Rent The Heiress (1949)

4.1 of 5 from 125 ratings
1h 50min
Rent The Heiress Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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When shy, emotionally fragile Catherine Sloper (Olivia de Havilland), the daughter of a wealthy New York doctor, begins to receive calls from the handsome spendthrift Morris Townsend (Montgomery Clift), she becomes possessed by the promise of romance. Are his smoldering professions of love sincere, as she believes they are? Or is Catherines calculating father (Ralph Richardson) correct in judging Morris a venal fortune seeker?
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William Wyler
Ruth Goetz, Augustus Goetz, Henry James
Harry Horner, Aaron Copland, John Meehan, Edith Head, Emile Kuri, Gile Steele, Leo Tover
Universal Pictures
Classics, Drama, Romance
Acting Up: British Actors at the Oscars, Acting Up: British Actresses at the Oscars, Award Winners, Getting to Know..., Getting to Know: Olivia de Havilland, Oscars: Winners & Losers, The Instant Expert's Guide, The Instant Expert's Guide to William Wyler, Top 10 Best Picture Follow-Ups, Top Films

1950 Oscar Best Actress

1950 Oscar Best Art Direction Black and White

1950 Oscar Best Dramatic or Comedy Score

1950 Oscar Best Costume Design Black and White

Release Date:
Run Time:
110 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, German Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
English Hard of Hearing, German
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
Release Date:
Run Time:
115 minutes
English LPCM Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • New conversation between screenwriter Jay Cocks and film critic Farran Smith Nehme
  • New program about the film's costumes featuring costume collector and historian Larry McQueen The Costume Designer, a restored 1950 short film featuring costume designer Edith Head Appearance by actor Olivia de Havilland on a 1986 episode of The Paul Ryan Show
  • Excerpts from a 1973 tribute to director William Wyler on Tlje Merv Griffin Show, featuring Wyler, de Havilland, and actors Bette Davis and Walter Pidgeon
  • Wylers acceptance speech from the American Film Institutes 1976 Salute to William Wyler
  • Interview with actor Ralph Richardson filmed in 1981 for the documentary Directed by William Wyler Trailer
  • An essay by critic Pamela Hutchinson

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Reviews (2) of The Heiress

Wonderful actors! - The Heiress review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert

Loved this film! Great acting! Well crafted film and so interesting to see how the characters change during the course of the story. 

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Period Drama. - The Heiress review by Steve

Spoiler Alert

Olivia de Havilland won her second Oscar for this lavish mid-nineteenth century period drama based on a Broadway adaptation of Henry James' Washington Square. And it's a perfect vehicle for the star, one in a series of exceptional roles she created after WWII, when she escaped from her unhappy contract with Warner Brothers.  

This is also one of William Wyler's many great films. Olivia plays Catherine Sloper, a rich but gauche spinster from an upper middle class family who is suffocated by the authority of her dominant father (Ralph Richardson) who resents his daughter for not being as beautiful and sophisticated as his deceased wife.

When she is courted by an attractive, charming idler (Montgomery Clift), Mr Sloper seeks to sabotage the proposal by convincing her that no man could want to marry her because she is too plain and dull! We know that the gentleman caller is after her money, so the business of the film is to judge whether it is preferable for this lonely woman to be exploited, if it would save her from a life of emotional emptiness.

Olivia creates a powerful impression of an abused woman consumed by loneliness. She is a study of disappointment and repression. Catherine has no artfulness but she learns how to deceive by finally closing down her heart to love. De Havilland's performance is sometimes raw, but she is also haunting, and tragic. 

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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