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Academy Award winner Olivia De Havilland and Montgomery Clift light up the screen in this spellbinding, landmark drama. De Havilland is Catherine Sloper, an aristocratic young woman living under the scrutiny of her malevolent father. When a handsome but penniless suitor proposes, her father believes he could only be after her vast estate and threatens disinheritance. Can she be rich in love and money? Based on the stage version of Henry James' renowned novel Washington Square, this is the "****" (Leonard Maltin) winner of four Academy Awards, featuring an all-new, digitally remastered picture. A masterpiece of love, deception and betrayal, The Heiress remains a shining example of a true cinematic achievement!
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Top Customer Reviews
The film is well worth watching even if you choose to read the film this way because the performances by the three principal actors are a beauty to behold (de Havilland won an Oscar for her performance) and Wyler's cinematic story telling techniques are so accomplished. For instance, watch Ralph Richardson open and close those pocket doors between rooms. It lets Wyler move seamlessly from cut to cut while appearing to maintain the flow of a long scene while at the same time suggesting Richardson's controlling nature.
But a more careful look at the Clift and de Havilland characters is what gives this film the richness and subtlety of a five star movie. In the opening minutes of the film we see a short interchange between de Havilland and a servant in the household which reveals de Havilland to have a clever sense of humor.Read more ›
Did Morris really love Catherine and ran away because he didn't want her to disinherit herself? Or, was he really a gold-digger out for her money? Catherine grows to hate her father after Morris runs out on her. What her father told her had come true, or seemed to. She hated him for that. And she hated Morris for validating what her father had told her.
Catherine develops a hardness. She has become wiser, but not happier. She is no longer anyone's fool. Great ending.
De Havilland rightly won Best Actress of 1950, for her stunning portrayal of the meek and frightened girl who, older and wiser, becomes a steely and confident woman. Everything about her changes in the transformation, from her posture to her voice, and above all, her inner bearing. She's unforgettable. Richardson is also superb as the cruel father and Clift is perfectly cast as the oily suitor.
The magnificent gowns and detailed sets capture the period beautifully and the literate script overflows with memorable lines about harm done in the name of love. This is a stunning movie that can be enjoyed again and again.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a movie I have seen at least three times and really wanted to add it to my collection ..Love these old black and white love stories....Thank you so much. Margaret HarrisPublished 3 months ago by Margaret Harris
This film won Olivia de Havilland her 2nd Oscar for best actress(the 1st was for 1946 To Each His Own, A 5 STAR MOVIE)
Here she plays a young sheltered heiress, Whom a young... Read more
Fantastic movie. I saw it years ago and the ending still gives me chills but i haven't bought the dvd because the description says it's portuguese with french subtitles. Read morePublished on March 20 2012 by Mila
The Heiress is a timeless classic and well worth the watch. It shows Olivia de Havelland and Montgomery Clift at their best. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2011 by Lorraine Adams
If you love old movies, this is for you!!! The perfomances by Olivia De Havilland and Montgomery Clift are amazing. Read morePublished on July 7 2007 by caseygirl
Henry James' _Washington Square_ is a much better story- don't bother reading the novel, you will certainly be disappointed! Read morePublished on June 7 2004
Olivia de Havilland perfectly captures the character of Catherine Sloper from Henry James' book Washington Square. Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2003 by Nina D.
The recent unsatisfying film adaptation of James' WASHINGTON SQUARE starring Jennifer Jason-Leigh only shows how wise William Wyler was to film the Goetz's stage version rather... Read morePublished on July 1 2002 by Jay Dickson
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