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The Wings of the Dove (1997)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  7 November 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 8,493 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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Title: The Wings of the Dove (1997)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 22 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:

7 November 1997 (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?


Some of the distinctive pleated gowns worn in the Venice scenes are designed to look like gowns produced by the Italian designer Fortuny. Fortuny pleated gowns were popular among wealthy European women in the early 1910s for their simplicity, form-fitting design and Greco-Roman influences. The gowns in this film, however, were created by contemporary husband and wife team Charles and Patricia Lester, who create modern gowns with a similar pleat. 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 »


Kate: Promise me - on your honor - that you're not in love with her memory.
See more »


Featured in Passion and Romance: The Wings of the Dove (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

An exceptional film with my all-time favorite female performance.
9 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This one really took me by surprise, in the best way possible. The story is a perfect blend of suspense and romance that is flawlessly engaging from start to finish. I couldn't help but keep my eyes glued to the screen the entire time. It flows beautifully and never moves too far ahead or too slow for the viewer. There wasn't a single second where I was bored or waiting for the film to end. I'm not usually the biggest fan of a period romance, but I was blown away by this one. The score is incredible. It sets the perfect ambiance for the film and makes you feel like you are with these characters. The ending left me in a complete catharsis. I was just numb, staring at the screen in disbelief. Helena Bonham Carter is unexplainably phenomenal. She is one of a rare breed of actors who can display more emotion simply with her eyes than most actors can with their entire body. I feel blessed to watch her perform. Her extreme versatility and authenticity is unparalleled. Her performance is the best from a female that I've ever seen. The Academy should be in jail for giving the Oscar to the mediocre Helen Hunt over Bonham Carter's flawless tour de force.

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Helena Bonham Carter should have been given an Oscar moon-light
Merton the Moron coolchrisguy
How naive do you think Millie was? cecile_p
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The Soundtrack!!! Renfieldette
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