Movie Club: Leave Her to Heaven

Leave Her to Heaven

USA | 1945 | 110 min. | John M. Stahl

May 2, 2024

SIFF Movie Club

A whirlwind romance turns deadly storm in this Technicolor melodrama starring a luminous Gene Tierney. Selected and introduced by SIFF Office Manager (and Ellen apologist) Caroline Beston.

Novelist Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) seems to have found the perfect woman in Ellen (Gene Tierney), a beautiful socialite who initiates a whirlwind romance and steers him into marriage before he can think twice. Yet the glassy surface of Ellen’s devotion soon reveals monstrous depths, as Richard comes to realize that his wife is shockingly possessive and may be capable of destroying anyone who comes between them. A singular Hollywood masterpiece that draws freely from the women’s picture and film noir alike, Leave Her to Heaven boasts elegant direction by melodrama specialist John M. Stahl, blazing Technicolor cinematography by Leon Shamroy, and a chilling performance by Tierney, whose Ellen is a femme fatale unlike any other—a woman whose love is as pure as it is poisonous. — The Criterion Collection

  • Director: John M. Stahl
  • Principal Cast: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price, Mary Philips
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1945
  • Running Time: 110 min.
  • Producer: William A. Bacher
  • Screenplay: Ben Ames Williams, Jo Swerling
  • Cinematographers: Leon Shamroy
  • Editors: James B. Clark
  • Music: Alfred Newman
  • US Distributor: The Film Foundation