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Leave Her To Heaven (1945) [Blu-ray]

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Nix Pix
By its very definition, "film noir" (meaning, dark film) does not encompass Technicolor productions. A shame, since Darryl F. Zanuck's "Leave Her To Heaven" (1945) is as thrilling, disturbing and evocative of the noir style as anything shot in black and white. At best then, let's just say that "Leave Her to Heaven" is a rich, finely wrought tapestry of sinaster thoughts and destructive ambition. The film, based on a novel by Ben Ames Williams, is concerned with the seemingly congenial romance that blossoms between famous writer, Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde, looking quite stylish and very handsome) and statuesque beauty, Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney, as smoldering, sultry and radiant as ever). Richard and Ellen meet as strangers on a train - a chance pairing that leads to an idyllic first summer retreat in the mountains with Ellen's family; mother, (Mary Philips), father (Ray Collins) and younger sister (fresh faced Jeanne Crain - clearly being groomed on this occasion as the odds on favorite for Richard's affections). A slight hickup in Ellen's plans happens when her former beaux, Russell Quinton (Vincent Price) deliberately turns out to pitch a little rice on the side of her pending nuptuals. Later, Quinton's own desires for Ellen will culminate in his prosecution of Richard for murder. But for now, Ellen isn't about to let anything or anyone come between her and the man of her passions.
By the time Tierney made "Leave Her To Heaven" she had developed a reputation as Fox's good girl. The culmination of this role and her formidable zest to make the transformation from congenial maiden to cold-hearted vixen believable, forever altered that perception of her in Hollywood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This 1945 Technicolor "film noir" happens is the most visually beautiful picture that has ever been photographed. Lovely Gene Tierney is extremely gorgeous in this classic tale of obsession, jealousy and murder...all in a lush, Technicolor paradise. The scene where Tierney is rowing the boat and letting the little boy drown with the green pines in back of the blue, blue lake will knock your eyes out --- it is so beautiful. I can't think of any movie made today that has color like this.
Fox, we want this masterpiece on DVD NOW, we don't want anymore Simpsons crap!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good 40s Melodrama May 4 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Before starting this review, I think I should mention that I read the book before I saw the movie. This may or may not have affected my opinion of it.
Leave Her to Heaven is an enjoyable (albeit over the top) melodrama of jealousy and fatal love. Gene Tierney plays a woman who will stop at nothing to keep her new husband all to herself. Tierney throws herself into her part as the ultimate femme fatale with obvious relish. In fact, whenever she on screen and wicked, the movie glistens. The two most famous scenes in the movie, and justly so, are the drowning scene and the fall down the stairs. Both are well directed and both are basically one woman shows. She richly deserved her Oscar nomination.
The supporting cast is competant for the most part but none of them come close to Tierney's preformance and perhaps the movie suffers a bit from it. Also, I felt there that a lot of time passed between the introduction of Tierney's character and her first really wicked act. (It was more obvious in the book that she was diabolic)
Still, in spite of it's short comings, this is a well put together moie and if your taste runs toward old fashioned melodrama then you will find this movie an enjoyable though flawed work that provides a decent evenings entertainment.
Obviously, I will not include a laundrey list of instances where the book and movie differed but I do encourage everyone to try out the book, it is very good and gets more into the head of the jealous, lovely Ellen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like Looking Thru a ViewMaster.... 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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The movie "Leave her to Heaven" is a wonderful psychological thriller
The movie "Leave her to Heaven" is a wonderful psychological thriller. The cast and script are great It, and performances great too. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Leave Her To Heaven review
Have watched this movie many times already and thoroughly enjoy it every time! What I like about this film is that although Gene Tierney's character is absolutely stunning and that... Read more
Published 14 months ago by maple leaf
5.0 out of 5 stars Me too!
Since others have very eloquently outlined the intriguing plot and described the talents of the beautiful but ultimately tragic Gene Tierney already, I will only add that if you... Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars The book is not better!!
While working for an internet used book service I happened to get my hands on the book on which this movie was based. Read more
Published on May 24 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars a great and unpredictable film
This is an interesting fil, because it's always moving. it's very dramatic, and entertaining and it's a mystery and you get to guess what will happen next. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2003 by Rosella Ann Myles
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic Technicolor melodrama
Technicolor was never put to better use than in this Forties melodrama with Gene Tierney as the obsesssively possessive Ellen, and she herself (probably the single most beautiful... Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2003 by Jay Dickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic look into the workings of a disturbed mind
"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... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2002 by Simon Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars don't forget her off-screen evil!
The drowning scene is a gem, as is the fall; however, for pure evil, you cannot omit her final act to keep hubby to herself--committed selfishly yet diabolically and twistedly from... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2002 by Lithuania's Pride
4.0 out of 5 stars Route for Gene Tierney all the way!
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. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2002 by Beth
5.0 out of 5 stars Technicolor Beauty not to be Missed Here. . .
Deliciously colorful, this movie brings our cinematography alongside the wonderful Achers productions from England (BLACK NARCISSUS, RED SHOES, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. Read more
Published on May 26 2002
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