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Leave Her To Heaven Criterion Blu-ray Review

Leave

Two words: Gene Tierney.

Based on the novel by Ben Ames Williams and adapted for the screen by Jo Swerling, 1945’s “Leave Her To Heaven” revolves around the romance between an author (Richard) and a young woman named Ellen. Right off the bat, something seems a bit off with Ellen as she seems enamored by the fact that Richard resembles her late father (whom she was close with). Things only become more troubling once the two become married as her dark side becomes unleashed. You see, she isn’t just the jealous type. She’s overly possessive (to say the least) and wants Richard to herself by any means necessary. 

“Leave Her To Heaven” starts off as a proto picturesque 50’s Douglas Sirk-ian melodrama, but it takes a film noir turn when it becomes apparent that Ellen is one demented femme fatale. Under less capable hands, the genre twist could have sank the movie, but director John M. Stahl smoothly handles the tonal shift. The end result is a warped character drama about toxic relationships, love, and possession that still feels relevant today.

As engaging as the film is, the reason “Leave Her To Heaven” works as well as it does is due to the performance by Gene Tierney. The rest of the cast (namely Vincent Price, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain) all turn in quality performances, but Tierney owns this movie. Her performance as the creepy and unhinged Ellen is nothing short of engrossing and elevates the film as a whole. She even received an Oscar nomination for her role and deservedly so. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? The 2K digital restoration makes this glorious Technicolor film look better than ever.

Audio Track: Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? An all-around crisp and clean track. 

Extras:
* “Leave Her To Heaven” trailer
* A booklet featuring credits and an essay by author Megan Abbott.
* A 26 minute interview with film critic and author Imogen Sara Smith about John M. Stahl and “Leave Her To Heaven.”

March 24, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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