6.7/10
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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 »

Photos

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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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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As Catherine Sloper is supposed to be exceedingly plain, Jennifer Jason Leigh wore little or no make-up throughout the shoot. See more »

Quotes

Aunt Lavinia Penniman: You'll have to excuse me, Mr. Townsend. I have a fortuitous headache.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Tale Of The String
Lyrics by Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman
Music by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice try, but.....
24 October 2010 | by howardeismanSee all my reviews

I first saw "The Heiress" when it first came out. I was about 12, but old enough to be fascinated by the characters and the basic conflict. Wow! I read the James' book "Washington Square" about 30 years later. I was disappointed. It was a rambling story told by a busybody with none of the dramatic high points of The Heiress; it is Henry James" first novel and has none of the intriguing nuances of his later novels.

This film stays closer to the novel than "The Heiress". Thus, it is much less of a drama. The attempt to do the book is commendable, but it is not necessarily the route to an entertaining film. Here, the characterizations are obscurely unmotivated (Finney), over-the-top (Smith), uneven and sometimes weird (Leigh), and charmless and off-putting (Chapin). The musical score is intrusive. All of this contrasts badly with "The Heiress", in which the characters had far more depth, authenticity, and appeal(certainly Morris and even the minor characters).

This longer version attempts a better exposition of the characters' psychology. Good ambition but it fails. Take Dr. Sloper. A hard working, self-made man who despises Morris Townsend mainly because he is a self-centered loafer. It is not snobbery which motivates him, Morris is a gentleman, but his belief in merit and good works. He does love his daughter but she disappoints him with her shyness and inability to master much of life. He pushes her to manage better, but he is constantly frustrated. For her to marry Morris would be to shatter all he believes about how people should live. A bad guy? A good guy? All of this comes out in Ralph Richardson"s performance in "The Heiress.' Finney just seems like an nasty oaf in comparison.


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