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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: The Heiress

Steve Hayes reviews the unforgettable 1949 classic:
Love, sacrifice and revenge are the basis for William Wyler's The Heiress. Based on a adaptation of Henry James's novel, Washington Square, and set against the backdrop of pre-civil war New York, Olivia deHavilland, in an Oscar-winning role, plays the rather plain and shy daughter of a successful doctor, played by the amazing Sir Ralph Richardson.

In despair that she will ever find a husband, the doctor is surprised and threatened by the sudden appearance of a young, penniless and incredibly handsome suitor, Montgomery Clift and his ardent attempts to woo and win her. Fearing that he's a fortune hunter out for her inheritance, Richardson does everything possible to block the marriage. But true love wins out . . . or does it. And at what cost to all of them?

Directed with his famous attention to detail and backed by an Oscar-winning score by legendary composer Aaron Copeland, The Heiress is dramatic story telling of the highest order, whose final moments and closing shot will stay with you forever. "Bolt the door, Mariah!"

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