Criterion Press Release: Leave Her To Heaven (Blu-ray)

3 Stars
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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.

Leave Her to Heaven was restored by Twentieth Century Fox and the Academy Film Archive, with support from The Film Foundation.

FILM INFO

  • John M. Stahl
  • United States
  • 1945
  • 110 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #1020SPECIAL FEATURES
    • New 2K digital restoration by Twentieth Century Fox, the Academy Film Archive, and The Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
    • New interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith
    • Trailer
    • PLUS: An essay by novelist Megan Abbott

    New cover illustration by Flore Maquin

    March 24, 2020

Published by

Ronald Epstein

administrator

41 Comments

  1. Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

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  2. rsmithjr

    The TT version is OK considering the elements issues that Fox has with its Technicolor productions.

    Do we have any idea what this one will be like? Any hope for improvements?

    I think this release is derived from the same 2K scan as the TT release. I need to see more information to confirm if Fox and the Film Foundation revisit it since the 2013 BD release.

  3. Robert Crawford

    Is it the same digital cleanup that was on the 2013 Blu-ray?

    One would presume so, as there are no other surviving elements, and the quality was better than might have been expected. I found it quite acceptable and pleasing.

  4. Robert Harris

    One would presume so, as there are no other surviving elements, and the quality was better than might have been expected. I found it quite acceptable and pleasing.

    I said so, too, in my review. I think they did the best they could with what they had to work with, and it was more than acceptable.

  5. Robert Harris

    One would presume so, as there are no other surviving elements, and the quality was better than might have been expected. I found it quite acceptable and pleasing.

    As much as I enjoy Imogen Sara Smith's thoughts on film noir, I don't see a good reason to buy this Criterion BD release. At least, "All About Eve" had more bonus material.

  6. Robert Crawford

    I don't see a good reason to buy this Criterion BD release.

    I figure "well, it's not coming out till March" so I don't have to decide now and we have plenty of time to discover the differences (if any) between the transfers. I can decide if it's worth getting once we hear reviews and I'm officially "on the fence" until we know more. I didn't see a whole lot of difference in the clip posted to the Criterion page here, though:

    https://www.criterion.com/films/29602-leave-her-to-heaven

    At the very least, it gives the people who missed the TT an opportunity to get the film on blu-ray and that's a good thing.

  7. Robert Crawford

    As much as I enjoy Imogen Sara Smith's thoughts on film noir, I don't see a good reason to buy this Criterion BD release. At least, "All About Eve" had more bonus material.

    You would think if they were going to go to the trouble and expense to set up an interview with Imogen Sara Smith, they could have gone ahead and done a commentary with Imogen Sara Smith. The woman wrote a book on noir set outside the confines of the city. I’m sure she could have filled the time with great info…

  8. I recall the current blu-ray of LHTH as having a waxy look to the close-ups. I assume Criterion wouldn't go to the trouble of releasing this unless they felt they could improve upon it. Heaven Can Wait looked pretty good to my eyes so maybe we'll see some improvement in the close-ups at least.

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  10. I notice they don’t include the commentary that Darryl Hickman did. It was on the Twilight Time release and was also on the Fox DVD, so it probably wasn’t part of the package due to rights and costs. He was certainly bitter, probably with some right. But I thought he was also a bit too severe on his fellow actors performances.

  11. I watched the clip on the Criterion site and it looks very clean and sharp. Looks like work has been done. And was there ever anyone more beautiful than Gene Tierney? What a treat to watch her in Technicolor.

  12. AnthonyClarke

    Yes, I often put on State Fair just to see Gene Tierney 'singing' through the open window. How ravishing!

    Your dry Aussie sense of "humour" (see what I did there?) has flummoxed me yet again and I can't tell if you're joking or not. That's Jeanne Crain! :mellow:

    (I think you're joking…you'd know that!)

  13. Robert Crawford

    As much as I enjoy Imogen Sara Smith's thoughts on film noir, I don't see a good reason to buy this Criterion BD release. At least, "All About Eve" had more bonus material.

    Its a shame that there isn't available archived interview material from any of the major players of LHTH — or the LUX radio play they could have culled just for something extra. Would people sit through the rough-to-take Skip E Lowe interview with Cornel Wilde?

  14. Just wish they'd do something new, for God's sake. I like my TT copy just fine and I've about had enough of constant retreads when there are so many titles that haven't even had a DVD release or even one BD upgrade (Raintree County, the rest of the Show Boat films, Around the World in 80 Days, Greatest Show on Earth, Nights of Cabiria, La Strada or Land of the Pharaohs just for a few). Or some silents like Cabiria (1914), The Wind, The Crowd or even Greed?

  15. Ed Lachmann

    Just wish they'd do something new, for God's sake. I like my TT copy just fine and I've about had enough of constant retreads when there are so many titles that haven't even had a DVD release or even one BD upgrade (Raintree County, the rest of the Show Boat films, Around the World in 80 Days, Greatest Show on Earth, Nights of Cabiria, La Strada or Land of the Pharaohs just for a few). Or some silents like Cabiria (1914), The Wind, The Crowd or even Greed?

    You may like your copy of the TT release just fine, but many people are not satisfied because they–wait for it–don't have a copy because it's out of print. Believe it or not, there are other people who may want to buy this, even if you don't.

  16. Ed Lachmann

    Just wish they'd do something new, for God's sake. I like my TT copy just fine and I've about had enough of constant retreads when there are so many titles that haven't even had a DVD release or even one BD upgrade (Raintree County, the rest of the Show Boat films, Around the World in 80 Days, Greatest Show on Earth, Nights of Cabiria, La Strada or Land of the Pharaohs just for a few). Or some silents like Cabiria (1914), The Wind, The Crowd or even Greed?

    Believe me – I'm very sympathetic to your point of view. This time though, I can see the need for this re-release as the previous OOP TT release was arguably artificially limited to 3000 units. Thus, it's hard to acquire for a reasonable price. This is in contrast to the recent All About Eve Criterion which is as close to a gratuitous release as I can imagine.

    I can't say that I'm wild about this film, but I will consider it during one of the 50% off sales. What I particularly remember from the film is that as beautiful as Gene Tierney was (definitely one of the top screen beauties), Jeanne Crain decidedly upstaged her with her own exquisite beauty. Speaking of Jeanne, why can't we get "Margie" out on blu-ray?

  17. warnerbro

    This could become a funny fight: What!? Jeanne Crain is prettier or better than Gene Tierney!?

    Yikes! Grudge match of the century! 😉

    My opinion – Jeanne was prettier than Gene, but Gene was the better actress.

  18. warnerbro

    I'm just trying to decide if it is worth getting the new Criterion version. The Twilight Time version is so good. Does anyone know if the Criterion is going to be better?

    Only as far as extras. Image and audio should be identical.

  19. Robert Crawford

    As much as I enjoy Imogen Sara Smith's thoughts on film noir, I don't see a good reason to buy this Criterion BD release. At least, "All About Eve" had more bonus material.

    Definitely with you on this. For a Criterion – one extra feature?!?!? Are you kidding me? Bare bones, indeed. And pointless, if you already own the TT.

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