movie film review | chris tookey


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  Heiress  Review
Tookey's Rating
9 /10
Average Rating
9.00 /10
Olivia de Havilland , Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
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Directed by: William Wyler
Written by: Ruth Goetz, Augustus Goetz from their play and Henry James's novel Washington Square

Released: 1949
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Length: 115

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"So faithful to its mores that it is a museum piece."
"A sadly wasted opportunity. Ruth and Augustus Goetz, using their play as a foundation for the script, make no attempt to replace those overtones of feeling which they had sacrificed for broader theatrical effects. Rather, they simplify still further, to make of James' tragi-comedy only a polished period piece... Wyler has directed with the same faultless eye for externals. The photography (Leo Tover) makes great play with deep focus, with a camera whose movements become stylised, mechanical and obtrusive through their very meticulous care. Wyler, too, seems to accept the softening of the central situation, the film's fundamental fault: he has allowed The Heiress to assume a prettiness, an exhibition of the art director's skill, which can only detract from a story which not only has no need for such devices, but positively rejects them."
(Penelope Houston, Sight and Sound)

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