Leave Her to Heaven


1h 50m 1946
Leave Her to Heaven

Brief Synopsis

A beautiful neurotic will stop at nothing to hold onto her husband's love.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Jan 1946
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Dec 1945; Los Angeles opening: 28 Dec 1945
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Leave Her to Heaven by Ben Ames Williams (Boston, 1944).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,945ft (11 reels)

Synopsis

When author Richard Harland is released from prison after serving a two-year sentence, he goes to Deer Lake, Maine, and is met by his attorney, Glen Robie. Glen sends Richard off in a waiting canoe to Richard's lodge, "Back of the Moon," then relates his story to a companion: A few years earlier, while Richard is working on a new novel, he accepts an invitation from Glen to vacation at his ranch in Jacinto, New Mexico. During the train ride, Richard is left breathless by the striking beauty of a woman who comments on his close resemblance to her late father. Richard is then greeted at the station by Glen, who reveals that the beautiful woman, Ellen Berent, is also visiting the Robie family with her mother Margaret and adopted sister Ruth. During dinner, Ellen tells Richard that they have come to scatter her father's ashes at his favorite spot in the mountains, which he used to describe as "the front lawn of heaven." Richard follows the Berents when they depart in the morning and is fascinated by Ellen's demeanor as she scatters the ashes. The next day, when Richard confesses to Ellen that he questioned Glen about her fiancé, attorney Russell Quinton, she coolly declares that she has taken off her engagement ring. The next night, Russell comes to the ranch, having received a telegram from Ellen breaking their engagement, and Richard is astonished when Ellen announces that she is going to marry him. Despite his misgivings, Richard cannot resist Ellen and the couple are married. After a brief honeymoon, the newlyweds travel to Warm Springs, Georgia, where Richard's beloved, teenaged brother Danny is recovering from polio. Ellen's fanatical devotion to Richard begins to surface when she refuses to hire servants, stating that she wants to do everything for him, but Richard is touched by her attentions to Danny. Ellen's coaxing prompts Danny to walk with crutches, and soon the boy is accompanying Ellen and Richard to Back of the Moon, even though Ellen had asked Danny's doctor to order him to remain in Georgia. At the lodge, Ellen is frustrated by the presence of Danny and Leicke Thorne, an old family friend, and resents the time that Richard spends writing. Ellen is infuriated when Margaret and Ruth show up at the lodge, and Richard is appalled by his wife's hostility toward her mother and sister. Ellen even accuses Richard of being in love with Ruth, then tearfully begs for his forgiveness by telling him that she cannot bear to share him with anyone else. Margaret and Ruth leave soon after, and one afternoon, Ellen accompanies Danny on his daily swim in the lake. Ellen follows in a rowboat behind Danny and urges him on, but when a cramp hits the exhausted boy and he cries for help, she watches impassively as he drowns. Richard seems to accept Ellen's explanation that Danny's death was an accident, but as time passes, he becomes mired in a deep depression. Hoping to rejuvenate Richard's love, Ellen becomes pregnant, and Richard eagerly anticipates the birth of their child. The couple have moved to the Berent home in Bar Harbor, and as her pregnancy progresses, Ellen comes to loathe the baby and fears that it will come between her and Richard. After telling Ruth that she longs for "the little beast" to die, Ellen throws herself down a flight of stairs and causes the death of her unborn baby. Upon Ellen's return from the hospital, Ruth is unable to bear her sister's malevolence any longer and prepares to leave for Mexico, which is the setting of Richard's just-published novel. Furious that the book is dedicated to Ruth and not to her, Ellen confronts Richard and confesses that she murdered Danny and their baby. When Richard leaves her, Ellen concocts an elaborate scheme to frame Ruth for her "murder," then kills herself with arsenic. Ruth is brought to trial by Russell, who is now the State District Attorney, and Ellen's careful plans, including asking Richard to scatter her ashes with her father's, stack the evidence against Ruth. While she is being questioned, Ruth admits to being in love with Richard but maintains her innocence. Unable to let Ruth suffer, Richard takes the stand and reveals the depths of Ellen's jealous depravity. The story almost completed, Glen tells his friend at the lake that while Ruth was acquitted, Richard was sentenced to two years in prison for being an after-the-fact accessory to Ellen's unreported crimes. As Glen finishes the tale, Richard paddles up to the cabin, where Ruth welcomes him with a loving embrace.

Photo Collections

Leave Her to Heaven - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters from Fox's Leave Her to Heaven (1946), starring Gene Tierney. This is an Insert poster, measuring 14 x 36 inches.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Jan 1946
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Dec 1945; Los Angeles opening: 28 Dec 1945
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Leave Her to Heaven by Ben Ames Williams (Boston, 1944).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,945ft (11 reels)

Award Wins

Best Cinematography

1946

Award Nominations

Best Actress

1946
Gene Tierney

Best Art Direction

1946

Best Sound

1946

Articles

The Essentials - Leave Her to Heaven


SYNOPSIS

Love and obsession lead to murder in this sun-drenched film noir, now considered one of Hollywood's most biting psychological dramas. Still mourning her beloved father's death, Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) wins writer Richard Harland's (Cornel Wilde) sympathy and then his love. But instead of living happily ever after once they're married, her pathological jealousy leads her to fire the servants, kill his brother (Darryl Hickman) and finally abort her unborn child for fear it will steal some of her husband's love. Even in death, she tries to keep Richard in her clutches by making her suicide look like murder. CAST AND CREW

Director: John M. Stahl
Producer: William A Bacher
Screenplay: Jo Swerling
Based on the novel by Ben Ames Williams
Cinematography: Leon Shamroy
Editing: James B. Clark
Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford
Music: Alfred Newman
Cast: Gene Tierney (Ellen Berent), Cornel Wilde (Richard Harland), Jeanne Crain (Ruth Berent), Vincent Price (Russell Quinton), Mary Philips (Mrs. Berent), Ray Collins (Glen Robie), Gene Lockhart (Dr. Saunders), Reed Hadley (Dr. Mason), Darryl Hickman (Danny Harland), Chill Wills (Leick Thorne), Grant Mitchell (Carlson), Mae Marsh (Fisherwoman)
C-110 m.

Why LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN is Essential

Although it received only mixed reviews when first released, contemporary critics now view Leave Her to Heaven as one of the most subversive movies from Hollywood's golden age. What starts as a romance turns into a murderous melodrama and the beautiful female star, Gene Tierney, reveals violent undercurrents. The dream of domesticity she shares with leading man Cornel Wilde, a dream shared by many men and women as World War II came to an end, becomes a nightmare as her neurotic possessiveness leads her to kill her husband's brother and induce a miscarriage of her unborn baby. In addition, John Stahl's direction and Tierney's performance have aged extremely well and are now considered among the best work in Hollywood history.

Leave Her to Heaven was 20th Century-Fox's top-grossing film of the '40s, a testament to a high level of artistry achieved by all involved and a reflection of changing audience tastes after the war's end.

Leon Shamroy's heavily saturated Technicolor photography, which seems to represent the murderous passions blazing beneath the leading lady's icy exterior, is considered one of the most innovate uses of the process in its day and has been a heavy influence on the use of color in the films of Douglas Sirk, Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes.

Tierney's Ellen Berent is often hailed as her best performance. As her first film in Technicolor it also was the first to capture the beauty that would make her a major Hollywood star in the '40s.

Tierney's induced miscarriage in the movie marks the first on-screen abortion passed under the Production Code since stricter Code enforcement was established in 1934. Bette Davis' character in Beyond the Forest (1949) would do the same to her unborn child, but the screen handling would be more circumspect. Although later films would hint at abortion, the Production Code would not pass a film depicting abortion as a medical alternative to pregnancy until 1966, when it allowed Alfie to present a woman undergoing the procedure.

by Frank Miller
The Essentials - Leave Her To Heaven

The Essentials - Leave Her to Heaven

SYNOPSIS Love and obsession lead to murder in this sun-drenched film noir, now considered one of Hollywood's most biting psychological dramas. Still mourning her beloved father's death, Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) wins writer Richard Harland's (Cornel Wilde) sympathy and then his love. But instead of living happily ever after once they're married, her pathological jealousy leads her to fire the servants, kill his brother (Darryl Hickman) and finally abort her unborn child for fear it will steal some of her husband's love. Even in death, she tries to keep Richard in her clutches by making her suicide look like murder. CAST AND CREW Director: John M. Stahl Producer: William A Bacher Screenplay: Jo Swerling Based on the novel by Ben Ames Williams Cinematography: Leon Shamroy Editing: James B. Clark Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford Music: Alfred Newman Cast: Gene Tierney (Ellen Berent), Cornel Wilde (Richard Harland), Jeanne Crain (Ruth Berent), Vincent Price (Russell Quinton), Mary Philips (Mrs. Berent), Ray Collins (Glen Robie), Gene Lockhart (Dr. Saunders), Reed Hadley (Dr. Mason), Darryl Hickman (Danny Harland), Chill Wills (Leick Thorne), Grant Mitchell (Carlson), Mae Marsh (Fisherwoman) C-110 m. Why LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN is Essential Although it received only mixed reviews when first released, contemporary critics now view Leave Her to Heaven as one of the most subversive movies from Hollywood's golden age. What starts as a romance turns into a murderous melodrama and the beautiful female star, Gene Tierney, reveals violent undercurrents. The dream of domesticity she shares with leading man Cornel Wilde, a dream shared by many men and women as World War II came to an end, becomes a nightmare as her neurotic possessiveness leads her to kill her husband's brother and induce a miscarriage of her unborn baby. In addition, John Stahl's direction and Tierney's performance have aged extremely well and are now considered among the best work in Hollywood history. Leave Her to Heaven was 20th Century-Fox's top-grossing film of the '40s, a testament to a high level of artistry achieved by all involved and a reflection of changing audience tastes after the war's end. Leon Shamroy's heavily saturated Technicolor photography, which seems to represent the murderous passions blazing beneath the leading lady's icy exterior, is considered one of the most innovate uses of the process in its day and has been a heavy influence on the use of color in the films of Douglas Sirk, Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes. Tierney's Ellen Berent is often hailed as her best performance. As her first film in Technicolor it also was the first to capture the beauty that would make her a major Hollywood star in the '40s. Tierney's induced miscarriage in the movie marks the first on-screen abortion passed under the Production Code since stricter Code enforcement was established in 1934. Bette Davis' character in Beyond the Forest (1949) would do the same to her unborn child, but the screen handling would be more circumspect. Although later films would hint at abortion, the Production Code would not pass a film depicting abortion as a medical alternative to pregnancy until 1966, when it allowed Alfie to present a woman undergoing the procedure. by Frank Miller

Pop Culture 101 - Leave Her to Heaven


On the strength of Leave Her to Heaven's box office performance, Darryl F. Zanuck cast Gene Tierney to star in The Razor's Edge (1946), with Tyrone Power. He even juggled Power's schedule to take advantage of her rise in popularity (Power's Captain from Castile [1947] had originally been scheduled as his first post-World War II film).

Tierney and Cornel Wilde re-created their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre adaptation in 1947. Lux did the story again in 1953, but with Joan Fontaine and John Dehner in the starring roles.

In 1978, the daytime drama The Edge of Night took a page out of Leave Her to Heaven's book with the tortured romance of Dr. Miles Cavanaugh (Joel Crothers) and Nicole Drake (Maeve McGuire). Like Richard and Ruth, they were tormented by his insanely jealous wife, Denise (Holland Taylor), who eventually convinced her father to kill her but planted evidence framing Miles for the murder.

Loni Anderson took a stab at villainy for a 1988 telemovie adaptation called Too Good to Be True. Patrick Duffy co-starred as her husband, with Glynnis O'Connor as her half-sister, Julie Harris as her mother and Neil Patrick Harris as Duffy's brother.

by Frank Miller

Pop Culture 101 - Leave Her to Heaven

On the strength of Leave Her to Heaven's box office performance, Darryl F. Zanuck cast Gene Tierney to star in The Razor's Edge (1946), with Tyrone Power. He even juggled Power's schedule to take advantage of her rise in popularity (Power's Captain from Castile [1947] had originally been scheduled as his first post-World War II film). Tierney and Cornel Wilde re-created their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre adaptation in 1947. Lux did the story again in 1953, but with Joan Fontaine and John Dehner in the starring roles. In 1978, the daytime drama The Edge of Night took a page out of Leave Her to Heaven's book with the tortured romance of Dr. Miles Cavanaugh (Joel Crothers) and Nicole Drake (Maeve McGuire). Like Richard and Ruth, they were tormented by his insanely jealous wife, Denise (Holland Taylor), who eventually convinced her father to kill her but planted evidence framing Miles for the murder. Loni Anderson took a stab at villainy for a 1988 telemovie adaptation called Too Good to Be True. Patrick Duffy co-starred as her husband, with Glynnis O'Connor as her half-sister, Julie Harris as her mother and Neil Patrick Harris as Duffy's brother. by Frank Miller

The Big Idea - Leave Her to Heaven


Ben Ames Williams' Leave Her to Heaven was one of the ten best-selling books of 1944, selling over a million copies. Its scandalous story focused on a woman whose pathological jealousy leads her to kill her husband's physically challenged young brother. When she realizes he knows she let the boy drown, she tries to hold him by claiming to be pregnant. Yet when she actually becomes pregnant, she induces a miscarriage because she fears the child will steal his love. Finally, convinced she's losing him to her half-sister, Ruth, she commits suicide but makes it appear that he murdered her. Not only was the book considered a hot, if controversial property in Hollywood, but Ellen Berent was one of the plum acting roles for a leading lady.

At the urging of directors John Stahl and Otto Preminger and writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Darryl F. Zanuck picked up the film rights for 20th Century-Fox. Initial speculation suggested that Tallulah Bankhead, who was currently starring at the studio in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944), would be cast as Ellen Berent, with Ida Lupino borrowed from Warner Bros. to play Ruth. The role was offered to Rita Hayworth, but she turned it down. Later, the studio announced they had cast Thomas Mitchell as Wilde's lawyer, Glen Robie. That role would eventually go to Ray Collins.

Eventually, Zanuck decided to stick close to home in casting Ellen. Gene Tierney had signed with Fox in 1940 and had been steadily building a fan following. With Laura (1944), she had her biggest critical success to date. Leave Her to Heaven would not only showcase her in a meaty dramatic role, but give the studio a chance to exploit her beauty in Technicolor.

Stahl, who had helmed the studio's critically and financially successful The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), was assigned to direct, with Jo Swerling as screenwriter. The Russian-born Swerling had been one of the Broadway writers imported to Hollywood with the coming of sound. After working at various studios and contributing to the screenplay for Gone with the Wind (1939), he wrote two big hits for 20th Century-Fox; the remake of Blood and Sand (1941) and Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat. He would later co-author, with Abe Burrows, the book for the hit Broadway musical Guys and Dolls.

Zanuck pushed Stahl and Swerling to maintain the book's original focus on Ellen's possessiveness, something he thought had been lost in their first draft. He also argued for keeping the film's framing device, though at first he advocated starting the film with Richard and Ruth's arrest. Later they agreed to keep the novel's framing, which starts with Richard's release from prison. Stahl and Swerling had also created a melodramatic ending in which testimony from Ellen's mother exonerates Richard and Ruth. Again, they stuck to the original novel, in which Richard reveals Ellen's crimes and serves a short sentence as an accessory for not turning her in to the police.

The industry's Production Code Administration passed the screenplay in 1944 with a curious note about Ellen's induced miscarriage: "It will be absolutely essential to remove any flavor...that Ellen plans to murder the unborn child merely because she is misshapen. It should be definitely established that her reason for murdering the child is that she thinks that the newborn will replace her in her husband's affections. This is important in order to avoid any of the flavor that is normally connected with what could be termed 'abortion.'" They rejected a later rewrite for suggesting that Ellen and Richard had had intimate relations before their marriage.

by Frank Miller

The Big Idea - Leave Her to Heaven

Ben Ames Williams' Leave Her to Heaven was one of the ten best-selling books of 1944, selling over a million copies. Its scandalous story focused on a woman whose pathological jealousy leads her to kill her husband's physically challenged young brother. When she realizes he knows she let the boy drown, she tries to hold him by claiming to be pregnant. Yet when she actually becomes pregnant, she induces a miscarriage because she fears the child will steal his love. Finally, convinced she's losing him to her half-sister, Ruth, she commits suicide but makes it appear that he murdered her. Not only was the book considered a hot, if controversial property in Hollywood, but Ellen Berent was one of the plum acting roles for a leading lady. At the urging of directors John Stahl and Otto Preminger and writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Darryl F. Zanuck picked up the film rights for 20th Century-Fox. Initial speculation suggested that Tallulah Bankhead, who was currently starring at the studio in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944), would be cast as Ellen Berent, with Ida Lupino borrowed from Warner Bros. to play Ruth. The role was offered to Rita Hayworth, but she turned it down. Later, the studio announced they had cast Thomas Mitchell as Wilde's lawyer, Glen Robie. That role would eventually go to Ray Collins. Eventually, Zanuck decided to stick close to home in casting Ellen. Gene Tierney had signed with Fox in 1940 and had been steadily building a fan following. With Laura (1944), she had her biggest critical success to date. Leave Her to Heaven would not only showcase her in a meaty dramatic role, but give the studio a chance to exploit her beauty in Technicolor. Stahl, who had helmed the studio's critically and financially successful The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), was assigned to direct, with Jo Swerling as screenwriter. The Russian-born Swerling had been one of the Broadway writers imported to Hollywood with the coming of sound. After working at various studios and contributing to the screenplay for Gone with the Wind (1939), he wrote two big hits for 20th Century-Fox; the remake of Blood and Sand (1941) and Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat. He would later co-author, with Abe Burrows, the book for the hit Broadway musical Guys and Dolls. Zanuck pushed Stahl and Swerling to maintain the book's original focus on Ellen's possessiveness, something he thought had been lost in their first draft. He also argued for keeping the film's framing device, though at first he advocated starting the film with Richard and Ruth's arrest. Later they agreed to keep the novel's framing, which starts with Richard's release from prison. Stahl and Swerling had also created a melodramatic ending in which testimony from Ellen's mother exonerates Richard and Ruth. Again, they stuck to the original novel, in which Richard reveals Ellen's crimes and serves a short sentence as an accessory for not turning her in to the police. The industry's Production Code Administration passed the screenplay in 1944 with a curious note about Ellen's induced miscarriage: "It will be absolutely essential to remove any flavor...that Ellen plans to murder the unborn child merely because she is misshapen. It should be definitely established that her reason for murdering the child is that she thinks that the newborn will replace her in her husband's affections. This is important in order to avoid any of the flavor that is normally connected with what could be termed 'abortion.'" They rejected a later rewrite for suggesting that Ellen and Richard had had intimate relations before their marriage. by Frank Miller

Behind the Camera - Leave Her to Heaven


The California filming locations for Leave Her to Heaven included Bass Lake in the High Sierras, Monterey and Busch Gardens. They also shot Ellen's first meetings with Richard and her father's memorial in Flagstaff and Granite Dells, AZ. Although most of the lake scenes were shot in Busch Gardens, a unit did film some long shots and other backgrounds in Warm Springs, GA.

On a Saturday night, before finishing work for the week, John M. Stahl asked Gene Tierney to run through the drowning scene so cinematographer Leon Shamroy could see the staging and know how to light it. When she finished, Stahl was upset. "That was perfect," he said, "just the way it should be done. But, oh God, you will never get it again, never in a million years." He refused to believe Tierney's protestation that she had been rehearsing it exactly that way for weeks which left her a nervous wreck on her Sunday off. Monday morning they shot the scene, and she nailed it.

While shooting the drowning scene, Stahl was particularly tough on Darryl Hickman, who played Cornel Wilde's brother. He never even referred to him by name, calling him "boy" or "son" the entire time. Then word came back from Hollywood that studio head Darryl F. Zanuck thought the rushes were some of the best he had ever seen. Suddenly Hickman was one of Stahl's favorite actors, but he took to picking on Wilde and calling him "son" and "boy."

For the proposal scene, Wilde had trouble reacting convincingly to Tierney's advances, but each time they did a take the crew was so impressed, they whistled at her. Finally, Stahl said to Wilde, "They all seem to understand how the scene should be played. Why can't you?"

Leave Her to Heaven received four Oscar® nominations: Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Sound. Gene Tierney lost the Oscar® to Joan Crawford, who only pretended to be a murderer in Mildred Pierce (1945), but Leon Shamroy won for his Technicolor cinematography.

by Frank Miller

SOURCES:
Self-Portrait by Gene Tierney

Behind the Camera - Leave Her to Heaven

The California filming locations for Leave Her to Heaven included Bass Lake in the High Sierras, Monterey and Busch Gardens. They also shot Ellen's first meetings with Richard and her father's memorial in Flagstaff and Granite Dells, AZ. Although most of the lake scenes were shot in Busch Gardens, a unit did film some long shots and other backgrounds in Warm Springs, GA. On a Saturday night, before finishing work for the week, John M. Stahl asked Gene Tierney to run through the drowning scene so cinematographer Leon Shamroy could see the staging and know how to light it. When she finished, Stahl was upset. "That was perfect," he said, "just the way it should be done. But, oh God, you will never get it again, never in a million years." He refused to believe Tierney's protestation that she had been rehearsing it exactly that way for weeks which left her a nervous wreck on her Sunday off. Monday morning they shot the scene, and she nailed it. While shooting the drowning scene, Stahl was particularly tough on Darryl Hickman, who played Cornel Wilde's brother. He never even referred to him by name, calling him "boy" or "son" the entire time. Then word came back from Hollywood that studio head Darryl F. Zanuck thought the rushes were some of the best he had ever seen. Suddenly Hickman was one of Stahl's favorite actors, but he took to picking on Wilde and calling him "son" and "boy." For the proposal scene, Wilde had trouble reacting convincingly to Tierney's advances, but each time they did a take the crew was so impressed, they whistled at her. Finally, Stahl said to Wilde, "They all seem to understand how the scene should be played. Why can't you?" Leave Her to Heaven received four Oscar® nominations: Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Sound. Gene Tierney lost the Oscar® to Joan Crawford, who only pretended to be a murderer in Mildred Pierce (1945), but Leon Shamroy won for his Technicolor cinematography. by Frank Miller SOURCES: Self-Portrait by Gene Tierney

Leave Her to Heaven


SYNOPSIS: Love and obsession lead to murder in this 1946 sun-drenched film noir, now considered one of Hollywood's most biting psychological dramas. Still mourning her beloved father's death, Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) wins writer Richard Harland's (Cornel Wilde) sympathy and then his love. But instead of living happily ever after once they're married, her pathological jealousy leads her to fire the servants, kill his brother (Darryl Hickman) and finally abort her unborn child for fear it will steal some of her husband's love. Even in death, she tries to keep Richard in her clutches by making her suicide look like murder.

Although it received only mixed reviews when first released, contemporary critics now view Leave Her to Heaven as one of the most subversive movies from Hollywood's golden age. What starts as a romance turns into a murderous melodrama and the beautiful female star, Gene Tierney, reveals violent undercurrents. The dream of domesticity she shares with leading man Cornel Wilde, a dream shared by many men and women as World War II came to an end, becomes a nightmare as her neurotic possessiveness leads her to kill her husband's brother and induce a miscarriage of her unborn baby. In addition, John Stahl's direction and Tierney's performance have aged extremely well and are now considered among the best work in Hollywood history.

Leave Her to Heaven was 20th Century-Fox's top-grossing film of the '40s, a testament to a high level of artistry achieved by all involved and a reflection of changing audience tastes after the war's end.

Leon Shamroy's heavily saturated Technicolor photography, which seems to represent the murderous passions blazing beneath the leading lady's icy exterior, is considered one of the most innovate uses of the process in its day and has been a heavy influence on the use of color in the films of Douglas Sirk, Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes.

Tierney's Ellen Berent is often hailed as her best performance. As her first film in Technicolor it also was the first to capture the beauty that would make her a major Hollywood star in the '40s.

Tierney's induced miscarriage in the movie marks the first on-screen abortion passed under the Production Code since stricter Code enforcement was established in 1934. Bette Davis' character in Beyond the Forest (1949) would do the same to her unborn child, but the screen handling would be more circumspect. Although later films would hint at abortion, the Production Code would not pass a film depicting abortion as a medical alternative to pregnancy until 1966, when it allowed Alfie to present a woman undergoing the procedure.

The California filming locations for Leave Her to Heaven included Bass Lake in the High Sierras, Monterey and Busch Gardens. They also shot Ellen's first meetings with Richard and her father's memorial in Flagstaff and Granite Dells, AZ. Although most of the lake scenes were shot in Busch Gardens, a unit did film some long shots and other backgrounds in Warm Springs, GA.

Leave Her to Heaven received four Oscar® nominations: Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Sound. Gene Tierney lost the Oscar® to Joan Crawford, who only pretended to be a murderer in Mildred Pierce (1945), but Leon Shamroy won for his Technicolor cinematography.

Director: John M. Stahl
Producer: William A Bacher
Screenplay: Jo Swerling
Based on the novel by Ben Ames Williams
Cinematography: Leon Shamroy
Editing: James B. Clark
Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford
Music: Alfred Newman
Cast: Gene Tierney (Ellen Berent), Cornel Wilde (Richard Harland), Jeanne Crain (Ruth Berent), Vincent Price (Russell Quinton), Mary Philips (Mrs. Berent), Ray Collins (Glen Robie), Gene Lockhart (Dr. Saunders), Reed Hadley (Dr. Mason), Darryl Hickman (Danny Harland), Chill Wills (Leick Thorne), Grant Mitchell (Carlson), Mae Marsh (Fisherwoman).
C-110m.

by Frank Miller

Leave Her to Heaven

SYNOPSIS: Love and obsession lead to murder in this 1946 sun-drenched film noir, now considered one of Hollywood's most biting psychological dramas. Still mourning her beloved father's death, Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) wins writer Richard Harland's (Cornel Wilde) sympathy and then his love. But instead of living happily ever after once they're married, her pathological jealousy leads her to fire the servants, kill his brother (Darryl Hickman) and finally abort her unborn child for fear it will steal some of her husband's love. Even in death, she tries to keep Richard in her clutches by making her suicide look like murder. Although it received only mixed reviews when first released, contemporary critics now view Leave Her to Heaven as one of the most subversive movies from Hollywood's golden age. What starts as a romance turns into a murderous melodrama and the beautiful female star, Gene Tierney, reveals violent undercurrents. The dream of domesticity she shares with leading man Cornel Wilde, a dream shared by many men and women as World War II came to an end, becomes a nightmare as her neurotic possessiveness leads her to kill her husband's brother and induce a miscarriage of her unborn baby. In addition, John Stahl's direction and Tierney's performance have aged extremely well and are now considered among the best work in Hollywood history. Leave Her to Heaven was 20th Century-Fox's top-grossing film of the '40s, a testament to a high level of artistry achieved by all involved and a reflection of changing audience tastes after the war's end. Leon Shamroy's heavily saturated Technicolor photography, which seems to represent the murderous passions blazing beneath the leading lady's icy exterior, is considered one of the most innovate uses of the process in its day and has been a heavy influence on the use of color in the films of Douglas Sirk, Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes. Tierney's Ellen Berent is often hailed as her best performance. As her first film in Technicolor it also was the first to capture the beauty that would make her a major Hollywood star in the '40s. Tierney's induced miscarriage in the movie marks the first on-screen abortion passed under the Production Code since stricter Code enforcement was established in 1934. Bette Davis' character in Beyond the Forest (1949) would do the same to her unborn child, but the screen handling would be more circumspect. Although later films would hint at abortion, the Production Code would not pass a film depicting abortion as a medical alternative to pregnancy until 1966, when it allowed Alfie to present a woman undergoing the procedure. The California filming locations for Leave Her to Heaven included Bass Lake in the High Sierras, Monterey and Busch Gardens. They also shot Ellen's first meetings with Richard and her father's memorial in Flagstaff and Granite Dells, AZ. Although most of the lake scenes were shot in Busch Gardens, a unit did film some long shots and other backgrounds in Warm Springs, GA. Leave Her to Heaven received four Oscar® nominations: Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Sound. Gene Tierney lost the Oscar® to Joan Crawford, who only pretended to be a murderer in Mildred Pierce (1945), but Leon Shamroy won for his Technicolor cinematography. Director: John M. Stahl Producer: William A Bacher Screenplay: Jo Swerling Based on the novel by Ben Ames Williams Cinematography: Leon Shamroy Editing: James B. Clark Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford Music: Alfred Newman Cast: Gene Tierney (Ellen Berent), Cornel Wilde (Richard Harland), Jeanne Crain (Ruth Berent), Vincent Price (Russell Quinton), Mary Philips (Mrs. Berent), Ray Collins (Glen Robie), Gene Lockhart (Dr. Saunders), Reed Hadley (Dr. Mason), Darryl Hickman (Danny Harland), Chill Wills (Leick Thorne), Grant Mitchell (Carlson), Mae Marsh (Fisherwoman). C-110m. by Frank Miller

Leave Her to Heaven on Blu-ray


The feast of color, melodrama and obsession that is Leave Her to Heaven (1945) was released as a good-looking DVD by Fox in 2004. Now the Twilight Time label has produced a beautiful, high-definition version on Blu-ray, a format that serves this classic melodrama extremely well. Even though the original Technicolor elements of the film no longer exist (as is the case with many Fox titles of the era), Fox technicians have worked from existing Eastmancolor safety prints to produce a still-great-looking color scheme.

Based on a bestselling novel, Leave Her to Heaven was a huge hit with moviegoers and critics alike, and the character of Ellen became one of Gene Tierney's signature roles. As another character says of her: "There's nothing wrong with Ellen. It's just that she loves too much." It's a kind way of referring to a jealousy so venomous and out of control that Ellen will, quite simply, kill to be alone with the man she loves. The man is Cornel Wilde as Dick Harland, a novelist who meets the breathtaking Ellen on a train to New Mexico. Sparks fly and they are quickly married. Blissful married life, however, is threatened by Ellen's realization that Dick's crippled 13-year-old brother Danny (Darryl Hickman) will be living with them and needing constant attention. Then there's her sister (Jeanne Crain), who seems to be spending way too much time with Dick. And wouldn't having a baby be yet another obstacle to some alone-time? Ellen is consumed by these jealous obsessions and stops at nothing to eliminate them. One scene involving Ellen, Danny, a lake, a rowboat, and a pair of sunglasses is unforgettably chilling -- one of the great moments of its type in all of Hollywood history.

And through it all, Gene Tierney and the film itself look gorgeous. Leon Shamroy's photography includes amazing location work in New Mexico, Wyoming, Arizona and California, but Leave Her to Heaven is not simply pretty. It uses color purposefully and intelligently, as counterpoint to the evil doings of the plot; to have such a psychopathically obsessed character continually bathed in glamorous color (in lighting, costumes and make-up) creates a compelling tension. Rarely has bright color been so ominous, and in fact, Leave Her to Heaven is one of the very few color films from the studio era that could arguably be labeled "film noir."

Leave Her to Heaven was nominated for four Oscars. Shamroy won for Best Color Cinematography, but Tierney lost Best Actress to Joan Crawford for Mildred Pierce (1945). Two other nominations, for Color Art Direction and Sound, were lost to Frenchman's Creek (1945) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) respectively. Amazingly, Alfred Newman's superb Bernard Hermann-esque score was not even nominated -- and there were 21 Best Score nominations that year. (Miklos Rozsa won for Spellbound [1945].)

Twilight Time's Blu-ray, which has a limited pressing of 3000 copies, retains the extras that were included on the old standard DVD, including a trailer, vintage Movietone News footage of the premiere and that year's Oscar ceremony (we see Shamroy accepting his award from D.W. Griffith), and a commentary track. But the big addition here is the isolated score track. Newman's score is iconic, and it's a pleasure to be able to listen to it on its own.

The commentary track features critic Richard Schickel and actor Darryl Hickman, who played young Danny in the film. Their comments, not recorded together, flip-flop back and forth through the movie -- a bit frustrating at times, as it would be nice to hear them discuss certain things together. For example, both make interesting points about the mannered acting style of the 1930s and '40s, before the advent of Method acting in the '50s brought a new fire to the screen. Hickman points out examples of the actors "indicating," or registering emotion and thought from the outside in, rather than vice-versa. Schickel offers intelligent, though at times repetitive, points about Stahl's choices and is especially interesting comparing Stahl to Douglas Sirk, another director who made similar kinds of melodramas a decade later.

Hickman also makes some nice observations on Shamroy's work, such as pointing out the shadows of tree branches on Tierney's leg in one scene to create the illusion that she is outside on a balcony, when in fact the scene was shot in a soundstage. He also recalls that Shamroy would insist on waiting 15 minutes for clouds to appear so that a shot would look more interesting. But overall, Hickman considers Leave Her to Heaven "the most difficult experience I ever had as a child actor," mostly due to the fact that director John Stahl and Gene Tierney were unkind to him. "Miss Tierney gave you nothing when you were working with her. And that's not what good acting is about. You either do it together or you don't do it at all." Stahl was mean to him throughout the shoot, he says, until the director received a telegram from Darryl Zanuck congratulating him on the famous lake scene. After that, says Hickman, "he treated me great [but] started to treat Cornel Wilde badly. Apparently he needed a scapegoat to pick on."

By Jeremy Arnold

Leave Her to Heaven on Blu-ray

The feast of color, melodrama and obsession that is Leave Her to Heaven (1945) was released as a good-looking DVD by Fox in 2004. Now the Twilight Time label has produced a beautiful, high-definition version on Blu-ray, a format that serves this classic melodrama extremely well. Even though the original Technicolor elements of the film no longer exist (as is the case with many Fox titles of the era), Fox technicians have worked from existing Eastmancolor safety prints to produce a still-great-looking color scheme. Based on a bestselling novel, Leave Her to Heaven was a huge hit with moviegoers and critics alike, and the character of Ellen became one of Gene Tierney's signature roles. As another character says of her: "There's nothing wrong with Ellen. It's just that she loves too much." It's a kind way of referring to a jealousy so venomous and out of control that Ellen will, quite simply, kill to be alone with the man she loves. The man is Cornel Wilde as Dick Harland, a novelist who meets the breathtaking Ellen on a train to New Mexico. Sparks fly and they are quickly married. Blissful married life, however, is threatened by Ellen's realization that Dick's crippled 13-year-old brother Danny (Darryl Hickman) will be living with them and needing constant attention. Then there's her sister (Jeanne Crain), who seems to be spending way too much time with Dick. And wouldn't having a baby be yet another obstacle to some alone-time? Ellen is consumed by these jealous obsessions and stops at nothing to eliminate them. One scene involving Ellen, Danny, a lake, a rowboat, and a pair of sunglasses is unforgettably chilling -- one of the great moments of its type in all of Hollywood history. And through it all, Gene Tierney and the film itself look gorgeous. Leon Shamroy's photography includes amazing location work in New Mexico, Wyoming, Arizona and California, but Leave Her to Heaven is not simply pretty. It uses color purposefully and intelligently, as counterpoint to the evil doings of the plot; to have such a psychopathically obsessed character continually bathed in glamorous color (in lighting, costumes and make-up) creates a compelling tension. Rarely has bright color been so ominous, and in fact, Leave Her to Heaven is one of the very few color films from the studio era that could arguably be labeled "film noir." Leave Her to Heaven was nominated for four Oscars. Shamroy won for Best Color Cinematography, but Tierney lost Best Actress to Joan Crawford for Mildred Pierce (1945). Two other nominations, for Color Art Direction and Sound, were lost to Frenchman's Creek (1945) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) respectively. Amazingly, Alfred Newman's superb Bernard Hermann-esque score was not even nominated -- and there were 21 Best Score nominations that year. (Miklos Rozsa won for Spellbound [1945].) Twilight Time's Blu-ray, which has a limited pressing of 3000 copies, retains the extras that were included on the old standard DVD, including a trailer, vintage Movietone News footage of the premiere and that year's Oscar ceremony (we see Shamroy accepting his award from D.W. Griffith), and a commentary track. But the big addition here is the isolated score track. Newman's score is iconic, and it's a pleasure to be able to listen to it on its own. The commentary track features critic Richard Schickel and actor Darryl Hickman, who played young Danny in the film. Their comments, not recorded together, flip-flop back and forth through the movie -- a bit frustrating at times, as it would be nice to hear them discuss certain things together. For example, both make interesting points about the mannered acting style of the 1930s and '40s, before the advent of Method acting in the '50s brought a new fire to the screen. Hickman points out examples of the actors "indicating," or registering emotion and thought from the outside in, rather than vice-versa. Schickel offers intelligent, though at times repetitive, points about Stahl's choices and is especially interesting comparing Stahl to Douglas Sirk, another director who made similar kinds of melodramas a decade later. Hickman also makes some nice observations on Shamroy's work, such as pointing out the shadows of tree branches on Tierney's leg in one scene to create the illusion that she is outside on a balcony, when in fact the scene was shot in a soundstage. He also recalls that Shamroy would insist on waiting 15 minutes for clouds to appear so that a shot would look more interesting. But overall, Hickman considers Leave Her to Heaven "the most difficult experience I ever had as a child actor," mostly due to the fact that director John Stahl and Gene Tierney were unkind to him. "Miss Tierney gave you nothing when you were working with her. And that's not what good acting is about. You either do it together or you don't do it at all." Stahl was mean to him throughout the shoot, he says, until the director received a telegram from Darryl Zanuck congratulating him on the famous lake scene. After that, says Hickman, "he treated me great [but] started to treat Cornel Wilde badly. Apparently he needed a scapegoat to pick on." By Jeremy Arnold

Critics' Corner - Leave Her to Heaven


Awards & Honors

Leave Her to Heaven was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Actress (Tierney), Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Color, Best Sound, Recording and Best Cinematography (Leon Shamroy) which won the Oscar®.

THE CRITICS' CORNER - LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN

"Sumptuous Technicolor mounting and a highly exploitable story lend considerable importance to Leave Her to Heaven that it might not have had otherwise. Script based on Ben Ames Williams' bestseller has emotional power in the jealousy theme but it hasn't been as forcefully interpreted by the leads as it could have been in more histrionically capable hands."
- Variety

"Miss Tierney's petulant performance of this vixenish character is about as analytical as a piece of pin-up poster art. It is strictly one-dimensional, in the manner of a dot on an I. And Cornel Wilde is equally restricted as her curiously over-powered spouse. Jeanne Crain is colorless and wooden as the sister with whom he eventually finds bliss, and Vincent Price, Mary Philips and Darryl Hickman mechanically play other roles. Only the sets are intriguing, being elaborate and gadgety."
- Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

"No amount of strenuous plot trouble -- or even a long fall down a flight of steps -- seems to jar Gene Tierney's smooth deadpan. Walking or sleeping, in ecstasy or anger, joy or sorrow, her pretty, composed features seem to be asking the single gamin-and-spinach question: 'Huh?'"
- James Agee, Time

"Gothic Psychologizing melodrama, so preposterously full-blown and straight-faced that it's a juicy entertainment....There are scenes to cherish: Ellen impassively watching her brother-in-law drown; Ellen flinging herself down a flight of stairs to terminate an annoying pregnancy; Ellen going lickety-split on a charger, tossing her father's remains around the Technicolored New Mexico landscape...."
- Pauline Kael, 5,001 Nights at the Movies

"The success of Leave Her to Heaven belongs foremost to Gene Tierney. She was much more than Hollywood's most beautiful overbite. She had the preternatural ability to be alluring and icy at the same time; she could change emotional colors with magnificent yet subtle clarity. Wasn't she sweet and warm a moment ago? Maybe, but now she's ready to kill."
- Matthew Kennedy, Bright Lights Film Journal

"[Director John] Stahl, nearing the end of a career that stretched back to silent films, is best known today for directing a trio of classic 1930s 'women's pictures' such as Imitation of Life [1934] that were remade in color in the 1950s by Douglas Sirk. Stahl's use of space and the performances in Leave Her to Heaven, his only color film and Fox's most popular film of the 1940s, suggest he was at least the equal of the much-exalted Sirk as an artist of melodrama."
- Lou Lumenick, The New York Post

"[Technicolor] reached its astounding apogee in the lips of Gene Tierney, as red as a witch's apple. Each frame of her seems to be hand-tinted, as if she had ordered it. Her soft voice dies to a low whisper at the close of every phrase. 'I don't want anybody else to do anything for you,' she tells her husband. And with that, the great conservative promise of postwar domesticity -- the man, newly arrived or returned, waited upon by his woman -- tightens into a threat."
- Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

"A "film noir in color" (per Martin Scorsese) and a masterpiece of post-WWII American cinema (premiering just months after the August 14 armistice)...The onscreen melo boils, but director John M. Stahl's gaze remains spare and precise, very Japanese in its effects, like an acidic fusion of Ozu and Naruse. (A few of Tierney's gowns, stained with psychic-wound red streaks, even resemble kimonos.)"
- The TimeOut Film Guide

"The beautiful Tierney betrays her lovely countenance by playing one of the most evil creatures ever to slink across the screen....Tierney is fascinating as the ravishing killer, but Wilde and Crain are too tame by comparison. Price is his usual flamboyant self. Stahl's direction is well done, and the lensing by Shamroy in rich color is lush and eye-pleasing, the focus soft enough in the location shots in Arizona, Georgia, and Maine to qualify as film noir.
- TV Guide

by Frank Miller

Critics' Corner - Leave Her to Heaven

Awards & Honors Leave Her to Heaven was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Actress (Tierney), Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Color, Best Sound, Recording and Best Cinematography (Leon Shamroy) which won the Oscar®. THE CRITICS' CORNER - LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN "Sumptuous Technicolor mounting and a highly exploitable story lend considerable importance to Leave Her to Heaven that it might not have had otherwise. Script based on Ben Ames Williams' bestseller has emotional power in the jealousy theme but it hasn't been as forcefully interpreted by the leads as it could have been in more histrionically capable hands." - Variety "Miss Tierney's petulant performance of this vixenish character is about as analytical as a piece of pin-up poster art. It is strictly one-dimensional, in the manner of a dot on an I. And Cornel Wilde is equally restricted as her curiously over-powered spouse. Jeanne Crain is colorless and wooden as the sister with whom he eventually finds bliss, and Vincent Price, Mary Philips and Darryl Hickman mechanically play other roles. Only the sets are intriguing, being elaborate and gadgety." - Bosley Crowther, The New York Times "No amount of strenuous plot trouble -- or even a long fall down a flight of steps -- seems to jar Gene Tierney's smooth deadpan. Walking or sleeping, in ecstasy or anger, joy or sorrow, her pretty, composed features seem to be asking the single gamin-and-spinach question: 'Huh?'" - James Agee, Time "Gothic Psychologizing melodrama, so preposterously full-blown and straight-faced that it's a juicy entertainment....There are scenes to cherish: Ellen impassively watching her brother-in-law drown; Ellen flinging herself down a flight of stairs to terminate an annoying pregnancy; Ellen going lickety-split on a charger, tossing her father's remains around the Technicolored New Mexico landscape...." - Pauline Kael, 5,001 Nights at the Movies "The success of Leave Her to Heaven belongs foremost to Gene Tierney. She was much more than Hollywood's most beautiful overbite. She had the preternatural ability to be alluring and icy at the same time; she could change emotional colors with magnificent yet subtle clarity. Wasn't she sweet and warm a moment ago? Maybe, but now she's ready to kill." - Matthew Kennedy, Bright Lights Film Journal "[Director John] Stahl, nearing the end of a career that stretched back to silent films, is best known today for directing a trio of classic 1930s 'women's pictures' such as Imitation of Life [1934] that were remade in color in the 1950s by Douglas Sirk. Stahl's use of space and the performances in Leave Her to Heaven, his only color film and Fox's most popular film of the 1940s, suggest he was at least the equal of the much-exalted Sirk as an artist of melodrama." - Lou Lumenick, The New York Post "[Technicolor] reached its astounding apogee in the lips of Gene Tierney, as red as a witch's apple. Each frame of her seems to be hand-tinted, as if she had ordered it. Her soft voice dies to a low whisper at the close of every phrase. 'I don't want anybody else to do anything for you,' she tells her husband. And with that, the great conservative promise of postwar domesticity -- the man, newly arrived or returned, waited upon by his woman -- tightens into a threat." - Anthony Lane, The New Yorker "A "film noir in color" (per Martin Scorsese) and a masterpiece of post-WWII American cinema (premiering just months after the August 14 armistice)...The onscreen melo boils, but director John M. Stahl's gaze remains spare and precise, very Japanese in its effects, like an acidic fusion of Ozu and Naruse. (A few of Tierney's gowns, stained with psychic-wound red streaks, even resemble kimonos.)" - The TimeOut Film Guide "The beautiful Tierney betrays her lovely countenance by playing one of the most evil creatures ever to slink across the screen....Tierney is fascinating as the ravishing killer, but Wilde and Crain are too tame by comparison. Price is his usual flamboyant self. Stahl's direction is well done, and the lensing by Shamroy in rich color is lush and eye-pleasing, the focus soft enough in the location shots in Arizona, Georgia, and Maine to qualify as film noir. - TV Guide by Frank Miller

Quotes

Trivia

The original choice for the role of Ellen was Rita Hayworth, who turned it down

Notes

On 22 May 1944, after Twentieth Century-Fox purchased the screen rights to Ben Ames Williams' novel, a Hollywood Reporter news item speculated that the studio would cast Tallulah Bankhead and Ida Lupino in the film. An January 18, 1945 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Faye Marlowe had been "pencilled in for the role of the good sister," and on April 6, 1945, a studio press release announced that Thomas Mitchell would play "Glen Robie." Subsequent Hollywood Reporter news items include Margo Woode and George Cleveland in the cast, but their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed.
       According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA approved a November 29, 1944 draft of the film's screenplay, while strongly cautioning the studio about the depiction of Ellen's forced miscarriage: "It will be absolutely essential to remove any flavor...that Ellen plans to murder the unborn child merely because she is misshapen. It should be definitely established that her reason for murdering the child is that she thinks that the newborn will replace her in her husband's affections. This is important in order to avoid any of the flavor that is normally connected with what could be termed 'abortion.'" A February 7, 1945 script draft was disapproved because of an inference that "Ellen" and "Richard" had "an illicit sex affair" before their marriage. The studio was again cautioned about the miscarriage, and the PCA approved a later screenplay.
       Although a press release and a March 1945 Hollywood Reporter news item indicated that some sequences would be shot in Washington, Oregon and other portions of the Northwest, those locations were not utilized. Instead, Hollywood Reporter news items and a September 4, 1945 publicity release list the following California location sites: Bass Lake in the High Sierras, Monterey and Busch Gardens in Pasadena. Arizona locations included Sedona, near Flagstaff, and Granite Dells, near Prescott. The Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, reveal that while the sequences set at the Warm Springs Foundation in Georgia were filmed at Busch Gardens, long shots and process plates were shot on location at the real Warm Springs Foundation.
       The film, which was named one of the year's ten best by Film Daily, received an Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography and nominations for Best Color Art Direction and Best Sound Recording. For her portrayal of "Ellen," Tierney received her only Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, but she lost to Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce. On March 17, 1947, Tierney and Wilde recreated their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast, which also starred Kay Christopher. Lux made another broadcast of the story on August 10, 1953, which starred Joan Fontaine, John Dehner and Sammie Hill. In 1988, a television remake of the film, entitled Too Good to Be True, aired on NBC. The remake was directed by Christian Nyby and starred Loni Anderson, Patrick Duffy and Glynnis O'Connor.