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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Leave Her To Heaven (1945)



Reviews and Comments

Leave Her To Heaven is a paradox: it's a film noir with (some) virtuous characters and shot in bright, glorious colors. The look of the film and the dark, underhanded things going on under the surface play effective counterpoints to each other, creating a creepy sort of atmosphere.

The success of the film is largely due to a brilliant performance by Gene Tierney, who was nominated for a performance that probably should have won. It's a subtle performance, but it's absolutely unforgettable. She brings a tangible reality to a very challenging character.

Beware of other reviews and commentary about this film. An unusually high percentage give away things about the story that are better left unknown. Suffice it to say that this film initially plays like a love story, albeit one with a dark undercurrent buried under the surface, and evolves from there, completely changing tone and direction more than once. The script is tight and full, and it never strays from staying true to the characters. There is an uncommon psychological depth to the characters. There are surprises along the way, but they always make sense in retrospect; they deepen our understanding, rather than, as plot twists in lesser movies to do, threaten it.

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