Friday, April 27, 2012
before my time
it is hard to breathe knowing that there was a time when my favorite actress played catherine sloper on stage. A period piece set in 1840’s New York, the prestige picture classic The Heiress began as the novella Washington Squareby Henry James. Having heard a story told to him by an actress whose brother failed in an attempt to swindle a rich woman into marriage, James wrote his novella. The stage play, adapted in 1947 and renamed The Heiress, starred Wendy Hiller (Pygmalion) and Basil Rathbone (The Adventures of Robin Hood) and became a huge success on Broadway. the film version starring olivia de havilland is excellent thanks to olivia, montgomery clift, and the stellar ralph richardson. still, nothing compares to hiller.