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Autumn Leaves (1956)

 -  Drama  -  1 August 1956 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,241 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 11 critic

Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »

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Title: Autumn Leaves (1956)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Millicent Wetherby
...
Burt Hanson
...
Virginia Hanson
...
Mr. Hanson
Ruth Donnelly ...
Liz Eckhart
Shepperd Strudwick ...
Dr. Malcolm Couzzens
Selmer Jackson ...
Mr. Wetherby
Maxine Cooper ...
Nurse Evans
Marjorie Bennett ...
Waitress
Frank Gerstle ...
Mr. Ramsey
Leonard Mudie ...
Colonel Hillyer
Maurice Manson ...
Dr. Masterson
Bob Hopkins ...
Desk Clerk
Edit

Storyline

Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As Burt successfully woos her and wins her hand in marriage, rumors begin to surface that Millicent's newfound beau is in fact a deranged maniac. Things grow even more complicated for Millicent when a woman claiming to be Hansen's first wife shows up. As Burt begins to lose control of himself, Millicent ponders the most radical of actions against her husband. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the dark, when I feel his heart pounding against mine - is it love? or frenzy? or terror?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Way We Are  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was an age difference of 17 years between Joan Crawford and Cliff Robertson at the time of filming. See more »

Quotes

Virginia: Sure, he should be committed!
Milly: Of course, you'd want me to commit him, get him out of your life, put him away permanently someplace where he can never again remind either one of you of your horrible guilt; how you and you had committed the ugliest of all possible sins, so ugly that it drove him into the state he's in now!
Mr. Hanson: What kind of a woman are you to be satisfied with only half a man? There must be so...
Milly: Even when he doesn't know what he's doing, he's a saner man than you are! He's decent and...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a background of...... leaves. See more »

Connections

Features Grizzly Golfer (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Autumn Leaves
Music by Joseph Kosma
Original lyrics by Jacques Prévert ("Les Feuilles Mortes")
English lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Nat 'King' Cole
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I must be more sensitive than I thought.
3 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I thought this movie was fabulous. It is a woman's picture, but the tag line made it seem like some William Castle horror flick. By no stretch of the imagination is this a silly little weepy. Parts of it seem to be designed to disturb (the typewriter scene), and even the tender moments are edgy to me. (I just used the word "tender" in a sentence. Kill me now.)

Joan Crawford (one of my favorites) plays Millicent Weatherby, a 40ish spinster who spent most of her life taking care of her invalid father and bemoaning her ridiculous name. Score one for Joan already, as she was not 40ish, but 50ish. Cliff Robertson (I tell everyone "Uncle Ben" from "Spiderman") is the 20ish fella she meets in a restaurant. I think he was 20ish, but score one for him too; he's adorable. Cliff hides some horrible secret, and he's a major liar, but Joan falls for him anyway. He takes her to the beach, where they make out in the sand. (I love it when the surf comes crashing up against Joan and boy! does she flinch. Must have been chilly out that day.) They trot off to Mexico and get hitched. Then Joan starts to realize that maybe she doesn't know Cliff as well as she thought she did. He lies and then tells the truth, and who's to know the difference? Even he doesn't. Eventually Cliff's relatives get involved and then things get really sticky. Is Joan out to get Cliff? Tune in to the next episode to find out!!! Seriously, I felt for Joan. She had a rough time. First the invalid father that caused her to lose all contact with the outside world, and then this guy who can't get his lies straight. Oh, but she manages beautifully. At this point in her career, Joan believed that acting and hand gestures didn't have to go together. You sometimes begin to wonder if her arms even function. (I suspect this was a jab at the arm-flailing Bette Davis, but that's just a hunch.) Just watching her stand there, all broad-shouldered and strong, makes you realize that of course she is going to get through. Former chorus girls always do, because they've got guts and know how. Best moment--after Joan decides she's no good for Cliff, she goes back to that aforementioned beach and just sits there. It's a lovely shot, and Joan looks less ironclad than usual.

By the by, a note to the other reviewer whose name I can't remember. Joan Crawford would not DARE say "And you, YA slut." She says, very precisely, "And you, YOU slut." Enunciation was very important to the Texas-born Lucille LeSueur/Joan Crawford. Bette Davis might say "ya slut," but never Joan Crawford.


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