CLASSIC MOVIE REVIEW: Leave Her to Heaven

Calling all Vintage HQ Fans! It’s time for another classic movie review!

This week’s flick of choice is Leave Her to Heaven. Leave Her to Heaven is a FANTASTIC movie from 1945 starring Gene Tierney (Laura, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, That Wonderful Urge, Black Widow) and Cornel Wilde (The Greatest Show on Earth). If you’re not familiar with those names don’t let that stop you from checking into this movie. That would be a HUGE mistake. And, side note, even if this movie was a complete disaster (which it wasn’t) trust us, you’d want to watch it just to get vintage fashion inspiration from Ms. Tierney. If you’re into the quintessential 1940s look she is absolutely STUNNING in this movie and this would be a perfect case study for 1940s hair, makeup and clothing. Ok, back to this amazing movie…

Leave Her to Heaven opens on a boat in Maine. We meet our leading man Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) briefly as he gets off one boat to get onto another. A man on the dock approaches him and tells him that “Everything has been arranged. She’s up there waiting for you.” On this dock he’s surrounded by people and, as he starts to leave, we notice immediately how people are looking at him. They don’t know what to say. Once he leaves we find out the man who spoke to him was his lawyer and quickly learn that our leading man has just been released from prison. Naturally, people are curious about the case and the lawyer proceeds to tell the story through flashback of how his writer friend Harland met the cool, sophisticated Ellen Berent on a train to New Mexico, how they fell quickly and passionately in love, and how jealousy and obsession led to it all going horribly, horribly wrong.


Leave Her to Heaven is one of those movies that’s so unique it’s hard to classify into just one of the standard categories (romance, comedy, suspense, etc.). It’s got romance. It’s got suspense. It’s got drama. It’s also got a talented supporting cast: Jeanne Crain (State Fair, A Letter to Three Wives, Cheaper by the Dozen, People Will Talk), Vincent Price (Laura, House on Haunted Hill), Ray Collins (The Big Street, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, Perry Mason), Darryl Hickman (The Grapes of Wrath) and Chill Wills (Meet Me in St. Louis, Where the Boys Are). Leave Her to Heaven was done so incredibly well. The cinematography is outstanding, the music is perfect, the plot is engaging and Gene Tierney is absolutely mesmerizing. What more could you ask for? This movie got nominated for a handful of Academy Awards in 1946 (winning one) and we highly recommend adding this movie to your collection!