6.7/10
2,980
46 user 46 critic

Washington Square (1997)

Catherine Sloper has found the man of her dreams in Morris Townsend, but her plans to marry him are strongly opposed by her father, who believes Townsend is only interested in his daughter ... See full summary »

Director:

Agnieszka Holland

Writers:

Henry James (novel), Carol Doyle (screenplay)
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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 has found the man of her dreams in Morris Townsend, but her plans to marry him are strongly opposed by her father, 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,710,693, 11 January 1998
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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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

Catherine Sloper: I have broken off my engagement. I have asked him to leave New York for a long long time.
Dr. Austin Sloper: How does his take his dismissal?
Catherine Sloper: I don't know.
Dr. Austin Sloper: You mean you don't care. You are very cruel, after encouraging him and playing him for so long.
Catherine Sloper: I am my father's daughter.
See more »

Connections

Version of Affairs of the Heart: Catherine (1974) 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

 
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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