HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
   
 
Newest Articles
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
   
 
  Leave Her To Heaven Mine All Mine
Year: 1945
Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price, Mary Philips, Ray Collins, Gene Lockhart, Reed Hadley, Darryl Hickman, Chill Wills
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: There's only one man who possibly knows the whole story, and he is about to tell all - confidentially, of course. It is a tale of how rampant jealousy can destroy lives, but it started with a seemingly innocuous meeting on a train where writer Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) was travelling to a countryside retreat to work on his latest novel. He became captivated by the beauty of the woman sitting opposite him, and when she dropped her book, one of his, he picked it up for her. She started staring at him, and they got to talking where she admitted she was struck by how much he resembled her late father. She was Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney), and she was trouble...

Judging by her other films where she played the slightly, and sometimes more than slightly, aloof heroine, Gene Tierney might have seemed an odd choice to play the passionate lead in this adaptation of Ben Ames Williams' bestseller, but something told her she was right for the part and she successfully asked to be given the role. The result was the film, more than even Laura, that she would be most celebrated for, and amateur psychologists the world over have pondered over the connection between her real life mental instabilities and how well she portrayed them onscreen here, but perhaps the truth was she had more talent than she is given credit for.

Or perhaps it takes just the right role for any movie star to truly shine, and Tierney found her's in Leave Her To Heaven. As Ellen, she skirts around camp with the type of character who informed a thousand soap opera villainesses, and there are times when to modern eyes the melodrama appears absurdly overwrought, yet you can tell that all involved believed in the steely qualities of the material enough to be taken very seriously indeed. You might suppress a chuckle or two at Ellen's frustrations and how they are brought out, but Tierney is never playing for laughs: this woman is dangerous, and will even resort to murder to get her way, that way being having the hapless Richard all to herself.

Wilde is well cast as a weak man steamrollered into marrying this lady who is always intent on succeeding, whether it be a swimming race across the bay, or securing a man who reminds her so strongly of daddy that she is determined never to let him escape. At first Ellen seems a somewhat remote object of desire, with the Technicolor drawing out the star's good looks, but also as the film progresses showing how that attractiveness could easily turn to cruelty, as we see when her lawyer fiancé Russell Quinton (Vincent Price) shows up to have his love for her thrown back in his face after she introduces Richard as her latest beau. So he has her focused exclusively on him, not cottoning on to the fact that the only way Ellen's father could wriggle out of her clutches was in death.

And now she has the ideal replacement for her obsession. Trouble is, she doesn't have Richard's complete and undivided attention because her family insist on visiting them at their lakeside retreat, including cousin Ruth (Jeanne Crain) who harbours a secret crush on Richard, and then there's the matter of his disabled brother Danny (Darryl Hickman) who clings to Richard in a manner that Ellen finds alienating. This leads to the film's most famous sequence where Ellen comes up with an idea to get rid of the boy permanently: take him out on the water, persuade him to swim for shore to impress his sibling, and oops, well, you can guess what happens. Ellen is a fascinating character, and the film loses its power when Tierney is offscreen - the courtroom drama it resolves itself into is a bit of an anticlimax - but when she is scheming she makes for that rarest of characters, a Technicolor femme fatale. There's quite a bit of Gothic to go with the film noir too, but if not wholly either, Leave Her To Heaven is its own creature, dark-hearted and compelling, like its anti-heroine. Music by Alfred Newman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3751 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: