6.7/10
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46 user 44 critic

Washington Square (1997)

Catherine Sloper has found the man of her dreams in Morris Townsend, but her plans to marry him are strongly opposed by her father, who believes Townsend is only interested in his daughter ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Aunt Elizabeth Almond
Arthur Laupus ...
Mr. Almond
...
Marian Almond
...
Arthur Townsend
Betsy Brantley ...
Mrs. Montgomery
...
Maureen (Maid)
Sara Ruzicka ...
Catherine Sloper (age 11)
Rachel Layne Sacrey ...
Sarah Almond
Rachel Osborne ...
Alice Almond
...
John Ludlow
...
Jacob Webber (Notary)
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Storyline

Catherine Sloper has found the man of her dreams in Morris Townsend, but her plans to marry him are strongly opposed by her father, who believes Townsend is only interested in his daughter for her money. But Catherine is determined to follow her heart, even if she loses her inheritance in the process. But just what are Townsend's intentions? Written by Mike Myers <mmyers@ucsd.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She must choose between her father's fortune... Or the man she loves.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements including some sensuality, a childbirth scene and brief mild language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Erbin vom Washington Square  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,352, 5 October 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,710,693, 11 January 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as Catherine. Other actresses to play Catherine have included Olivia de Havilland in the 1949 film version, Julie Harris in a 1961 television version, and on Broadway, Wendy Hiller in 1947, Jane Alexander in 1975, Cherry Jones in 1995, and Jessica Chastain in 2012. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Austin Sloper: It would give me great satisfaction if you were to promise that upon my death you will not marry Townsend.
Catherine Sloper: I very seldom think of Mr. Townsend.
Dr. Austin Sloper: All the easier to keep your promise.
Catherine Sloper: I can't promise.
Dr. Austin Sloper: You are very obstinate.
Catherine Sloper: I don't think you understand.
Dr. Austin Sloper: Please explain, then.
Catherine Sloper: I can't explain. And I can't promise.
See more »

Connections

Version of Lux Video Theatre: The Heiress (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

The Tale Of The String
Lyrics by Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman
Music by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
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User Reviews

 
Nice try, but.....
24 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

I first saw "The Heiress" when it first came out. I was about 12, but old enough to be fascinated by the characters and the basic conflict. Wow! I read the James' book "Washington Square" about 30 years later. I was disappointed. It was a rambling story told by a busybody with none of the dramatic high points of The Heiress; it is Henry James" first novel and has none of the intriguing nuances of his later novels.

This film stays closer to the novel than "The Heiress". Thus, it is much less of a drama. The attempt to do the book is commendable, but it is not necessarily the route to an entertaining film. Here, the characterizations are obscurely unmotivated (Finney), over-the-top (Smith), uneven and sometimes weird (Leigh), and charmless and off-putting (Chapin). The musical score is intrusive. All of this contrasts badly with "The Heiress", in which the characters had far more depth, authenticity, and appeal(certainly Morris and even the minor characters).

This longer version attempts a better exposition of the characters' psychology. Good ambition but it fails. Take Dr. Sloper. A hard working, self-made man who despises Morris Townsend mainly because he is a self-centered loafer. It is not snobbery which motivates him, Morris is a gentleman, but his belief in merit and good works. He does love his daughter but she disappoints him with her shyness and inability to master much of life. He pushes her to manage better, but he is constantly frustrated. For her to marry Morris would be to shatter all he believes about how people should live. A bad guy? A good guy? All of this comes out in Ralph Richardson"s performance in "The Heiress.' Finney just seems like an nasty oaf in comparison.


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