The Wings of the Dove (1997)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  13 March 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 8,614 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 68 user | 72 critic | 18 from

An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Philip Wright ...
Journalist 2
Kate's Father
Alexander John ...
Shirley Chantrell ...
Opium Den Lady
Diana Kent ...
Merton's Party Companion
Georgio Serafini ...
Rachele Crisafulli ...


Kate Croy's mother was born to wealth and privilege, but she threw it all away to marry Kate's father, a penniless opium addict who admits to having stolen from his wife. After her mother's death, Kate is offered an opportunity to return to the life her mother gave up. There is a condition, however: Kate must sever all of her old ties, not only to her father, but also to her lover, the muck-raking journalist Merton Densher, whom she has promised marriage. Kate reluctantly agrees to this, and in the meantime becomes friendly with "the world's richest orphan," Millie Theale, an American making the Grand Tour. Desperate to see Kate, Merton crashes a party that she and Millie are attending, and Millie is attracted to him. When Kate learns that Millie is dying, she comes up with a plan to have her cake and eat it too...but all does not go as planned. Written by RK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A couple with everything but money. An heiress with everything but love. A temptation no one could resist.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las alas de la paloma  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$183,610 (USA) (7 November 1997)


DEM 216,514 (Germany) (24 July 1998)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The story was moved up in time from 1902 to 1910, in part at the behest of costume designer Sandy Powell. Fashion evolved significantly between those two years, and Powell felt that the 1910 silhouette would help set the film apart from the films made by Merchant-Ivory (which are often set in the 1900s). See more »


The tile pattern on the Underground stations the train passes through at the beginning of the film are identical in pattern and color for each station. Each station on the Piccadilly line had its own tile pattern and color scheme so that the illiterate could still recognize their station without needing to read the station name. See more »


Merton: You want me to seduce a dying girl? And what makes you think she'll just leave me all her money?
Kate: I know her. I know how she loves.
See more »


Referenced in Notting Hill (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Great film!
15 August 2006 | by (Oakland,CA) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite films of the 90's. Great cast, fantastic screenplay, simply an incredible telling of a compelling story. The movie moves along in organic fashion, never feeling contrived or manipulative (probably because the story comes from a good novelist). The characters are well developed and make the choices you believe these characters would make. Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roach and Allison Elliot are all excellent, and Charlotte Rampling is always good. I also like the contrast set up with the dreary English settings vs. the romantic and elegant Venetion scenes. I think this movie is vastly underrated and should be seen by any serious film fan.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The Soundtrack!!! Renfieldette
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