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Autumn Leaves (1956)

 -  Drama  -  1 August 1956 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,269 users  
Reviews: 44 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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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Millicent Wetherby
...
Burt Hanson
...
Virginia Hanson
...
Mr. Hanson
Ruth Donnelly ...
Liz Eckhart
Shepperd Strudwick ...
Dr. Malcolm Couzzens
...
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
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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:

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

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

Featured in Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002) 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

 
Fine Crawford drama
11 May 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This 1956 drama was directed by the re known Robert Aldrich. He brings the old and the new to this film. The old, being the professionalism and experience of Joan Crawford and matching her with the new, up and coming young talented Cliff Robertson. This was his first starring role. Coming from Broadway he brought a very strong presence to the part. He and Joan were splendid together. In one of her rare underplayed roles, where she isn't playing the queen bee, she gives a sensitive and honest portrayal of a lonely woman who accidentally meets a young man and falls in love. Crawford and those wonderful expressive eyes are beautifully photographed with shadows in glorious black and white. Playing opposite her and definitely holding his own, Robertson goes from nice guy to a sort of psychotic mess. His slow changing from one to the other was masterful. He showed his abilities and what was yet to come his way, including his Academy Award performance in CHARLY. Together Joan and Cliff light up the screen in an almost melodramatic way, yet quite realistic. Reminded me of another Crawford film and another new young actor, Jack Palance in SUDDEN FEAR. Rounding out the cast is Lorne Greene as Cliff's no good father, Vera Miles as the wife asking for a divorce and veteran actor Shepperd Strudwick playing the doctor who heals our hero. Look for two well played supporting roles in this. Bringing comedy relief to the drama is veteran actress Ruth Donnely, as the manager of the apartment building Joan lives in. She just walks into the apartments, picks up newspapers and magazines and makes herself at home bringing all the gossip with her. She's a hoot. There's also a cameo performance by Marjorie Bennett as the waitress of a diner. Just her facial expressions as she waits on our lovers is worth the entire scene. She walks off with it. Remember her as the mother of Victor Buono in BABY JANE? Hats off to a seldom seen movie and one of Crawford's best.


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