Customer Review

61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If looks could kill..., May 23, 2001
This review is from: Leave Her to Heaven [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Gene Tierney, with her beautiful cheekbones, creamy skin, icy blue eyes, delicious overbite, and chestnut hair, was a vision of loveliness-one of the great beauties of the screen. She was also an underrated actress, who played "good" girls in films such as "Heaven Can Wait", "Laura", "The Ghost and Mrs Muir", and "Dragonwyck",and bitches in films such as "The Razor's Edge", "The Egyptian", and, of course, "Leave Her to Heaven" a technicolor "film noir". In this, her Oscar-nominated role, she plays Ellen Berent, a woman whose insane jealousy and possessiveness causes misery and death to those around her. She sets her eyes on writer Richard Harland, (Cornel Wilde) who reminds her of her late father. Ellen had an unusual, almost incestuous relationship with her father-one even suspects that she drove him to his death. Having jilted her district attorney fiancee Russell Quentin, played by Vincent Price, she sets out to hook Harland. It seems that Ellen doesn't want to share her husband's affections with anyone, including his crippled kid brother, whom she lets drown when he attempts to swim across a lake, and her unborn child, when she deliberately throws herself down a flight of stairs to induce a miscarriage. When Ellen's jealousy of her sister's relationship and budding affection for her husband, along with his discovery of the truth of his brother's and unborn child's deaths force him to leave her in disgust, she plots the ultimate act of vindictiveness-she fatally poisons herself, and sends a letter implicating her sister and husband to her ex-fiancee Quentin. This doll didn't play! Miss Tierney, who had suffered a nervous breakdown in the 1950s after a series of unfortunate incidents in her personal life, wrote in her book "Self Portrait", that the character she played in this film was insane-and that she tried very hard,and convincingly, to make others think that she was not. Miss Tierney's performance is very believable, restrained, and positively chilling. The Technicolor photography, while beautiful, has a certain "chilliness" which actually heightens the film's drama-a rather unusual twist, as this type of fare was usually filmed in black and white. Add to this a powerful, chilling score by Alfred Newman, good performances by Wilde, Price, the lovely Jeanne Crain, and Darryl Hickman, and you have an entertaining, slickly produced melodrama. Yes, jealousy is one of the seven deadly sins-and in this film, it is "deadlier than the male"!
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