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Leave Her To Heaven (Bilingual)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price, Mary Philips
  • Directors: John M. Stahl
  • Writers: Ben Ames Williams, Jo Swerling
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck, William A. Bacher
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Feb. 22 2005
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00074DY0M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,748 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Though she is engaged to a politician (Vincent Price), Ellen (Gene Tierney) lures the handsome Richard (Cornel Wilde) into marriage after knowing him just a few days. But Richard learns from her sister (Jeanne Crain) and mother (Mary Philips) that Ellen's selfish, possessive love has ruined other people's lives. When his own brother drowns while in Ellen's care and she has an accident that kills her unborn child. Richard grows increasingly suspicious of her unsatiable devotion.

Leave Her to Heaven is one of the most unblinkingly perverse movies ever offered up as a prestige picture by a major studio in the golden age of Hollywood. Gene Tierney, whose lambent eyes, porcelain features, and sweep of healthy-American-girl hair customarily made her a 20th Century Fox icon of purity, scored an Oscar nomination playing a demonically obsessive daughter of privilege with her own monstrous notion of love. By the time she crosses eyebeams with popular novelist Cornel Wilde on a New Mexico-bound train, her jealous manipulations have driven her parents apart and her father to his grave. Well, no, not grave: Wilde soon gets to watch her gallop a glorious palomino across a red-rock horizon as she metronomically sows Dad's ashes to the winds. Mere screen moments later, she's jettisoned rising-politico fiancé Vincent Price and accepted a marriage proposal the besotted/bewildered Wilde hasn't quite made. Can the wrecking of his and several other lives be far behind? Not to mention a murder or two.

Fox gave Ben Ames Williams's bestselling novel (probably just the sort of book Wilde's character writes) the Class-A treatment. Alfred Newman's tympani-heavy music score signals both grandeur and pervasive psychosis, while spectacular, dust-jacket-worthy locations and Oscar-destined Technicolor cinematography by Leon Shamroy ensure our fixed gaze. Impeccably directed by the veteran John M. Stahl (who'd made the original Back Street, Imitation of Life, and Magnificent Obsession a decade earlier), the result is at once cuckoo and hieratic, and weirdly mesmerizing. Bet Luis Buñuel loved it. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda McDonnell on July 7 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This has got to be the most beautifully photographed film I have ever seen. "Leave Her to Heaven" won an Oscar for Best Cinematography, and never was that award so richly deserved. There's a scene in a railroad car between Cornel Wilde and Gene Tierney that looks 3-D, and that's no jive.
However, the movie itself is what we used to call in grade school, nasty. Gene Tierney plays an amoral woman who will stop at nothing--and it just gets worse and worse--to keep Cornel Wilde all to herself. The other reviewers have characterized her as psychopathic, and she must be, to be so obsessed with Cornel Wilde of all people! He doesn't really do anything to deserve all this attention from her, except for a tell-tale detail: he resembles her late father, whose ashes Gene spreads all over New Mexico while bouncing somewhat suggestively on her horse. So there's this ever-so-slight suggestion of incest at the beginning of the movie, although we never really go much more into it.
Still, campy cult film that it is, I enjoyed this movie until she went out on the lake with Corne's crippled brother--that's the nasty part, I'm afraid. She encourages him to swim beyond his endurance and lets him drown in front of her. Now, although she goes on to do some other awful things throughout the movie, this one scene was too upsetting for me, reminding me of the scene in the original "Frankenstein" between the monster and the little girl he kills. It's too discordant, frankly; while the rest of the movie is kind of absurd in its campiness, this is something very different, very sadistic. In fact, because of that one scene, I can never really recommend this movie to my friends, although I wistfully mention the wonderful photography. So, if you are beyond being disturbed by mistreatment of the vulnerable, you'll be able to enjoy this movie quite thoroughly; if not, be prepared to fast-forward when they hit that lake.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on Nov. 21 2002
Format: VHS Tape
"Leave Her To Heaven" is in many ways quite a disturbing and unsettling film while never failing to intrigue me with its story based on a well known book by Ben Ames Williams of a beautiful but quite disturbed young woman who must have everything she desires entirely to herself no matter what the cost. We have probably all experienced moments of possessiveness in our lives but in this story it is taken to the extreme with ultimately tragic results.
The stunning Gene Tierney, probably one of the most beautiful actresses ever to grace the screen was reaching her peak in early 1945 when this film went into production having already filmed the classic "Laura" two years earlier. With "Leave Her To Heaven" she got her one Academy Award nomination playing the disturbed and manipulative Ellen Berent a priveledged young lady who sets her sight on something and never lets up until she has obtained it. In this instance the object of her affection is Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde)a successful writer who she meets on a train and later marries. The film chronicles her slow descent into an obsessive need to keep Richard to herself at the expense of family, friends and even human life. Her psychopathic need to keep her husband to herself finds her jilting her current fiance (Vincent Price) without so much as an explanation, alienating Richard's friend Leick (Chill Wills), deliberatly loosing her unborn baby, and in the most disturbing and indeed most famous scene in the film, allowing Richard's younger brother to drown in a lake. This last scene never fails to upset me when viewed and Gene Tierney is chillingly scary in the scene hidden as she is behind dark glasses while the boy is drowning in front of her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Deliciously colorful, this movie brings our cinematography alongside the wonderful Achers productions from England (BLACK NARCISSUS, RED SHOES, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN.)
If deficient from point of view of original story richness, we can still enjoy this film. And dig that gorgeous stoney lakeside house filling the screen!
I'm surprised there isn't a larger cult following for this brilliantly colored, yet strange movie. Its romantic plot would appeal to the grandma/auntie/housewife/lovestruck set; and its more noirish themes are dark enough to appeal to cult film fans and film noir fans alike.
I love this film. I have seen it three or four times. If your taste is for visually compelling American film, you should surely own this gem. The only people I might suggest steer clear, are Schwarzenegger fans and lovers of obtuse special effects. There is another kind of compelling beauty here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beth on Sept. 30 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is an effective noir. Yes it is kind of slow at times, but Gene Tierney more than makes up for it. This is her movie! She finally gets the chance to play a rich character. She is a manipulative and jealous villian. Jeanne Crain and Cornell Wilde play such boring characters I couldn't help but route for her. I've always been against techincolor, but this is one of the few movies where I didn't find anything wrong with it. The only thing I would really change would be the ending.
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Format: VHS Tape
Although a few "prestige" actresses (Bette Davis among them) continued to play "vixen" roles, during WWII most of Hollywood's leading ladies were presented as the sort of woman a solider could dream about: whether bouncy like Betty Hutton or glamorous like Joan Crawford, they were good-hearted, dependable, and waiting for the boys to come home. Then in 1945 one of Hollywood's most beautiful leading ladies played a role that undercut the girl next door with an ax, and after that nothing would be quite the same.
Seen within the context of its times, it is easy to understand why LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN was one of the great shockers of its day. Based on a popular novel by Ben Ames Williams, the film tells the story of Ellen Berent, a woman who seems absolutely flawless in every way imaginable: she is beautiful, intelligent, and of good social background. But she is also a psychopath who marries novelist Richard Harland (Corniel Wilde) because he looks a bit like her dead father, to whom she had an obsessive attachment--and once married she determines to have him completely to herself, even if that means destroying any one with the slightest claim on his affections.
Seen today, LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN has a clunky feel to it: the script has all the nuance of a wrecking ball in full swing. But the film still fascinates by virtue of the visual beauty (it won an Oscar for color cinematography) that overlays its very direct story of darkest evil, with Gene Tierney's performance as Ellen the pivotal point. Tierney was never more breath-takingly beautiful, and although her performance lacks nuance it is surprisingly powerful in its simplicity.
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