Leave Her to Heaven

1945

Drama / Film-Noir

2
IMDb Rating 7.7

Synopsis


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2.10G
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English
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110 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.33G
Normal
English
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110 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ted-129 10

No one can watch this without remembering Gene Tierney&#39;s searing blue eyes, Jeanne Crain&#39;s face of innocence, or Cornel Wilde (lightyears from The Naked Prey) here looking like a photo of Pierre &amp; Gilles come to life. It&#39;s 110 minutes of color-time-travel basking in the surreally saturated Technicolor palette of the mid 40&#39;s.<br/><br/>For those who have been denied the experience of watching the recently restored version with a rapt audience on a big screen as happened April 26, 2008 at San Francisco&#39;s Castro Theatre, I can only hope you&#39;ll contact a film preservation-minded theater in your area.<br/><br/>Though I&#39;ve watched this film on DVD, nothing prepared me for the impact of the big screen. The closeups alone will take your breath away. <br/><br/>Is it melodrama or is it noir?--leave that to Heaven!

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Reviewed by drednm 10

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.<br/><br/>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&#39;s ashes in New Mexico. From the getgo the family seems full of angst as everyone stays out of Ellen&#39;s way. On a whim, she breaks her engagement to a lawyer (Vincent Price) and marries Wilde.<br/><br/>Everything seems OK until they visit his crippled brother (Darryl Hickman) in Georgia. She seems jealous of Wilde&#39;s attention to the kid. Somehow, plans are made for the three of them to go to Wilde&#39;s &quot;lodge&quot; 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.<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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&#39;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.<br/><br/>LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN ranks among the best melodramas of the 1940s.

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Reviewed by Lejink 8

Can a film noir be effective in glorious colour or is that a contradiction in terms? Anyway I found this lesser-known thriller to be as exciting and involving as any other black-and-white-mean-streets scenario that the 40&#39;s threw up. Tightly plotted, well acted and above all, beautifully photographed, I was gripped from first to last. My only caveats might have been the &quot;framing&quot; device of Cornel Wilde&#39;s lawyer&#39;s top-and-tail introduction and epilogue, which just takes away a little of the dramatic tension, an over-intrusive musical score, particularly at Wilde and Tierney&#39;s first &quot;strangers on a train&quot; meeting and also the fact that more wasn&#39;t made of the conclusion of the otherwise tautly drawn crucial trial scene. The acting is top-rate, with no discernible weak links. Wilde, as the duped author, shows hidden depths to his handsome exterior, Crain, in a sub De-Havilland part modulates her performance winningly as her character&#39;s importance to the plot develops and Vincent Price is absolutely excellent as Tierney&#39;s abandoned fiancé, a lawyer on the make who convincingly destroys Wilde and Crain in his vengeful piece-de-resistance as the prosecuting counsel. What a shame he was later reduced to his stereotype cackling mad-man persona of seemingly dozens of horror films. He&#39;s a revelation here, almost stealing the movie in said trial scene where he&#39;s made to recite long pieces of staccato dialogue which he delivers pitch-perfect. Gene Tierney, of course, is enthralling in the pivotal role of the possessed / possessive Ellen, who uses her obvious beauty and sophistication to ensnare Wilde, before taking off into psychopath territory, which sees her effectively kill Wilde&#39;s disabled but adored younger brother and devise an almost perfect beyond-the-grave trap for Wilde and Crain to fall into. Great as all these pluses are, I keep coming back to the cinematography which captures like no other film I&#39;ve ever seen tones of radiant beauty in almost every shot, both interior and exterior. In fact all I can say to finish is that I could find very little to fault this glorious but unheralded example of the golden age of Hollywood.

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