Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what I've seen over the past week either in film or television. On the film side, if I have written a full length review already, I will post a link to that review. Otherwise, I'll give a brief snippet of my thoughts on the film with a full review to follow at some point later. For television shows, seasons and what not, I'll post individual comments here about each of them as I see fit.
So, here is what I watched this past week:
Montgomery Clift is a bit overzealous, but Olivia de Havilland is dually impressive in William Wyler's darkly uplifting The Heiress.
De Havilland plays Catherine Sloper, the ungainly daughter of a prominent, wealthy London doctor (Ralph Richardson) whose dead wife informs his view of his daughter. Catherine doesn't excel at anything except embroidery. She's socially uncomfortable and homely in appearance. Her father does not believe her prospects of marriage are great because she's hardly the catch her mother was. He's politely disrespectful of her and as the film progresses, this lack of appeal creates a rift between them. The cause is her sudden infatuation and plummet into love with an attractive, penniless suitor (Clift). He treats her the way any woman would want to be treated and were it not for her ineptitude, her father wouldn't suspect that he is really after her money.
Shifting from naive to sorrowful to jaded in short order, De Havilland commands the screen effectively and portrays a simple woman whose belief in true love leads her to fall for the only man ever to take an interest in her. She learns life lessons the hard way in a short period of time, her father's perpetual shielding of her keeping her from building the moral backbone she would need to resist the urge to fall so deeply. Clift seems aimless and is a bit stiff but his roguish charm helped cement his status as a leading man, having starred in only two films prior. He was better in both Red River and A Place in the Sun, but his personality fit the role perfectly. Richardson plays paternal concern with strength and Miriam Hopkins is devilishly giddy as Catherine's concerned aunt.