The Heiress (1949) - Drama, Romance

Hohum Score



A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

IMDB: 8.1
Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift
Length: 115 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 10 out of 137 found boring (7.29%)

One-line Reviews (62)

It's not just about taffetas dresses, top hats and candelabras but exactly like a Balzac could do with literature, or the Ivory-Merchant movies with Edwardian Britain, Wyler paints the traits and the mentalities of a period in such a daring and riveting fashion that the content feels actual and socially relevant even by today's standard.

Excellent film with Olivia de Havilland giving a stunning performance as spinster and heiress Catherine Sloper (though I still think she was even better in The Snake Pit).

"The Heiress" is masterfully directed by William Wyler, and it's surprisingly suspenseful.

Breathtaking .

Olivia de Havilland gives a stunning performance as a shy, socially awkward young woman named Catherine, who stands to gain a fortune when her father dies.

In the film some extreme, so emotions are quite predictable.

Stunning acting, great writing, a beautifully made film, absolutely worth a look.

He certainly had the dramatic presence, diction and intense temperament to fill that role perfectly.

It is precisely these ambiguities that have sparked so much discussion on the internet regarding this flawed but fascinating film classic.

Still, after all these years, definitely worth watching for the performances of Olivia and Ralph, who are at the top of their acting game.

It soon leads to a very cold-hearted, compelling drama that starts as a very romantic romance.

"To have such a dull girl disgrace his name" .

It is overacted, insincere, and predictable.

This is one of those great William Wyler movies that seems to be perfectly directed, with a compelling story, based on a classic novel by Henry James, Washington Square), and a great cast.

Dowdy spinster Catherine Sloper is stuck in a rut, she is often made to feel useless by her almost tyrannical father, and her life is ambling along in uneventful boredom.

The most engaging angle to the story is the change that comes over Catherine, as the plot moves along.

The use of mirrors to deepen emotional content (as in when Dr. Sloper, now ill, goes to his office after getting the cold shoulder from Catherine) is stunning.

Dad (Richardson) wants a daughter (de Havilland) who equals his compelling late wife.

Quite intriguing too, as you wonder whether Townsend is just in it for the money.

breathtaking performance by Olivia de Havilland .

Obsessed by the memory of his deceased wife, the doctor never misses the opportunity to compare his dull, boring child to her charming, glamorous mother, considered by him and by others to be worldly and socially adept.

Director Wyler moves a stunning cast through an authentic translation of the James novella and play and, remarkably, it doesn't even feel like a "filmed play.

I surely enjoyed every minute and recommend this one to everybody who would rather read a book than watch murders, aliens, zombies and what other uninteresting nonsense movies seem to be cramped with nowadays.

Highly engaging, with some great character depth and development and interesting plot.

And the movie (as, presumably, the play did) emphasizes and draws out the unusual, painful relationship between father and daughter, making the story even more compelling and interesting than as depicted in the book.

A smashing, dramatic and engrossing picture, The Heiress is a must see for those looking for artistic deftness, and to find an ending that is a fittingly memorable piece of class.

She is absolutely believable and riveting, knocking all the other fine performers right off the screen.

But it's really the dynamic father-daughter relationship which makes the film so compelling and has led to so much stimulating discussion about it on the internet.

its virtue is result of inspired director vision and admirable colleagues - Montgomery Clift is master of a fascinating stained glass - , Ralph Richarson does a perfect gentleman of American XIX century.

Surely one of the best films of its time, stunning in its continuity and intelligence.

As the plain daughter of a very bitter man, she is able to convey the frustrations, hurt and bitter revenge in a way that is completely believable - just a stunning characterization.

Great movie and worth watching .

Another Oscar- nominated performance is from Ralph Richardson (BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR), a should-have- won elite acting so compelling as to elevate the whole film onto an exhilarating exploit at any rate.

I dragged my feet about watching it for years because I figured it would be a dull overrated costume drama.

Compelling story of a shy wallflower .

And the film is worth watching, mostly for the wonderful performance of Olivia de Havilland, who deservedly won an Oscar.

A true gem of the Golden Age of Hollywood, this is worth watching over and over again.

‎What a fascinating study in sheer frustration.

Further, Wyler's use of mirrors and lamp light is stunning as well, and serve to set the mood in a rather large, rather empty (physically and emotionally) mid 19th century home.

Those who were considered 'slow' or 'childlike' had to 'sink or swim'.

The resistance that is provided to the daughter's romance is bland.

The film offers an intensive psychological battle of a young heiress' dueling with both her sullen father (who constantly feel disappointed by her since she could never match her dead mother's immaculate image) and her handsome gold-digger-cum-love-of-interest (a too-pretty-for-her Montgomery Clift).

The characters remain richly developed, fascinating in their interplay; at the same time, each scene adds to the story development.

Superior period melodrama directed by William Wyler starring Olivia de Havilland as the dutiful but dull spinster daughter of wealthy New York widower doctor Ralph Richardson.

He sees Catherine as awkward, dull and mediocre to his wife's beautiful and gifted visage.

The Heiress has a simple, though compelling, story.

And while he deserves his comeuppance when Catherine locks him out of the house, I found the way in which she takes revenge to be rather a dull and unoriginal plan.

But the score is nondescript and bland.

On a technical note, this film is fascinating for director William Wyler's use of space.

This is a very engrossing film that keeps your interest the entire time.

because it is not only a romantic story but chronicle of a profound, fascinating metamorphose .

Unfortunately, it is predictable.

The whole movie is so beautifully composed, it's breathtaking.

What he gets instead is a dull, plain-faced wall- flower.

A trip abroad by the doctor with Catherine to slow things down, plans behind the scenes put in motion by Lavinia, a secret plan to run off between Catherine and Townsend, an attempt to buy him off by the doctor and more show the story to be more deeply involved than what one would expect from a movie revolving around romance.

If it's ever on TCM, I highly recommend it.

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.

He's disgusted with his daughters tiresome failure to thrive.

Gripping Adaptation of a Broadway Classic Based on a Henry James Novel .

Olivia de Havilland, as Catherine, was made to look plain in order to make this shy woman, dominated by a tyrant father, into a compelling figure.

With an award-winning de Havilland performance, a handsome Montgomery Clift on the brink of stardom, and an engrossing Henry James story, "The Heiress" is one of the finest films of the 1940's.

The beautiful de Havilland, made to look plain and dull, is quite good in her Oscar-winning title role.