Leave Her to Heaven (1945) 720p

Movie Poster
Leave Her to Heaven (1945) bluray - Movie Poster
Drama | Film-Noir
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
110 min
IMDB Rating:
7.6 / 10 
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Directors: John M. Stahl [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Novelist Richard Harland and socialite Ellen Berent meet on a train and are attracted to each other. They fall in love and decide to get married. They love each other, in spite of their differences. Ellen's love for Richard is obsessive - possessive, and wants Richard all to herself. Richard learns to what extent Ellen will go to get what she wants,


  • Leave Her to Heaven (1945) bluray - Movie Scene 1
  • Leave Her to Heaven (1945) bluray - Movie Scene 2
  • Leave Her to Heaven (1945) bluray - Movie Scene 1

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It's all about Tierney

She's wonderfully scary in this role, which I view as a sort of precursor to other "crazy chick" flicks like Play Misty for Me and Fatal Attraction. The primary difference is the crazy woman marries the man she's obsessed with--some could argue for no good reason, as Richard is a rather boring chap who happens to remind Ellen of her father. But she has mommy and sister issues in addition to her daddy issues. So the audience knows she's manipulative and obsessive, but it's interesting to see how long it takes for hubby to realize that he actually married a monster. Although the film suggests Ellen is simply evil, she clearly is a sociopath. This film is worth watching primarily because you have these ho-hum dull folks in Ellen's life who all end up being her victim in one way or another, primarily because none of them wanted to accept that this woman was capable of such heinous acts. Tierney deserved an Oscar nomination for the scene on the water alone. She's brilliant in this role.

B Movie Acting and Story Draped in A Movie Cinematography, Sets, Costumes

This movie is like the Dickens line about, Best of, Worst of. There are elements that are the peak of 1945 film-making skill: cinematography, set decoration, costumes, use of technicolor, music scoring. And elements that are pure B movie-making: a shallow psycho-drama with mostly wooden glib performances. On the one hand, I imagined really talented, nuanced actors as I watched Gene Tierney and Cornel Wilde - on the calibre of Barbara Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas, who appeared that same year in a Warner Brothers noir film, Loves of Martha Ivers, and imagined it would have deepened the film. But it didn't help that film, and may not have helped a similarly melodramatic, histrionic film. At the same time, the uber- glamor movie-star quality of Tierney and Wilde added a Douglas Sirkian over-the-top quality to the film's gloss which somehow defines 40s glamor, like Lana Turner and John Garfield. I'm not sure it's a guilty pleasure for me, because I am drawn to Tierney's beauty but find her remote, and never quite suspend disbelief when I watch her act.

She was a monster!

Beautiful Ellen Berent unashamedly jilts her fiancé, Russell Quinton, for writer Richard Harland. Her attraction to Harland being that he reminds her of her deceased father. But soon it becomes evident that Ellen is very possessive and literally will do what it takes to keep all away from her newly obtained beau.

Director John M. Stahl and writer Jo Swerling adapt from the novel written by Ben Ames Williams. Filmed in luscious Technicolor by Leon Shamroy (Oscar winning), Leave Her To Heaven proves two indisputable things. One is that to craft a searing film noir it doesn't have to be filmed in monochrome, the other is that it's proof positive that Gene Tierney (Ellen) was more than just a gorgeously effective face.

Tierney of course needs no introduction to fans of film noir, her appearance and quality of performance in the previous years release of Laura ensures that. While to a lesser degree the mixed Whirlpool four years later also cements her status in the corridors of darkness. But an argument can be made for this being her crowning glory, both in terms of her effervescent beauty and of the performance she gives (Oscar nominated). It's not outrageous to say that the film achieves greater heights because of her portrayal as Ellen, a character that is the epitome of the femme fatale. Tierney has this beguiling knack of shifting from charm personified to outright evil in a heart beat - and amazingly as Ellen grows more warped and jealous, Tierney grows ever more sexy. It's not just Cornel Wilde's duped Richard Harland falling into her disturbed web, it's any watching human being with a pulse! Even as the shockingly cold moments unravel, and there are some truly chilling ones for sure, Ellen draws us in with a lusty fascination that's rather unique.

Credit too must go to Stahl's direction, perhaps a director that unfairly sits in the lounge of the unsung, he weaves his story adroitly, setting up plot roads to keep us intrigued, only to then shift focus back on the dame holding court for characters and viewers alike. Wilde does fine, his mannered approach work works well off of Tierney's show stealing turn while in support we get pretty as a picture Jeanne Crain as the crucial sister character, Ruth Berent, while Vincent Price - elegant as always - does his profession proud in the small but important role of the jilted Quinton.

Leave Her To Heaven is a must for noir fans, a must for Tierney fans, and definitely a production to get the best out of your High Definition TV. 8.5/10
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