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.
Essentially woman’s story tells of a girl (Gene Tierney) whose possessive jealousy smothered her father and destroyed her husband’s infatuation. Story is told in retrospect by Ray Collins, family attorney, and film opens with Cornel Wilde returning to Maine and his waiting love, Jeanne Crain, after serving a prison term for concealing crimes.
Tierney and Wilde use their personalities in interpreting their dramatic assignments. Crain’s role of Tierney’s foster-sister is more subdued but excellently done. Vincent Price, as the discarded lover, gives a theatrical reading to the courtroom scenes as the district attorney.
1945: Best Color Cinematography.
Nominations: Best Actress (Gene Tierney), Color Art Direction, Sound