The Heiress

The Heiress (Original Title: The Heiress ) is an American film from 1949 directed by William Wyler. It is based on the play The Heiress by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, which goes back again to the novel Washington Square by Henry James.


Catherine Sloper is the only daughter of wealthy Dr. Austin Sloper doctor and a right wallflower. She is shy and lives a miserable existence in her father's home. It has a considerable fortune from the estate of the deceased mother and after his father's death also receive his inheritance.

The father compares his daughter, who he perceives as ugly duckling, always with the mother. This was of radiant beauty and grace and wit what Catherine lacks something. At the wedding of her cousin Catherine learns the handsome articulate Morris Townsend know who they gifted with much attention. Catherine falls in love with the young idlers. Her father is entirely on the connection and not enthusiastic, he realizes Morris as fortune hunter.

Catherine, however, is willing to go against her father after she has found out for himself that he does not love her. She wants to run away with Morris, even if they must renounce their heritage. So she waits for one night on Morris, but does not appear. Years go by, the father dies and leaves Catherine his fortune. As Morris turns up, Catherine takes revenge on him by enabling him in cold blood.


" Intelligent and tasteful novel adaptation in which offers adequate partners Olivia de Havilland a sharply contoured, deeply felt psychological character study. "

"With psychological intensity of the film depicts the fate of a rich, but which is almost ugly girl who threatens to go to the cold of his father and to the disappointment of a great love inside basis. "


Oscar 1950

  • Oscar in the category Best Actress for Olivia de Havilland
  • Oscar in the category Best Art Direction (Black and White ) for John Meehan, Harry Horner, and Emile Kuri
  • Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Edith Head and Gile Steele
  • Academy Award for Best Original Score ( Drama / Comedy ) for Aaron Copland
  • Nominations in the categories of Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor ( Ralph Richardson ) and Best Cinematography

Golden Globe Award 1950

  • Golden Globe in the category Best Actress - Drama for Olivia de Havilland
  • Nomination in the category Best Supporting Actress ( Miriam Hopkins )

DVD Release

  • The heiress. Universal 2006


  • Aaron Copland: The Heiress. Suite. In: Copland: Music For Films. BMG / RCA 1994 Media no. 09026 61699 2 - digital new recording of excerpts of film music by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin