see him tomorrow.
Catherine Sloper: You're so good that you will be fair and honest with him.
Austin Sloper: I shall be as fair and honest with him as he is with you.
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Connections

Referenced in Dallas: The Heiress (1979) 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

 
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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Richardson as Sloper practicepiano
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