A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.
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
Gene Tierney delivers memorable performance in this technicolor film noir...
While most film noirs conjure up images of terror in black-and-white settings, 'Leave Her To Heaven' manages to fall into the noir category despite its lush technicolor scenery and handsome interiors. It's a visually stunning example of "women's noir" performed to the hilt by a talented cast. Only Cornel Wilde fails to deliver. He seems too weak as the author who impulsively marries a beautiful woman, only to find that beneath the lovely exterior is a warped mind consumed by jealousy. He never quite measures up to Tierney's performance--seemingly sweet and kind but actually cold and cunning. Tierney has never been more beautifully photographed and looks stunning throughout. Jeanne Crain does well enough as the demure half-sister, rising to the occasion when the script demands a spunkier side to her personality. While the plot gets a little "heavy" at times, it's a supremely satisfying melodrama played against some of the most beautiful settings imaginable. Alfred Newman's music suggests the slowly developing tension. All in all, a fascinating example of film noir that succeeds despite technicolor. Another fine example of color noir might be 'Chinatown'. Well worth seeing to watch a fascinating femme fatale at work. Gene Tierney deserved her Oscar nomination--but lost to Joan Crawford of 'Mildred Pierce'.
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