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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 »



(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Laupus ...
Betsy Brantley ...
Maureen (Maid)
Sara Ruzicka ...
Rachel Layne Sacrey ...
Sarah Almond
Rachel Osborne ...
Alice Almond
John Ludlow
Jacob Webber (Notary)


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


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


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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





Release Date:

10 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Erbin vom Washington Square  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,352 (USA) (3 October 1997)


$1,710,693 (USA) (9 January 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At one point, Brooke Shields was cast as Catherine Sloper, but dropped out due to her commitment to the TV series Suddenly Susan (1996). See more »


[referring to Catherine's father's opinion of Morris]
Morris Townsend: You would hear me abused without opening your lips in my defense?
Catherine Sloper: My father would not abuse you. He does not know you well enough.
See more »


Version of Washington Square (1975) See more »


Please Don't Come Here Again
Performed by April Armstrong
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice try, but.....
24 October 2010 | by (United States) – 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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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