A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.
Olivia de Havilland gives the performance of her life as Catherine Sloper, the socially awkward and homely daughter of surgeon Dr. Sloper (played by Ralph Richardson). She brings such a strong performance as her character evolves from a timid, shy and innocent young lady to a hardened, disappointed and bitter woman. I don't know that I have ever seen an actress give such a convincing evolution, before or since. She truly earned her Oscar win for Best Actress. Richardson also delivers a believable performance as the ruthless father that is extremely disappointed in his daughter, and never fails to let her know it. At the same time, there is a hint of fatherly love below the surface trying to protect his daughter from what he perceives is a fortune hunter in the suitor of Montgomery Clift's character, Morris Townsend.
The photography in the film is amazing as it conveys the deep emotions in the film so adequately. You feel Catherine's loneliness and awkwardness, and the scenes involving the elopement, and later the final rejection, are quite hauntingly portrayed.
One of my favorite lines in movies is from this film when Catherine's Aunt tells her "Can you be so cruel?" to which Catherine coldly replies "Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters." This is a film you will want to see multiple times to uncover all the layers and details of the very deep and tragic story of "The Heiress".
- Jan 8, 2009