Customer Reviews


31 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't Leave This One To Chance - A Brilliant Thriller!
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...
Published on March 5 2005 by Nix Pix

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good 40s Melodrama
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...
Published on May 4 2002 by Amazon Customer


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't Leave This One To Chance - A Brilliant Thriller!, March 5 2005
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (DVD)
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.As her younger sister, Jeanne Crain is an excellent foil and runner up for Richard's affections. Even Vincent Price is exceptionally convincing as Ellen's former and very jealous lover. The one disappointment, in terms of acting, is Cornel Wilde. Undeniably eye candy, Wilde's performance comes off rather stiff and unconvincing once the character of Richard awakens from his love struck stupor and realizes what sort of monster he's actually married. Nevertheless, the material given to all is indestructible, and directed with slick and sinaster panache by the gifted John M. Stahl, "Leave Her To Heaven" emerges as sensational sure fire entertainment.
Fox Home Entertainment has done a simply outstanding job in remastering this film for DVD. From its opening title sequence, so clear and finely rendered that one can make out the texture of paper on which the actor's names have been printed, to the deep focus photography which is luminous, there is absolutely no finer example of a Technicolor film to video transfer of this vintage available on the home video market today. Colors are rich and fully saturated. Shadow and contrast levels are superbly rendered. Clarity and fine detail throughout is outstanding. Blacks are solid and deep. Whites are pristine. The exterior photography is absolutely eye-popping. The audio has been remixed to stereo. But there is very little to distinguish it from the original Mono mix that has also been included. Extras include a stills gallery, audio commentary track, restoration comparison and theatrical trailer. Highly recommended for anyone who loves classic films.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most gorgeous motion picture ever photographed, Feb. 11 2004
By 
"cjrogan2003" (Glen Burnie, Maryland, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good 40s Melodrama, May 4 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Sunny and not-so-sunny California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like Looking Thru a ViewMaster...., July 7 2001
By 
Linda McDonnell "TutorGal" (Brooklyn, U.S.A) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic look into the workings of a disturbed mind, Nov. 21 2002
By 
Simon Davis (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (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.
"Leave Her To Heaven" benefits from some of the most lush cinematography of the mid 1940's and the beautiful colour used here adds greatly to the overrall look and feel of the production. Tierney is just right for the villianess role she plays here and her icy beauty, which is emphasised with the colour photography, along with her cold demeanour are just right for the role.
In major supporting roles the earlier mentioned Vincent Price who was in "laura" with Tierney scores as the disgruntled ex-fiance and Jeanne Crain as Ellen's sister, and the object of her intense jealousy over her good relationship with Richard is also right on track. Mary Philips as Ellen's mother is also effective and gets to say probably the most famous line in the film when she states that "There's nothing wrong with Ellen, she just happens to love too much". Indeed loving too much is the basis for this whole story and is what brings the story to its tragic conclusion which finds Ellen killing herself when she realises that she has lost Richard for ever because of her actions.
"Leave Her To Heaven" is an absorbing melodrama of the first order and captures Gene Tierney at her most stunning and in this role at her most sinister. If you enjoy stories about people who are less than perfect "Leave Her To Heaven" will be a film that you will enjoy. Disturbing it certainly is but done with alot of professionalism and fine performances to make it very absorbing viewing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technicolor Beauty not to be Missed Here. . ., May 26 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Route for Gene Tierney all the way!, Sept. 30 2002
By 
Beth "bethiejw2" (Mesa, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Me too!, Aug. 31 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (VHS Tape)
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 are a "film noir"/old movie fan and you haven't seen this one yet , then you are in for a huge treat. Don't just sit there! Get it now! Haunting actress, great plot and absolutley beautiful scenery up at the lodge.... Happy watching!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The book is not better!!, May 24 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (VHS Tape)
While working for an internet used book service I happened to get my hands on the book on which this movie was based. Trying to read it makes you realize how much more sophisticated the movie is. For example, whereas in the movie Gene Tierney makes fun of Cornel Wilde's purple prose in the first scenes, in the book the same lines belong to the author, and he means them seriously! The author also takes much more seriously the idea of Gene Tierney's character as a poisonous, clinging femme fatale, whereas in the film, although she's clearly disturbed, amoral, selfish, and narcissitic, as a female viewer I could nearly sympathize with her--her family is so sanctimonious, her husband so obtuse, and the wheelchair-bound boy she murders is both annoying and even more clinging and possessive than she is. It's almost a Sirkian/Flaubertian/Ibsenian satirical critique of stifling middle class morality, but not quite; the movie is more against Ellen than for her, and after all, she is one of the most purely evil characters ever: that's the fun. The rich colours (lots of blue, purple, and red), Tierney's hypnotic beauty and inimitable voice (like melting fudge), and a pace so measured it seems like the characters are sleepwalking add up to a clausterphobic atmosphere that's just right for a story of lurid pop Freudian psychology, possessiveness, and lack of privacy. There are odd moments where the dialogue and performances are over-the-top and silly, but for the most part Stahl shows psychological acuity, though not "realism": it's possible to read the film as a metaphor for every man's nightmare of being smothered by wife or girlfriend, or every woman's nightmare of being expected to sacrifice her privacy and desires for others. Particularly memorable is the early scene in which Tierney rides a horse out to a canyon at sunset to scatter her father's ashes, most of which fall on her perky breasts: it strikes the right balance between ludicrousness and audacity. Definitely worthwhile melodrama viewing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, Dated--But Nonetheless Hauntingly Memorable, May 10 2002
By 
Gary F. Taylor "GFT" (Biloxi, MS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven (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. While we might dismiss the film in comparison to such recent and similar shockers as FATAL ATTRACTION, it is impossible to dismiss the vision of such physical loveliness as a mask for darkest evil; the scene in which she allows a child to drown, for example, is justly famous, simply filmed in a beautiful setting in full day light, with Tierney's beautiful face suddenly mask-like, implacable. The film is dated, yes, and greatly flawed--but it remains memorable to this day.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Leave Her to Heaven
Leave Her to Heaven by John M. Stahl (DVD - 2005)
CDN$ 16.98 CDN$ 12.97
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews