Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
I plan to screen Leave Her To Heaven again after many years but first played the DVD commentary partially narrated by Darryl Hickman. It was interesting because “Mr. Narcissus” spoke about some of HIS scenes, HIS acting school, and his childhood friends Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowell but he spent most of the time commenting on the superiority of method acting and how Gene Tierney and Jeanne Crain were bad actors. He said he felt distant from her on the set. Well her character was supposed to be aloof and hated Darryl’s character (you will too). Isn’t that being a bit “Method,” Mr. Hickman?
Furthermore do we remember him? Darryl is no Shirley Temple, Roddy McDowell, or Dean Stockwell as child actors go. Miss “bad actress” Gene Tierney is still remembered. Her film starring roles: Laura, Leave Her to Heaven, The Razor’s Edge, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Heaven Can Wait are classics. Hickman’s can’t even compare to “lesser” actress Jeanne Crain’s career: Pinky, Cheaper By the Dozen, and A Letter to 3 wives. Yeah he has a point. Crain really wasn’t a good actress but she was popular in the 40s and 50s and had “it.” While not as good an actress as Tierney, even Crain was a leading lady responsible for holding a picture and has her faithful fans including myself.
Okay I’m being harsh on Hickman but Gene is one of my favorite stars from the era and the most beautiful in my opinion. Look at those high cheekbones, strong jaw, full lips. Oh my, I’m describing myself. Haha in my dreams.
I remember Leave Her to Heaven as Technicolor direction by Leon Shamroy at it’s best. Tierney deserved her Oscar-nomination for best actress as the mentally disturbed Ellen. A year earlier, Tierney had a daughter Daria, with then husband Oleg Cassini. Daria was born deaf, blind and mentally retarded due to pregnant Tierney’s encounter with a fan with German measles who had left quarantine just to see her favorite star. So just maybe Mr. Hickman, Gene was aloof because she was guilt-ridden over her child’s situation. Anyone who is in the know of Hollywood stories knows the Gene Tierney story.
Anyway Leave Her to Heaven has great Oscar winning cinematography and color with Oscar-nominated actors Cornel Wilde, Gene Tierney, and Jeanne Crain. It also stars Vincent Price. Oh and let’s not forget the Daytime Emmy-nominated what’s his name….Darryl????
Available on Netflix.