April 5, 2010

Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

You know, there are a lot of films with the world "heaven" in the title and I would always get Leave Her to Heaven (1945) and Heaven Can Wait (1943) mixed up because they both star Gene Tierney, although as very different characters. Gene Tierney takes the honour of being my first "female crush" - I vividly remember seeing her in Laura (1944) when I was six years old and thinking, "oh my god! how is it possible for a woman to be that beautiful?!" As a child, she was my favorite actress simply because I thought she was pretty and it was only when I was older that I realized, she was actually not that great of an actress. Not compared to say, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Stanwyck, Myrna Loy, or Ingrid Bergman - all of whom had far better range but whom I didn't discover until much later.

For the most part Gene Tierney was given rather stock characters - generally the beautiful and more distinctively, the good damsel in distress whose reputation hangs on integrity and valor of her male costar. This is why it was so refreshing to see her as the psychotic and even, malicious female protagonist in Leave Her to Heaven, for which she was duly nominated for an Academy Award in 1946.

In Leave Her to Heaven, Tierney plays the young, wealthy Ellen Berent who meets the handsome writer Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) by chance on the train. The two immediately fall madly in love with one another and marry soon after. They then move to Maine and take up residence in a small cabin by a lake so Richard can concentrate on writing but what began as a fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare.

pretty girl asleep on the train

boy is immediately spellbound

talk about glamourous white fur! (even though i'm against fur). notice her white gloves too.
boy strikes up a conversation and follows her off the train

inevitably, boy ends up meeting the girl's family who came to pick her up from the station

amazing mandarin styled dress with an asymmetrically gathered skirt and painted details
boy gets invited back to girl's family ranch. have profound conversations under the night sky. gets married.

see, honey, i am the perfect wife! look at this amazing table of food!

interesting hat. like the gold choker.
so happy!

it's not everyday you see someone being able to pull off salmon colored pants
boy and girl move into a small cabin in the woods so boy can write.

boy introduces girl to his crippled nephew

i want this light blue knitted dress. love the belt detail:
girl tries her best to take care of the nephew

it has now become a life goal of mine to acquire a headboard just like this one with the sailing wheel
nephew joins them up at the cabin. the walls are thin...

boy meets girl's very pretty cousin.

cousin likes to garden a lot. cousin also comes to join them up at the cabin.

did i mention, cousin was very pretty?


love the exaggerated vest
girl becomes jealous. so many people diverting her boy's attention.

lovely mandarin styled quilted robe
paranoia sets in.

i see you...

gorgeous lace nightgown with silk chiffon skirt
sometimes i just like to watch you sleep

sleep, my pretty, sleep...


monogram detail

why are you people looking at me that way?!


crazy eyes

Gene Tierney gave a wonderfully complex and layered performance as the paranoid obsessive Ellen, seesawing between coming off as outright malicious to just a pitiful psychotic capable of garnering sympathy from the horrified viewer. I highly recommend this film. It's a tad slow but Tierney's performance was so riveting that I barely even noticed. Without spoiling the ending for you, I'd like to move on by showing you some other screencaps of the interior spaces and other random bits.

Below are some images of the seaside cottage that they moved into after they departed from the mountain in the woods. The interior was decked out in various florals and botanticals (wallpaper, sofa, chairs, etc).



My favorite room was the nursery. I love the handpainted mural and the soothing taupe colored walls.

What adorable toys over the mantel!

Here are a few shots of Jeanne Crain as Ellen's cousin Ruth. I first saw Crain in Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) and later noticed her in A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and The Fan (1949). Unfortunately I haven't seen much of her work after 1950.

cute hat


very nice white dress. love the tie waist and the puff in the sleeves.

A few more of Gene Tierney:

love this whimsical hat and the light blue trim on the jacket

nice light blue satin "house slippers."

Do you look this cool when rowing a boat? Probably not. I think she's actually wearing a terry cloth robe because if I remember correctly, she had on a bathing suit underneath.

Alright, that's all, folks! Sorry it took EONS for me to update this blog. I've been tremendously busy.


She was a beauty indeed. I also like her clothes in Laura. She married the designer Oleg Cassini so I guess she had a great wardrobe. Cassini had good taste, he had a love relationship with Grace Kelly too.

I'm always so happy to see a post from you in my Google Reader--and not only is this a new post from you, but a post on one of my favorite movies! Gene Tierney really is one of the most beautiful people ever.

I love old movies! I remember this movie and how it ends. I so enjoyed your photos and comments. Thanks so much for all the work and sharing it with us.

PS - Another "heaven" movie that is a favorite of mine is "All That Heaven Allow" with Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. Maybe you could post on this movie???

Teacup Lane (Sandy)

I always watch this movie for Jeanne Crain, whom I adore.

I've seen this movie and I loved the play by play. haha Yes, that headboard is fantastic.

So glad you could post an update! That last shot of her rowing is excellent! I've been looking for a pair of vintage sunglasses for a while but wasn't sure what style I would go for but I think I've found them! Love the orange-red lipstick she wears throughout too, and check out the shoulders on that robe!

absolutely gorgeous, i've only discovered your blog, accidentally whilst searching in google for 'a room with a view screencaps' and i love what i've read so far.

I'm so glad I ran across your blog; I, too, like Zoe up there, found it while searching for interior shots of A Room with a View. I saw this particular movie on PBS last month and, like your early fascination w/ Tierney, I'd always thought Jeanne Crain was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen as a child (I first saw her in the movie Margie). Lovely post!

I love this movie.Gene was amazing in it.Ellen is plain crazy but you can´t help but root for her througout the movie(thanks to Gene Tierneys performance).I love the lace neglige Ellen wore to bed.

I know Jeanne Crain best from State Fair, with Dana Andrews. Love Gene Tierney’s clothes in this movie, but have to say I prefer her in roles where she’s calm, cool, and collected, as she was in Laura.

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