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Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance | 20 December 1945 (USA)
2:12 | Trailer

On Disc

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A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.



(screenplay), (novel)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Russell Quinton
Mary Philips ...
Mrs. Berent
Dr. Saunders
Dr. Mason
Leick Thome


Novelist Richard Harland and socialite Ellen Berent meet on a train to New Mexico. They are immediately attracted to each other, soon fall in love and decide to get married, about which everyone they know is happy except Ellen's fiancé back home, politician Russell Quinton. However, Richard and Ellen's love for each other is different than that of the other as Ellen demonstrates in the manner which she tells everyone of their impending marriage. Ellen's love for Richard is an obsessive, possessive one, much like the love she had for her now deceased father, who Richard physically resembles. Ellen wants Richard all to herself and resents anyone who even remotely takes a place in his life and heart, even if his love for that person is not a romantic one. These people include most specifically Richard's physically disabled teen-aged brother Danny Harland, Ellen's own adopted sister Ruth Berent, and a young man neither has gotten a chance to really know yet. After time, Richard learns to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The sin she committed in the name of love could not be judged by man...or punished by law! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Que el cielo la juzgue  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On a Saturday night, before finishing work for the week, John M. Stahl asked Gene Tierney to run through the drowning scene so cinematographer Leon Shamroy could see the staging and know how to light it. When she finished, Stahl was upset. "That was perfect," he said, "just the way it should be done. But, oh God, you will never get it again, never in a million years." He refused to believe Tierney's protestation that she had been rehearsing it exactly that way for weeks which left her a nervous wreck on her Sunday off. Monday morning they shot the scene, and she nailed it. See more »


Ellen's method of scattering her father's ashes (flinging the urn from side to side during a horseback ride through the desert) would leave both her and the horse covered in her father's remains. See more »


Russell Quinton: I loved you.
Ellen Berent Harland: That's a concession.
Russell Quinton: And I'm still in love with you.
Ellen Berent Harland: That's a tribute.
Russell Quinton: And I always will be. Remember that.
Ellen Berent Harland: Russ, is that a threat?
See more »


Deedle Deedle Dum Dum
Sung by Chill Wills and Darryl Hickman
See more »

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User Reviews

A Stunning Film
10 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on a novel by Ben Ames Williams, LEAVER HER TO HEAVEN is a stunning 40s film, filled with spectacular set decorations and Oscar-winning color cinematography.

The story is a solid melodrama about beautiful Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney in her Oscar-nominated performance) who marries a naive novelist (Cornel Wilde). He is drawn into her family on the eve of the ceremonial scattering of her father's ashes in New Mexico. From the getgo the family seems full of angst as everyone stays out of Ellen's way. On a whim, she breaks her engagement to a lawyer (Vincent Price) and marries Wilde.

Everything seems OK until they visit his crippled brother (Darryl Hickman) in Georgia. She seems jealous of Wilde's attention to the kid. Somehow, plans are made for the three of them to go to Wilde's "lodge" in Maine, where a faithful servant )Chill Wills) also lives. Tierney seems more and more edgy and starts to openly resent Hickman and Wills. And then her mother a step sister (Mary Philips, Jeanne Crain) arrive from Bar Harbor.

Everything starts to unravel at this point as Tierney becomes convinced that Wilde and falling for Crain. A series of mysterious accidents happen and there is a big (overblown) court case tried by the man (Price) she dumped to marry Wilde and a stunning turn of events.

The movie is gloriously filmed in rich Technicolor that accentuates deep reds, warm golds, and luscious shades of turquoise. The Maine and New Mexico interiors are just great and look like they came out of a contemporary magazine, including the simple little lodge by the lake. Also of note is the driving dramatic score by Alfred E. Newman.

Tierney is superb as the troubled Ellen and has never looked more beautiful. Wilde is suitable perplexed as the the novelist. Crain is solid as the stalwart sister. Price overacts outrageously (but it's fun). Philips, Wills, and Hickman are good. Others in the cast include Ray Collins, Olive Blakeney, Gene Lockhart, Mae Marsh, Grant Mitchell, and Reed Hadley.

LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN ranks among the best melodramas of the 1940s.

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Recent Posts
Commentary by Schickel + Hickman freakseed
Why did Harland get two years in prison? Turfseer
How was this not a production code violation? paul-987
Tierney , Gardner or Hayworth? jim4146
'This movie may be the blackest Noir of them all.' wax1802
House in New Mexico location? theladysif
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