6.7/10
1,658
49 user 13 critic

Autumn Leaves (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 1 August 1956 (USA)
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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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Millicent Wetherby
...
Burt Hanson
...
Virginia Hanson
...
Mr. Hanson
...
Liz Eckhart
...
Dr. Malcolm Couzzens
...
Mr. Wetherby
Maxine Cooper ...
Nurse Evans
...
Waitress
Frank Gerstle ...
Mr. Ramsey
...
Colonel Hillyer
Maurice Manson ...
Dr. Masterson
Bob Hopkins ...
Desk Clerk
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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:

"He was so young - so eager and I was so lonely..." See more »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview for a much later documentary on Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson recounts his first meeting with her, at her home. Already somewhat intimidated by working with the legendary Crawford, he is let in, then hears her call from poolside, where she's sunning, "Come on out, dear boy. We've been waiting for you." Robertson has nothing but admiration for Crawford's talent and incredible technical disciple. At one point, director Bob Aldrich wanted Crawford to cry, but only slightly. A tear or two. "Which eye?" Robertson recalls Crawford asking. Then repeats the anecdote, amazed, "'Which EYE?'" 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
(Les Feuilles Mortes)
Music by Joseph Kosma
French lyrics by Jacques Prévert
English lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A fine film and a fine performance by Joan
18 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Joan Crawford aged like fine wine, and even at 51 she is quite believable as the romantic lead here. She plays Millicent Wetherby, a lonely 40ish woman who has sacrificed her youth taking care of her invalid father. Now he is gone and she feels like life has passed her by until Burt Hanson (Cliff Robertson in only his second film appearance) interrupts her chicken salad one night at a diner. He practically pries open her life, and they begin dating even though he is over ten years younger than she. She tries to be practical, but he sweeps her off her feet and the two elope to Mexico. Then she starts to notice little things...he has told her he was from Racine, now he says he is from Chicago. Burt meets Joan's employer and talks about all of the battles he saw in the military when he has told her previously that he was a supply clerk and never saw action during his time in the service, but the final straw is when an ex-wife she didn't even know about shows up at her door.

This is a hard film to characterize. It's definitely not a soaper, but it has aspects of that. It has romance, dealing with mental illness, and even elements of a thriller to it. It deals with the self-doubt we all have about the choices we have made in life. No high-camp Johnny Guitar is this film. Although, don't get me wrong, I love Joan in her campy 50's films too.

Cliff Robertson is almost at the bottom of the bill on this one, even though he really is the male lead. This is only his second film, yet he pulls off the part of the child-like Burt like a pro. It's also good to see Ruth Donnelly as Milly's ever-supportive older neighbor twenty years after she was a contract player over at Warner Brothers. I highly recommend this film for anyone who even remotely enjoys Joan Crawford's films. You don't have to be a big fan to appreciate this one.


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