CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • U
  • Drama, Film-Noir
  • 1945
  • 110 mins

Leave Her To Heaven

Leave Her To Heaven

Synopsis

A young couple are slowly torn apart by jealousy. Noir thriller starring Gene Tierney and Cornel Wilde

About

With a name like Leave Her To Heaven, John Stahl's movie could only be a film noir. Adapted from the book by top thriller writer Ben Ames Williams, the picture is in fact a fine example of the form with top performances from genre stalwarts Gene Tierney (Night And The City) and Cornel Wilde (The Big Combo).

Tierney and Wilde are Richard and Ellen, a young couple who marry after a chance meeting on a train. For a while all is wonderful, but then Richard's family fall victim to a string of tragedies. At first it seems as if fate alone is responsible for the misfortune. Richard, though, fears that the death of his brother and his unborn child might have less to do with destiny than Ellen's insane jealousy.

With the criminally insane woman now a cliche, it's tough to remember that Gene Tierney was taking a real chance when she accepted the role of Ellen Berent Harland. She's exceptional in the part, and far better than the legions of actresses who've subsequently set down the rolling pin and bouquet in favour of the ice pick.

Cornel Wilde is also superb, his work here rivaling his career-best performance in The Big Combo. A polyglot with a medical degree and impressive abilities as a journalist, salesman and athlete, Wilde could have done a lot of things with his life had he wished. That he plumped for performing seems surprising given that he once spoke of wishing to "accomplish in my life something of value and to do it with self-respect and integrity." Watch him here, however, and you'll be glad that the charismatic New Yorker decided to act when many others would have opted for the operating theatre.

Aside from eye-catching leads, Leave Her To Heaven boasts Academy Award-winning cinematography courtesy of DP Leon Shamroy and a typically eccentric turn from Vincent Price. As for the secondary artistes, they include Ray Collins, late of Citizen Kane and Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre, and Chill Wills, the beefy western favourite who tarnished his good name when he begged his fellow professionals to award him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in The Alamo.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Darryl Hickman, Jeanne Crain, Gene Lockhart, Chill Wills, Cornel Wilde, Gene Tierney, Vincent Price, Ray Collins
  • Director: John M Stahl
  • Screen Writer: Jo Swerling
  • Writer (Book): Ben Ames Williams
  • Producer: William A Bacher
  • Photographer: Leonard Shamroy
  • Composer: Alfred Newman

In a nutshell

An excellent example of the genre.

by Richard Luck

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Woman In Black 2

    The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death

    The spectral 'woman in black' feeds off the loss and trauma of Second World War evacuees in this gothic sequel from director Tom Harper (The Scouting Book For Boys)

  • Film4 Men In Black 3

    Men In Black 3

    Agent J (Will Smith) travels back to the 1960s to stop an alien from assassinating a young Agent K (Josh Brolin) and changing the course of history

  • Film4 Muppet Christmas Carol

    Boxing Day 2014 on Film4

    Film4's lineup on Boxing Day 2014

  • Film4 In Fear

    In Fear on Film4

    Alice Englert and Iain De Caestecker star as a new couple driving through Ireland who become lost and the target of a mystery tormentor

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share