The Heiress

After I got home, I watched “The Heiress,” the movie directed by William Wyler starring Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, and Ralph Richardson.  Olivia is Catherine Sloper, the foolish young woman who falls in love with the poor and probably fortune hunting Clift.  Richardson is her cold father.  This is Olivia de Havilland’s show, as she is quite remarkable in being so plain and so naïve in believing in this relationship.  She and the entire movie reminded me quite a bit of Joan Fontaine and “Suspicion.”  There is a bit of suspense in a few of the scenes.  Is the father really going to crush his daughter’s hopes?  Has Catherine really not learned anything from experience?  I imagine this movie was difficult to film, with the long takes and Wyler’s demanding ways.  It seemed that the song Clift sang was an early version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” the Elvis Presley hit.  This is one of those movies in which the main character undergoes a dramatic transformation, although not quite the same as Al Pacino in “The Godfather.”  I agreed with a lot of things Richardson was saying.  The mistake he made was that he was too cruel to Catherine.  I thought he should have left his fortune to charity.  Perhaps the most annoying character was Catherine’s aunt, who apparently never learned anything in life.  I thought Olivia de Havilland fully deserved the Oscar she won for this movie.  The idea of the plain woman wanting to marry the questionable suitor made me think of Elaine May and Walter Matthau in “A New Leaf.”  In a way, Wyler went back to this theme in “Funny Girl.”  I thought this was one of William Wyler’s better films.  However, I’m not sure that the revenger at the end was any kind of an equalizer.  Catherine is still going to be miserable with her embroidery, and the man at the door can find another woman.  I read the news that Erin Moran likely died of cancer.  That was rather disturbing because she wasn’t much older than I am now.  I watched a new Supergirl episode.  I watched some of the eleven o’clock news.  Allison Janney was one of the guests on the Stephen Colbert show.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 25, Elvis Presley had the Number One single “Stuck on You” in 1960.  In 1987, U2 was Number One on the album chart with “The Joshua Tree,” which had the hit singles “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”  In 2009, Bea Arthur of the “Maude” television series died of cancer at age 86.

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