Edit
The Heiress (1949) - Plot Summary Poster

(1949)

Plot Summary

  • 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 Morris' intentions, never having been called on before by a gentleman, but she quickly falls in love with him, as he does with her. They plan to be married. Being a romantic, Lavinia does whatever she can to advance their relationship. However, Dr. Sloper does not trust Morris, believing him to be a fortune hunter who is only interested in Catherine for her sizable inheritance. His beliefs are strengthened after a candid discussion with Morris' sister, Mrs. Montgomery. Dr. Sloper does whatever he can to prevent the two from getting married - the entire reason for his disapproval which he does not fully disclose to either Catherine or Morris - including taking Catherine away for an extended European vacation. Ultimately, incidents with both her father and Morris permanently change Catherine's view of life.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Catherine Sloper lives with her father Dr. Austin Sloper, a prominent and wealthy physician, and her aunt in 19th century New York. Catherine's mother died a few years ago and her father still lives in the memory of his beloved wife. While he is not unkind, there is little Catherine can do that in her father's eyes to meet the perfection that was her mother. Catherine is very shy and has a very limited life. Her world changes when she meets the handsome but penniless Morris Townsend. They spend time together and it leads to love and plans for marriage. Dr. Sloper mistrusts Townsend's intentions believing that his interest is primarily in the fortune that Catherine will inherit on his death. Defiant, Catherine pushes ahead with her plans even under threat of being disinherited.

    - Written by gvarykmcd
  • In 1840's New York Catherine lives with her father, Dr. Sloper. Her mother died some years before, and Dr. Sloper still idolizers her, and never misses an opportunity to compare her daughter to her -- a comparison the daughter can never win. When Morris Townsend, a handsome but pennyless young man, comes along, and woos and wins his daughter's heart, Dr. Sloper is sure that he is after her considerable inheritance, and opposes their marriage. Dr. Sloper takes his daughter to Europe in hopes she will forget Morris, but she does not. After Catherine returns to New York, the young lovers plan to elope. Dr. Sloper threatens to disinherit his daughter. Will this dissuade Morris?

    - Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>
  • Catherine Sloper is a shy and backwards young woman who lives with her father, Dr. Austin Sloper, in 1849 New York. By all accounts Catherine's mother was a beautiful and graceful creature with the charm of queens. Catherine never knew her mother since she died while in childbirth, but her father often reminds her of all the things her mother was and that she is not. Catherine inherited a great deal of money after her mother passed and will inherit twice as much more at the passing of her father. So, when a poor but handsome and well-bred man, Morris Townsend, begins to court Catherine, her father becomes suspicious that he must be after her money. After all, Catherine is plain and boring. What could she possibly offer to this young man - other than her money? When she refuses to give up her new beau her father threatens to disinherit her. Will her father eventually convince her to give him up and wait for a suitable husband? Will Catherine and Morris elope and live on the money left to her by her mother? Or could it be that Catherine finally finds all the grace and charm of her mother only to use it against the men in her life?

    - Written by Robin <soonerzs@yahoo.com>
  • A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

    - Written by Kenneth Chisholm

Synopsis

It looks like we don't have any Synopsis for this title yet.

Be the first to contribute! Just click the "Edit page" button at the bottom of the page or learn more in the Synopsis submission guide.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page