Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
In this noir drama a successful fiction writer, Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde), meets a young beautiful socialite, Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) on a train. After a short introduction, the pair fall in love. However, Ellen’s obsessive streak soon becomes evident when she unceremoniously ditches her politically successful fiancée Russell Quinton (Vincent Price) and makes a proposal of marriage to Richard. After their marriage Ellen’s obsession with Richard mounts to the point where she becomes jealous of her pretty innocent sister Ruth (Jeanne Crain) and even of Richard’s disabled teen brother, Danny. Soon, Ellen finds herself capable of the most malicious and darkest deeds to re-gain the undivided attention of her beloved.
‘Leave Her to Heaven’, which won an Academy Award for the Best Cinematography of 1945, is based on a best-selling novel of the same name by Ben Ames Williams, and the script is written by Jo Swerling, who also did work for ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (1946). The narrative of the film flows so naturally it resembles reading a book, and the script is, indeed, meticulously constructed. Shot in bright technicolor, the film is sometimes very romantic; very often dramatic, and yet at other times resembles a thriller, while culminating in a legal action.
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