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Leave Her To Heaven [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Cornel Wilde, Gene Tierney, Mary Philips, Ray Collins, Gene Lockhart
  • Directors: John M. Stahl
  • Producers: Darryl Zanuck, William A. Bacher
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 18 April 2005
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007VXZ9A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,912 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Classic melodrama starring Gene Tierney and Cornel Wilde. Tierney plays Ellen, a jealous woman engaged to a politician. Uninhibited by this commitment, she lures the handsome Richard into marriage after knowing him just a few days. But Richard soon learns from her sister and mother that Ellen's selfish, possessive love has ruined other people's lives.

From Amazon.co.uk

Leave Her to Heaven is one of the most unblinkingly perverse movies ever offered up as a prestige picture by a major studio in the golden age of Hollywood. Gene Tierney, whose lambent eyes, porcelain features, and sweep of healthy-American-girl hair customarily made her a 20th Century Fox icon of purity, scored an Oscar nomination playing a demonically obsessive daughter of privilege with her own monstrous notion of love. By the time she crosses eyebeams with popular novelist Cornel Wilde on a New Mexico-bound train, her jealous manipulations have driven her parents apart and her father to his grave. Well, no, not grave: Wilde soon gets to watch her gallop a glorious palomino across a red-rock horizon as she metronomically sows Dad's ashes to the winds. Mere screen moments later, she's jettisoned rising-politico fiancé Vincent Price and accepted a marriage proposal the besotted/bewildered Wilde hasn't quite made. Can the wrecking of his and several other lives be far behind? Not to mention a murder or two.

Fox gave Ben Ames Williams's bestselling novel (probably just the sort of book Wilde's character writes) the Class-A treatment. Alfred Newman's tympani-heavy music score signals both grandeur and pervasive psychosis, while spectacular, dust-jacket-worthy locations and Oscar-destined Technicolor cinematography by Leon Shamroy ensure our fixed gaze. Impeccably directed by the veteran John M. Stahl (who'd made the original Back Street, Imitation of Life, and Magnificent Obsession a decade earlier), the result is at once cuckoo and hieratic, and weirdly mesmerizing. Bet Luis Buñuel loved it. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By F. V. L. Buliciri on 12 Sept. 2005
Format: DVD
Jealousy is one of the seven deadly sins. Gene Tierney gives a powerful performance as the beautiful self-centered Ellen whose jealousy alienates everyone around her. Cornel Wilde plays her husband who gets more than he bargained for when he marries Ellen and becomes overwhelmed by his wife's obsessive love and jealousy.This is a good film with great performances from all the cast especially Tierney as the chilling Ellen. Jealousy is a dangerous emotion and this film skilfully portrays the devastating and destructive effect that is has upon people.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
Lovely Ellen (Gene Tierney) meets handsome Richard (Cornel Wilde) and is instantly attracted to him because he is so like her late, beloved father. Although she's engaged to someone else, she marries Richard just days after meeting him. Her neurotic possessiveness means she can't allow anyone else near him - not even his disabled brother or unborn child - and now she's worried that her sister (Jeanne Crain) is in love with him. When her obsession finally drives him away, Ellen has one more trick up her sleeve; she'll punish both Richard and her sister from the grave.

This surprisingly dark and intense drama is made even more effective by its three beautiful stars and stunning location photography. Ellen goes from being odd to certifiably insane rather quickly; it was unnerving to have the star be the villain in 1945 and it still is. She is a master manipulator, callously offing her competition for Richard's time and affections while looking like a fashion-plate. Tierney was nominated for Best Actress for her performance, which gives me chills and yet I love to watch again and again. This is an unusual story, beautifully filmed and perfectly acted.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pearce on 18 Jan. 2007
Format: DVD
Technicolor at its finest in this startling melodrama by John Stahl. Gene Tierney give her greatest performance as a woman unhinged by love and the lengths she is driven to,to maintain it. Cornel Wilde is a bit out of his depth as the object of her "affections", but Jeanne Crain and Vincent Price offer good value in support, the locations are stunning and one scene is so mesmirising as to be the working definition of "utter ruthlessness".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 April 2011
Format: DVD
Beautiful Ellen Berent unashamedly jilts her fiancé, Russell Quinton, for writer Richard Harland. Her attraction to Harland being that he reminds her of her deceased father. But soon it becomes evident that Ellen is very possessive and literally will do what it takes to keep all away from her newly obtained beau.

Director John M. Stahl and writer Jo Swerling adapt from the novel written by Ben Ames Williams. Filmed in luscious Technicolor by Leon Shamroy (Oscar winning), Leave Her To Heaven proves two indisputable things. One is that to craft a searing film noir it doesn't have to be filmed in monochrome, the other is that it's proof positive that Gene Tierney (Ellen) was more than just a gorgeously effective face.

Tierney of course needs no introduction to fans of film noir, her appearance and quality of performance in the previous years release of Laura ensures that. While to a lesser degree the mixed Whirlpool four years later also cements her status in the corridors of darkness. But an argument can be made for this being her crowning glory, both in terms of her effervescent beauty and of the performance she gives (Oscar nominated). It's not outrageous to say that the film achieves its greatest heights because of her portrayal as Ellen, a character that is the epitome of the femme fatale. Tierney has this beguiling knack of shifting from charm personified to outright evility, all within a heart beat. And amazingly as Ellen grows more warped and jealous, Tierney grows ever more sexy. It's not just Cornel Wilde's duped Richard Harland falling into her disturbed web, it's any watching male with a pulse. Even as the shockingly cold moments unravel, and there are some truly chilling ones for sure, Ellen draws us in with a lusty fascination that's rather unique.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Miguel M. Santos VINE VOICE on 11 Sept. 2004
Format: DVD
In 1944 Gene Tierney was Laura in Otto Preminger's classic of the same name. The next year, possibly because of that film, Fox made her star again as a "femme fatale" - only this time more "fatale". She plays a woman obsessed with her father, and the projected image of him in her newly found husband. To tell more, would be to spoil the film. She got her only Oscar nomination for this film (again, the omission in the previous year with "Laura" might have something to do with it) and its spellbinding to see her in muted technicolor, more beautiful than ever - yes, this is a film noir shot in colour. The cast also includes Jeanne Crain and Cornel Wilde (two of Fox's biggest starts at the time) and also Vincent Price as Tierney's rejected lover. The DVD is a barebone release with a copy that has its moments. Starts quite badly to improve as it goes on. Not a perfect film, but I was glad to find some new charm in it when I saw it recently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Delores on 22 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this film on TV about a year ago and did not have time to watch the full version, but I was drawn to the story and the malevolence of the main female character. I made a decision to buy it at some point and eventually got round to this recently. I was not disappointed. It is a fabulous film starring Gene Tierney and Cornell Wilde. Gene's character, Ellen makes a bee line for Cornell and from that moment on, he is trapped and anything or anyone that come between them is annihilated due to Ellen's obsessiveness and jealousy. There is a fabulous scene where Ellen scatters the ashes of her late father over the plains near their home whilst she is riding a Palomino and you do not expect the last scene which depicts the ultimate act of jealousy. Fab.
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