USA [1945] - 110m
Directed by
John M. Stahl
More info on
Leave Her to Heaven poster


August 05, 2021


What starts like a pretty slick and pleasantly paced romance quickly turns into a tepid, drawn-out thriller. Stahl overreaches when he tries to introduce tension into the film. Instead of a dark and gripping character study, the film ends up being a slow and overwrought noir that drags itself towards a bland ending.

Richard and Ellen meet each other on a train. It's a rather uneasy encounter, but there's clearly a spark between the two. Not much later, they're happily married. It doesn't take long before Ellen's rougher sides start showing up and before long, Richard is battling an overly jealous wife.

Performances are decent as long as the film remains light-hearted, but the actors fail the moment they're asked to show a darker, more serious side. The film lacks tension, the pacing is off, and the soundtrack is overbearing. It's just not a very balanced, capable film that completely fizzles out. Maybe it would've been better if it had been 30 minutes shorter.