6.7/10
3,115
48 user 47 critic

Washington Square (1997)

Catherine Sloper (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has found the man of her dreams in Morris Townsend (Ben Chaplin), but her plans to marry him are strongly opposed by her father, Dr. Austin Sloper (... See full summary »

Director:

Agnieszka Holland

Writers:

Henry James (novel), Carol Doyle (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Catherine Sloper
Albert Finney ... Dr. Austin Sloper
Maggie Smith ... Aunt Lavinia Penniman
Ben Chaplin ... Morris Townsend
Judith Ivey ... Aunt Elizabeth Almond
Arthur Laupus Arthur Laupus ... Mr. Almond
Jennifer Garner ... Marian Almond
Robert Stanton ... Arthur Townsend
Betsy Brantley Betsy Brantley ... Mrs. Montgomery
Nancy Daly ... Maureen (Maid)
Sara Ruzicka Sara Ruzicka ... Catherine Sloper (age 11)
Rachel Layne Sacrey Rachel Layne Sacrey ... Sarah Almond
Rachel Osborne Rachel Osborne ... Alice Almond
Scott Jaeck ... John Ludlow
Peter Maloney ... Jacob Webber (Notary)
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Storyline

Catherine Sloper (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has found the man of her dreams in Morris Townsend (Ben Chaplin), but her plans to marry him are strongly opposed by her father, Dr. Austin Sloper (Albert Finney), 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot over a period of eight weeks. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Austin Sloper: If a prelude is necessary, the news must be bad.
See more »

Connections

Version of Lux Video Theatre: The Heiress (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

L'Absence
Lyrics by Théophile Gautier
Music by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Quartet Version Vocal by Marissa Anna Muro
Orchestra Version Vocal by Marta Boberska
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User Reviews

This kind of movie becomes rare nowadays!
26 February 2002 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

It takes a lot of nerve to take on a De Havilland's part ,and Jennifer Jason Leigh has succeeded though:she has never taken the easy road ,as "last exit to Brooklyn"(1989)testifies.She is one of these rare contemporary actors (like Sean Penn,Daniel Day-Lewis,Emma Thompson)who shuns narcissistic parts,who does not think twice about making herself look ugly(like De Havilland).Her portrayal of a gauche,clumsy but endearing heiress(!)despised by her father is brilliant.

Matching her every step of the way are Finney's and Smith's sensational renderings of the rich fat bourgeois and the ambiguous spinster. Albert Finney plays a selfish cruel man ,whose wife died when his daughter was born,and he never forgave the girl this death.So he 's always putting her down,humiliating her fiercely.Maggie Smith -who has already played old maid parts:see "the prime of miss Jean Brodie"(1969),"the honey pot" (1967)"A room with a view"(1986)-is equally successful as the heroine's aunt:we never know whether she helps or thwarts her niece's plans.She probably tries to recreate what she misses during her whole life,but isn't she trying to make her niece what she is as well?Whatever you think of remakes,when you deal with such a efficient threesome,you forget all your bias.

Henry James talks about woman's condition during the last century.Money is the center of the heroine's drama;she will never be sure to be loved for herself,that's why her love is doomed from the very beginning.At the time,marriage was the woman's only future,ugly women became either spinsters or nuns.Catherine's dilemma is that,unlike the other socialites for whom marriage is the way to become part of the posh elite,love is second to none for her.Ben Chaplin is rather acceptable,but his character remains one-dimensional.It was probably hard to equal Montgomery Clift.

In a nutshell,a movie who shuns fad;hence a very commendable work.Agnieska Holland -who had already directed a remarkable "Europa Europa"- is a director who promises great things.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

10 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Erbin vom Washington Square See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,352, 5 October 1997

Gross USA:

$1,851,761

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,851,761
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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