6.8/10
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Autumn Leaves (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 8 October 1956 (Italy)
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
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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:

8 October 1956 (Italy) 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

The film's original title was "The Way We Are", but this was changed to capitalize on the success of the Nat "King" Cole song "Autumn Leaves", which was enjoying considerable popularity at the time. See more »

Quotes

Milly: The only trouble is that the future comes so much sooner than it used to.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Feud: The Other Woman (2017) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
As Much Maternal As Romantic
17 December 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Autumn Leaves finds Joan Crawford as fortyish unmarried woman living alone in a court bungalow with landlady Ruth Donnelly for occasional company. A chance meeting with young Cliff Robertson at a concert brings two people with needs together.

Cliff's needs are much bigger than her's however. For all his surface charm, the man has some deep issues. Part of which is that he's grown up without a mother another part of which his father Lorne Greene did him one terrible hurt.

The film was Cliff Robertson's breakout role and he does a fine job, running the whole emotional alphabet from the charming and shallow young man who overcompensates a lot to his mental breakdown with Crawford which is terrifying. Crawford gets one of her best late career roles as well. Not much is said about her mental state, but the way she interprets the part, Joan's needs are as much maternal as romantic and Robertson seems to fill the bill.

For those of you who expect to see wise and patriarchal Ben Cartwright, that is not the Lorne Greene you see here. In fact before being cast in Bonanza, Greene played a nice variety of nasty people in such films as The Buccaneer, Tight Spot, and this one. Vera Miles is also here as Robertson's ex-wife and a piece of work herself.

Robert Aldrich does a good job with Joan Crawford and the rest of the cast. But the film really belongs to Cliff Robertson, after this performance, his career was assured.


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