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Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance | January 1946 (USA)
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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:

Hers was the deadliest of the seven sins. 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

The title is taken from a line from William Shakespeare's "Hamlet". See more »

Goofs

Ellen's method of scattering her father's ashes (flinging the urn from side to side during a horseback ride through the desert) would leave both her and the horse covered in her father's remains. See more »

Quotes

Ellen Berent Harland: The walls are as thin as paper and the acoustics disgustingly perfect.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cosby Show: Elvin Pays for Dinner (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne, Op. 27, No. 2
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Played on the piano by Ruth
See more »

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User Reviews

 
She was a monster!
15 December 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Beautiful Ellen Berent unashamedly jilts her fiancé, Russell Quinton, for writer Richard Harland. Her attraction to Harland being that he reminds her of her deceased father. But soon it becomes evident that Ellen is very possessive and literally will do what it takes to keep all away from her newly obtained beau.

Director John M. Stahl and writer Jo Swerling adapt from the novel written by Ben Ames Williams. Filmed in luscious Technicolor by Leon Shamroy (Oscar winning), Leave Her To Heaven proves two indisputable things. One is that to craft a searing film noir it doesn't have to be filmed in monochrome, the other is that it's proof positive that Gene Tierney (Ellen) was more than just a gorgeously effective face.

Tierney of course needs no introduction to fans of film noir, her appearance and quality of performance in the previous years release of Laura ensures that. While to a lesser degree the mixed Whirlpool four years later also cements her status in the corridors of darkness. But an argument can be made for this being her crowning glory, both in terms of her effervescent beauty and of the performance she gives (Oscar nominated). It's not outrageous to say that the film achieves its greatest heights because of her portrayal as Ellen, a character that is the epitome of the femme fatale. Tierney has this beguiling knack of shifting from charm personified to outright evility, all within a heart beat. And amazingly as Ellen grows more warped and jealous, Tierney grows ever more sexy. It's not just Cornel Wilde's duped Richard Harland falling into her disturbed web, it's any watching male with a pulse. Even as the shockingly cold moments unravel, and there are some truly chilling ones for sure, Ellen draws us in with a lusty fascination that's rather unique.

Credit too must go to Stahl's direction, perhaps a director that unfairly sits in the lounge of the unsung? He weaves his story adroitly, setting up plot roads to keep us intrigued, only to then shift focus back on the dame holding court for characters and viewers alike. Wilde does fine, his mannered approach work works well off of Tierney's show stealing turn. While in support we get pretty as a picture Jeanne Crain as the crucial sister character, Ruth Berent, and Vincent Price, elegant as always, does his profession proud in the small but important role of the jilted Quinton.

Leave Her To Heaven - a must for noir fans - a must for Tierney fans - and one to get the best out of your High Definition TV. 8.5/10


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