By some measure Stahl's most twisted and perverse film (that I've seen), LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN is also 20th Century Fox's HIGHEST GROSSING FILM OF THE 1940s! This is because it is the most rapturous object the gaze has ever beheld. The habitually accusatory might call the film a misogynistic black widow allegory, but what it's really warning us about are the kinds of surfaces it itself has used to ruthlessly net us.
Impressive cinematography and marvelous technicolor palettes serving for one of the most provocative and profound examination of obsessive, monomaniac love that is personified through the story of a dazzling beauty who, throughout the film, changes shades (costumes) from a charming, most coveted woman to a monstrous, jealous shrew ready to do anything to own her object of love for herself. Masterpiece!
Many qualities associated with the film noir genre are here, but the film depicts how Tierney’s character becomes a femme fatale and lacks the conciseness of the genre. Her performance as well as Stahl’s direction are so nuanced that I couldn’t help myself sympathizing with the character. The technicolor photography is glorious.
Gene Tierney gives an intense performance as a woman overcome by obsession in this beautifully shot film noir. What looks like a Douglas Sirk picture, has all the acidity of an Otto Preminger film. A stunning motion picture that will stay with you long after you see it.
Technicolor soap made honorary noir by sheer fatality of its femme. I'm not sure a femme fatale has ever worked so well on me—when Gene Tierney looks up from her book with her crazy Elektra eyes, I know I'm in danger but throw myself towards it. You may even feel for her: her delusional idea of happiness is a maze with no exit. There's a more profound character arc in her hairstyle than most films manage entirely.
3 stars (easily bordering on 3.5). I expected an unsung classic...but Leaver Her To Heaven demonstrates that the "Technicolor noir" concept looks smart on paper only. Favorite scene: Gene scattering her father's ashes over the sierra. The movie looked so promising at this point.
Scorsese called Gene Tierney one of the most underrated actresses of the Golden Age, and he is absolutely right. She gives an expressionistic performance that is challenging, given how usympathetic her Ellen is. Yet, she’s mesmerizing. Ellen’s pathology is so deep rooted you just can’t help but want to follow her view of the world and unconditional love all the way through.
Melodrama meets film noir. I expected this to be a poor man's Sirk, but it's not really that. It was hard to take the eyes away from some of the beautiful furniture, classic Americana clothing, landscapes sometimes. The dialogue explains a bit too much at times. Still it remained a dark undertone throughout. 3.5/5
From memory - It's only rare that such a great female character is seen in cinema without too much pretentious acting. Gene Tierney has a heavy ghost-like screen presence. The visual design and photography is really out of this world. The way Technicolor was constantly perfected for the caucasian skin tone is just ingenious. But the courtroom ending makes this a lesser classic. The tone of the climax is just way off.
7.7/10, "Underscored by Alfred Newman’s emphatic, symphonic accompaniment and Leon Shamroy’s Oscar-winning cinematographic grandeur, LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN is a rara avis in the film-noir crop, a woman’s pathological possessiveness is more much lethal and alluring under a picturesque milieu." my full review - https://wp.me/p1eXom-3M5
i just saw this screened in nitrate on a big, wide screen in a packed room at TCM and loved every second of it... Gene's beauty is painful, Vincent was great, STUNNING visuals, wacky/unbelievable/trite script (particularly Gene's character's motivations/the impetus there-behind, though that's not particularly surprising, I suppose ..)