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Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

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A writer falls in love with a young socialite and they are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.

Director:

John M. Stahl

Writers:

Jo Swerling (screenplay), Ben Ames Williams (novel)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Tierney ... Ellen Berent Harland
Cornel Wilde ... Richard Harland
Jeanne Crain ... Ruth Berent
Vincent Price ... Russell Quinton
Mary Philips ... Mrs. Berent
Ray Collins ... Glen Robie
Gene Lockhart ... Dr. Saunders
Reed Hadley ... Dr. Mason
Darryl Hickman ... Danny Harland
Chill Wills ... Leick Thome
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Que el cielo la juzgue See more »

Filming Locations:

Bass Lake, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Danny sets off on his ill-fated swim across the lake, Ellen (Gene Tierney) follows after him in the row boat. The shadow of overhead filming or boom mike equipment can be seen on her back as she starts rowing. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in Saturn in Opposition (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Chickens in the Garden
(uncredited)
aka "Treat My Daughter Kindly"
Traditional
Sung by Chill Wills
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Stunning Film
10 August 2008 | by drednmSee 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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