8.3/10
10,633
123 user 50 critic

The Heiress (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 28 December 1949 (USA)
A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director:

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
The Snake Pit (1948)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters
The Search (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In post-war Berlin, an American private helps a lost Czech boy find his mother.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Ivan Jandl, Aline MacMahon
The Letter (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson
Jezebel (1938)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1850s Louisiana, a free-spirited Southern belle loses her fiancé due to her stubborn vanity and pride, and vows to win him back.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands...but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The day before her wedding, a pampered young woman absconds with her sister's husband; in retaliation, her sister begins seeing the woman's former fiancé.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent
Dodsworth (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas
Now, Voyager (1942)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
The Lady Eve (1941)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Paul Lees ...
Harry Antrim ...
...
Quintus
David Thursby ...
Geier
Edit

Storyline

In the mid-1800's, the wealthy Sloper family - widowed surgeon Dr. Austin Sloper, his adult daughter Catherine Sloper (Dr. Sloper's only surviving child), and Dr. Sloper's recently widowed sister Lavinia Penniman - live in an opulent house at 16 Washington Square, New York City. They have accrued their wealth largely through Dr. Sloper's hard work. Despite the lessons that Dr. Sloper has paid for in all the social graces for her, Catherine is a plain, simple, awkward and extremely shy woman who spends all her free time alone doing embroidery when she is not doting on her father. Catherine's lack of social charm and beauty - unlike her deceased mother - is obvious to Dr. Sloper, who hopes that Lavinia will act as her guardian in becoming more of a social person, and ultimately as chaperon if Catherine were ever to meet the right man. The first man ever to show Catherine any attention is the handsome Morris Townsend, who she met at a family party. Catherine is initially uncertain as to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A picture you'll always remember (half-sheet) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Erbin  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the score is credited to Aaron Copland, William Wyler disliked it, and had it heavily rewritten and reorchestrated, possibly by Hugo Friedhofer who had orchestrated many of Max Steiner's and Korngold's lush operatic Warner Bros. scores, and Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). What distinguished Copland from the usual Hollywood brand of orchestration was the simplicity and transparency of his scoring, and it was its spareness that so disturbed Wyler. The music sounds completely unlike any other piece of music Copland ever wrote, and it is no wonder he disowned it. Alex North, Copland's pupil, was more successful using this chamber music sound, notably in North's first film score A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). But Copland was ahead of his time. See more »

Goofs

When Morris first asks Kathryn to dance at the party, she is seated with her dance card in her hand. Her fan is hanging from a string around her wrist on the same arm. Cut to a wider shot as Kathryn stands to join Morris, and suddenly her fan is in her hand, and her dance card is hanging from her wrist. See more »

Quotes

Catherine Sloper: He's grown greedier over the years. Before he only wanted my money; now he wants my love as well. Well, he came to the wrong house - and he came twice. I shall see that he does not come a third time.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dallas: The Heiress (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Galop di bravura
(1849) (uncredited)
Music by Julius Schulhoff
Dance music at the party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Triumph for two great stars.
5 July 2004 | by (Adelaide Australia) – See all my reviews

There is no doubt that "The Heiress" was a triumph for two great stars - Olivia de Havilland and Ralph Richardson. Made over 50 years ago, this film is still extremely watchable, and the performances stand up as good as anything today. de Havilland's Oscar was well and truly warranted, as this is an acting achievement which covers every range of emotion from innocence to cruelty in an amazing way. 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. As the unfeeling father Ralph Richardson shows his class, and warranted Best Supporting Actor recognition. Montgomery Clift was miscast to a certain degree, but under William Wyler's direction, he got through Okay. But truly, the film belongs to the two headliners alone.


28 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?