6.7/10
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51 user 14 critic

Autumn Leaves (1956)

Approved | | Drama | July 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 »

Director:

Robert Aldrich
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Joan Crawford ... Millicent Wetherby
Cliff Robertson ... Burt Hanson
Vera Miles ... Virginia Hanson
Lorne Greene ... 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 Maurice Manson ... Dr. Masterson
Bob Hopkins 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Way We Are See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

William Goetz Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Crawford wanted Marlon Brando to be her co-star. He declined, saying, "I'm not interested in doing any mother-son films at the present time." See more »

Quotes

Liz Eckhart: If you ask me, you give 'em the brush off. But don't ask me why.
Milly: Maybe I'm just too choosy.
Liz Eckhart: Maybe you're just plain scared.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Outrageous! (1977) 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

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User Reviews

 
Joan Crawford Stands By Her (Psycho) Man
25 September 2014 | by xyzkozakSee all my reviews

As the opening credits of "Autumn Leaves" are benignly rolling by, the viewer is treated to listening to the golden, mellow voice of Nat "King" Cole as he effortlessly sings this melodrama's title song.

And even though there were no autumn leaves anywhere to be found in "Autumn Leaves", this song and its lulling effect played (surprising enough) a somewhat significant part when it came to setting the pace and mood of this film's stormy plot-line.

Many years following this picture's 1956 release, Joan Crawford stated, in an interview, that of her later films, "Autumn Leaves" was, indeed, her #1 favourite.

I think that that was kind of a funny thing for Crawford to say, since, from my perspective, I clearly found her to be miscast in her role as Millie Wetherby, the longing, lonely, middle-aged typing-dynamo who finally finds her man (who's half her age) only to discover that an unbalanced mind lurks behind those twinkling, baby-blue eyes of his.

From my point of view, even though "Autumn Leaves" had all the makings of being a fairly intriguing picture and its subject matter was certainly handled in a mature fashion, I found that a lot of the story (especially the ending) just didn't ring true.

Like I said earlier, Joan Crawford just wasn't well-suited for her role as a woman who would allow a man (regardless of how cute he was) to slap her around and brutalize her. And, then, after all was said and done, actually come crawling back for more. (Oh? Yeah!?)

Yes. "Autumn Leaves" was a decidedly flawed affair and its dead-serious dramatics contained some unintentionally humorous moments, but, all the same, I think that this 1950's Chick Flick was certainly well-worth a view just to see how mental illness was looked upon in the realm of Hollywood movies nearly 60 years ago.

Filmed in b&w, "Autumn Leaves" was directed by Robert Aldrich whose other notable films included - Kiss Me Deadly, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane and The Dirty Dozen.


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