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Leave Her to Heaven is a rare sight to behold for the genre of noir as it was shot in Technicolor instead of black-and-white, and although that bothered me at first, I eventually came to really appreciate it as it led to such an authentic experiment where the most horrible scenarios could play out in the lightest, most colorful sights. The film's story surely is far-fetched, but gloriously melodramatic and incredibly memorable too. Gene Tierney again showcased how awfully underrated she is as she killed it in this amazing role of a very dangerous femme fatale who should rank among the best villains to ever grace the silver screen.
Probably good in it's day, but just too dated at this point, and wasn't impressed with the acting. It SEEMED like acting ... stilted ... not good,
A strange little film with unreasonably high T-metering that moves slowly to a near-the-end courtroom scene with the most annoying Vincent Price as prosecutor performance (& jilted old love) imaginable - & where the defense attorney did nothing to quiet him. Women like this exist, for sure - & stalker men - but not quite this cracked. Leave her to the devil. Really, the results of the old 3-strip Technicolor process was more interesting to look at than the film, never a good sign. And a quirky role for Gene Tierney. + Trivia: Amazing that Jeanne Crain went on to have 7 children!
One of the most beautiful , glamorous and monstrous heroines ever in the history of cinema! One scene in particular will make your blood run cold it is so chilling.
This is a 4-star movie until the hurried and unconvincing ending. Pity, because it has wonderful production values and glorious outdoor scenes in colour.
Title comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet in which his father's ghost commands Hamlet in avenging his murder not to hurt his mother for her part in it but "leave her to heaven".
Psychological drama that must have been shocking for its time. Beautifully shot. The court scene was too far fetched and the defense was unbelievable.
Richard (Cornel Wilde) , a successful writer, is on his way to meet a friend in New Mexico. While on the train, he cannot help but admire a woman sitting right across his seat. It is perfect timing that she drops her book so he rushes to pick it up for her. Her name is Ellen (Gene Tierney) and she has family in Rancho Jacinto. A few more words are exchanged and, as is usually the case with strangers, the conversation dies down. Despite the silence, Ellen stares at Richard; she reminds him of her father as a young man.
From watching the chance meeting unfold, one might assume that "Leave Her to Heaven," based on the novel by Ben Ames Williams and adapted to the screen by Jo Swerling, is some kind of a goofball comedy. On the contrary, it is a noir picture that contains one of the most despicable and unapologetic villains: Ellen, a very jealous woman who will go as far as killing another person just so she can have the unsuspecting writer all to herself.
To less observant viewers, Tierney's performance might appear one-note. When the man she loves is looking right at her, she adopts the mannerisms of what she might consider to be a girl so deeply in love. But when he is not looking, her body stiffens and there is a coldness in her eyes. But what Tierney does is smart: by playing within what seems to be a limited range of emotions, her presence becomes all the more chilling. Her eyes are never warm-only less cold. When she is sad, perhaps genuinely, her eyes are hidden by shadows or the camera is so far that a precise emotion cannot be read. I enjoyed that there is room to wonder if she is a true sociopath.
Suspense bubbles underneath but the film offers some amusing turns. For example, when Ellen does not get what she wants and the exact way she wants to have attained it, I was tickled by the way she tries to suppress being upset. Because she is so vile, I wondered if it was kind of rotten of me to root for bad things to happen to her. Ellen is consistently under control of her comportment. When she appears to be losing control, is she really? It will take multiple viewings to know for sure.
The film is a walking contradiction. The choice to show the images in color allows an already compelling material to have more depth. The colors pop but the content is dark. It offers many beautiful images-the performers' faces, what they wear, interior and exterior decors-but it is filled with deplorable behavior and sadness.
Everyone appears to be living wealthy lifestyles, from a well-decorated vacation home in the desert to a posh cabin by the lake, initially inviting, sure, but many of us will probably not want to live their lives. There is a lot of repressed animosity and therefore a lack of communication. Inevitably, this leads to problems. The relationships among Ellen, her mother (Mary Philips), and adopted sister (Jeanne Crain) are especially awkward. When there is laughter, it feels superficial-not at all the type we have-boisterous, silly, unrestrained-in our own homes, happy homes.
"Leaver Her to Heaven," directed by John M. Stahl, is almost like-and I mean this without being snide-a very good soap opera. I make that comparison because dramatic soaps almost always showcase a villain we love to hate. We want her to get caught and it is so frustrating that she gets away with being so evil until-maybe-the end of the story. But the story here separates itself from a soap opera by not giving easy answers. It does not let the characters get away so easily. The ending feels exactly right but it is, in its core, bittersweet.
Gene Tierney plays the woman who's got it all ... except upstairs between her ears, and Cornel Wilde and Jeanne Crain endeavor mightily to tolerate her. They hardly can bear up. Vincent Price does a great job however as an abusive District Attorney, stealing the film. The action happens in that popular magazine cover perfect world that ruled in Hollywood film at that time. There's one scene, for instance, where Tierney, supposed pregnant (altho that's impossible to see) looks in a mirror horrified: "I look terrible," she says, when she doesn't look that way at all, when nothing in the film looks that way.
A very rare bird- a great Film Noir filmed in color. Gene Tierney is great playing against type. Her unstable and sociopathic femme fatale is one of the most memorable in the genre. The film owes most of its success and longevity to John Stahl, its director. His use of space, pacing, and depth of field is a masterclass of filmmaking.
a very good movie a film noir in colour a film that whould have been better in black and white.