17 thoughts on “The Heiress (1949)

  1. I’m pretty sure that first photo is a publicity still from Gone With The Wind. It’s Melanie’s barbecue dress.

    I’ve loved Olivia de Havilland for years, but only saw The Heiress a couple of years ago. It’s absolutely my favorite performance of hers. She’ll always be my favorite Marian and I’ll always love her as Melanie, but she blew me away as Catherine Sloper. Amazing woman and actress. I was very sad to hear she was gone.

    1. There’s supposed to be an accompanying photo of Catherine Sloper, for a side by side comparison… Guess it didn’t get uploaded. Trying to fix now.

      1. Edith Head said that she made Catherine’s “pre-jilting” costumes deliberately ill-fitting to emphasize Catherine’s awkwardness and self-consciousness. By contrast, Catherine at the end of the film wears feminine, flattering gowns that she wears with confidence.

        The set of ruby buttons that Catherine had purchased for Morris as a pre-jilting gift was given to him when he returned to rub in how close he came to the jackpot. (Didn’t his face light up when he got a good look at them?) No fortune for you, Morris! But here’s your participation prize.

  2. This is one of my absolute favorites!!! After I watch it I always read the book, Washington Square by Henry James. Both are excellent.

    1. I love the book, so touching and full of psychological insight typical of the master Henry James. I haven’t seen the film (or the play), but I’ll have to get hold of it now, especially after reading that another big fan of the book likes it!

  3. I had watched this movie on a particularly bad day,and my opinion was affected by it.However,after rewatching it yesterday,I was a lot more impressed by the movie and its theme.I would say it does a better job of depicting a strong,independent woman character than GWTW(ah,the classic bitch-et-la-bastard tale.I don’t see a shred of feminism in that heap of misogyny,but critical appreciation of that movie suggests otherwise).Olivia was luminous in this role.

  4. I wish this one had been done in color just to see the costumes, but the black & white makes it even more dramatic. This is one of my favorite Olivia de Havilland roles. Basil Rathbone played Catherine’s father in the Broadway production. I always wondered what the movie would have been like with him instead of Ralph Richardson. I love her face at the end as she ascends the stairs. It always makes me want to yell “you go girl!” lol

  5. Loved this movie enough to buy it and never get tired of watching it. Watching her transformation as the movie progresses is amazing.

  6. Embarrassed to say I’ve never seen it, but I quite liked the Carol Burnett version. :)

    1. Carol Bernett version? I’m not familiar with that skit on her show.
      I wonder if you are you confusing the green curtain/dress skit parodying GWTW perhaps @Boxermom?

      1. no, Carol Burnett did a LOT of classic movies. it was one of the things her show was famous for their parodies of old films. Also, as a film buff herself, she adored doing them.

      2. Hi Heather, it was season 8, episode 21. Her version was called “The Lady Heir”. :)

        1. I had no idea! I loved watching the Carol Burnett show. I just watched the clip. Amazing 😁

  7. A final question: Has there ever been a Montgomery Clift MCM, or has he worn enough cravats and stiff collars to qualify?

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