The Wings of the Dove (1997)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  13 March 1998 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 8,622 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)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Quartet (1981)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Marya finds herself penniless after her art dealer husband, Stephan, is convicted of theft. Marya accepts the hospitality of a strange couple, H.J. and Lois Heidler, who lets her live in their house.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Alan Bates, Maggie Smith, Isabelle Adjani
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young journalist (Lespert) helps the French President compile his memoirs.

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Stars: Michel Bouquet, Jalil Lespert, Philippe Fretun
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After another cardiac arrest, Armand knows he doesn't have long to live. But after more than 70 years in the same house, he doesn't want to die anywhere else. His wife, Rose, has secretly ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Stars: Marthe Nadeau, J. Léo Gagnon, Marcel Sabourin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The wife of photographer J.A. Martin decides to go with him in his tour of the hard Canadian countryside at the turn of the century. She hopes the intimacy will revive their marriage.

Director: Jean Beaudin
Stars: Marcel Sabourin, Monique Mercure, Marthe Thierry
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A woman imbued with naturalistic and libertarian theories leaves her city home to live in the countryside with her young son. There she meets a litigious farmer who fights against the banks... See full summary »

Director: Gilles Carle
Stars: Micheline Lanctôt, Donald Pilon, Reynald Bouchard
The Novena (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Bernard Émond
Stars: Elise Guilbault, Patrick Drolet, Marie-Josée Bastien
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Marcel, recently released from prison, attempt to rebuild his relationship with his girlfriend Julie (now a prostitute) and especially his father Albert (who thinks he's been away on a long... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Lauzon
Stars: Gilles Maheu, Roger Lebel, Corrado Mastropasqua
Mon amie Max (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Catherine, a concert pianist, is surprised one night by the arrival of her best friend from childhood, Marie-Alexandrine (Max), whom she hasn't seen for 25 years. Catherine and Max were ... See full summary »

Director: Michel Brault
Stars: Geneviève Bujold, Marthe Keller, Johanne McKay
Trotta (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: Johannes Schaaf
Stars: András Bálint, Rosemarie Fendel, Doris Kunstmann
Codine (1963)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An ex-convict struggles to survive by brute force alone in a turn-of-the-century slum in Braila. Codine (Alexandre Virgil Platon) is the thug who served 10 years for murdering a friend. He ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Colpi
Stars: Alexandru Virgil Platon, Razvan Petrescu, Françoise Brion
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A woman is overwhelmed with having to deal with her emotionally unstable daughter, mentally-challenged brother and two suitors while simultaneously trying to run her small firewood business.

Director: Francis Mankiewicz
Stars: Charlotte Laurier, Marie Tifo, Germain Houde
Gaz Bar Blues (2003)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This is the story of Mr. Brochu, whose friends like to call "the Boss". He runs his gas station the best he can and tries to stay happy no matter what happens. This movie relates all the ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Bélanger
Stars: Serge Thériault, Gilles Renaud, Sébastien Delorme


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?


Based on a novel by Henry James (1902) with the same name, in 1998 ranked 26th on the list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library. 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: Every time she smiles, remember that I love you more.
See more »


Featured in Venice Report (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Carter showcase of very good movie
2 March 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

This was not one of my favorite novels when I read it (for James, I prefer THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY), but this is a very good film. Director Iain Softley and writer Hossein Amini made the smart decision to move this up in time to the 1910's, which enables them to get to the passions more than James does here. Softley also makes this darker than most literary adaptations, in look and in tone, without suffocating it, and he avoids making this a film about production design rather than about a story. He does labor a bit in trying for tragedy, but that's only a quibble.

Alison Elliot, a good actress (I liked her in THE UNDERNEATH and the otherwise flawed THE SPITFIRE GRILL), takes awhile to warm up as Millie, because she seems a little too modern, but she avoids easy sentiment as the dying heiress. Linus Roache, who I thought was a little awkward in PRIEST, here avoids the trap of being the third wheel, making us understand what both Millie and Kate see in Merton. But the real triumph here is Helena Bonham Carter, who gave the best performance of the year. One character says of Kate, "There's something going on behind those beautiful lashes," and that can usually be said of the characters Carter plays, but sometimes she's overly detached. Here, she's completely engaged, and she pulls off the difficult trick of never losing our sympathies even when her character does something despicable. And where James sort of made Kate just manipulative, Carter makes her human and longing.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Helena Bonham Carter should have been given an Oscar moon-light
Merton the Moron coolchrisguy
How naive do you think Millie was? cecile_p
NO messages?? HauntingAphrodite
Carnival? angharad83
The Soundtrack!!! Renfieldette
Discuss The Wings of the Dove (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: