by | Aug 25, 2023 | Films


Starring Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde,
Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price, Ray Collins.
Nominated for four Academy Awards
1945, Technicolor, 111 min. Post-film discussion.
Presented with open captions

Tuesday September 19, 7 pm

Adults $12 advance, $16 door
Students $8 advance, $12 door

A Classic Psychological Thriller

Novelist Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) seems to have found the perfect woman in Ellen Berent (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 capable of destroying anyone who comes between them.

A Hollywood masterpiece that draws freely from melodrama and film noir alike, Leave Her to Heaven boasts elegant direction by 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.

Immensely popular at the box office and nominated for four Academy Awards, the 1945 film was the highest grossing film for Twentieth Century Fox for the entire decade.

Still photos, Leave Her to Heaven – click to enlarge


Classic psychological thriller, director John M. Stahl, 1945, USA, TRT 111 min, not rated.  Screening includes post-film discussion, which most patrons find worthwhile. With short trailers, intro and post-film audience conversation, allow 2.3 hours for the total experience.

☀ THE GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Google Map  …  Garfield Parking Options

Tuesday, September 19, 7:00 pm

Adult Tickets are $12 in advance, $16 at the door.
Student Tickets are $8 in advance, $12 at the door.
Tickets available online via the Tix Button (top of this webpage), and by phone at (859) 957-3456.

The Garfield is ADA accessible. ADA details and Covid-19 information is on the CWC Policies Page.

Outside food and beverage is not permitted in the theatre.
Purchase of a ticket confirms acceptance by the purchaser that the presenter/host and their staff will not be liable for any loss, damage, action, claim, cost or expenses which may arise in the consequence of attendance at this event.
Purchaser declares that they will not attend unless in good health on the day of the event. Further, purchaser understands it is impossible to guarantee that they will not be exposed to Covid-19 and will attend at their own risk.
No refunds, all sales are final.


    Gene Tierney drives the film with the most intense and nuanced performance of her screen career.

    Part film noir and part dark romantic drama with a psychotic beauty at its center, John Stahl’s gorgeous Leave Her to Heaven uses Technicolor and lush cinematography to create a picture-perfect world of affluence, success, and comfort. It offers a vision of the good life in rich, saturated hues, and then watches as it is poisoned by the toxic jealousy its central character.

    The film starts not with the meet-cute between Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) and Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) on a train, but with a flashback framing device narrated by Richard’s attorney, Glen Robie (Ray Collins). This alerts the audience to some deep personal tragedy that has befallen Richard and to the fact that he served a couple years in prison. From the first few moments of the picture, we suspect that there will not be a happy ending.

    As the story unfolds, we meet the protagonists on a train ride to a friend’s ranch in New Mexico where Richard is to work on his new novel. While traveling, he meets a remarkably beautiful woman who, unbeknownst to either of them, is on a journey to the same ranch. Ellen quickly becomes obsessed with Richard and abandons her fiancé, attorney Russell Quinton (Vincent Price), to be with him. The couple rushes into marriage, caught up in romance and Richard intrigued by Ellen’s intensity.

    Cutting their honeymoon short to visit Danny (Darryl Hickman), Richard’s polio-stricken younger brother, Ellen devotes her time to helping Danny learn to walk again. It seems Ellen is the perfect wife and sister-in-law until she learns Danny will be coming to live with them at their secluded cabin in Maine. Not wanting to share Richard’s love with anyone, Ellen devises a plan to keep Danny out of the picture.

    Another victim of Ellen’s jealousy is her foster sister Ruth (Jeanne Crain), whose friendship with Richard creates the triangle of principal characters. Even Ellen’s mother (Mary Phillips) is viewed as an adversary. Indeed, Ellen, now pregnant, sees her unborn child as a competitor for Richard’s attention and she orchestrates a miscarriage. At first Richard doesn’t know what his wife’s behavior is all about, but soon he understands all too tragically.

    Gene Tierney drives the film with the most intense and nuanced performance of her screen career. Her Ellen is introspective, mysterious, athletic and smart, and Tierney makes her character polished, poised and confident, with a competitive streak that can get ruthless.

    It’s a rare chance at a dynamic, complex character for Tierney and, under John Stahl’s direction, she creates tension between Ellen’s driving need to have Richard all to herself at whatever cost and a sympathy for her psychological affliction with suggestions of vulnerability. Stahl pushes the drama to sociopathic extremes and elevates the character from heartless femme fatale to tortured (but deadly) soul.


     “Gene Tierney is one of the most underrated actresses of the Golden Era.” — Martin Scorsese

    Gene Tierney’s personal life was a whirlwind – she came from a position of affluence and privilege, she escaped seduction by a tycoon, married a count, was engaged to a prince, and was courted by a future president. Along the way she found success on Broadway at age 19, made some excellent films, was nominated for an Oscar at age 25, worked with auteur directors Preminger, Stahl, Mankiewicz, Goulding and Dassin, and acted with stars Dana Andrews, Vincent Price, Tyrone Power, Rex Harrison, Jose Ferrer, George Sanders, Richard Widmark, Anne Baxter and Jeanne Crain.

    Behind the fairy tale success, Gene’s life was fraught with setback and tragedy.  Her first try in Hollywood fizzled, a family member embezzled her funds, she unknowingly contracted German measles while donating her time at a USO Hollywood Canteen during WWII and as a result her first daughter was born with severe physical and mental disabilities.  At the height of her career, Tierney herself struggled with mental illness.

    Yet, through it all Gene Tierney persisted, courageous in speaking out publicly about her severe bouts of depression, a taboo subject for most of the twentieth century. Shortly after her last starring role (The Left Hand of God, with Bogart, 1955), she stepped away from Hollywood.

    After years of treatment, including electroshock therapy that erased portions of her life from her memory, she  returned for a comeback on the silver screen in 1962. But, she was past Hollywood’s macho constraints on starring roles for “older” women over forty. She made four films in supporting roles, 1962-1964, then retired from motion pictures.


    1940 The Return of Frank James
    1941 Hudson’s Bay
    1941 Tobacco Road
    1941 Belle Star
    1941 Sundown
    1941 The Shanghai Gesture
    1942 Son of Fury
    1942 Rings on Her Fingers
    1942 Thunder Birds
    1942 China Girl
    1943 Heaven Can Wait
    1944 Laura
    1944 A Bell for Adano
    1945 Leave Her to Heaven
    1946 Dragonwyck
    1946 The Razor’s Edge
    1947 The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
    1948 That Wonderful Urge
    1948 The Iron Curtain
    1949 Whirlpool
    1950 Night and The City
    1950 Where the Sidewalk Ends
    1951 Close To My Heart
    1951 The Mating Season
    1951 On the Riviera
    1951 The Secret of Convict Lake
    1952 Way of a Gaucho
    1952 Plymouth Adventure
    1953 Never Let Me Go
    1953 Personal Affair
    1954 The Egyptian
    1954 Black Widow
    1955 The Left Hand of God
    1962 Advise and Consent
    1963 Four Nights of the Full Moon
    1963 Toys in the Attic
    1964 The Pleasure Seekers

    John AlbertiJohn Alberti

    Dr. John Alberti has taught at Northern Kentucky University for roughly three decades, with focus on the relationship between American literature and popular culture as evidenced in cinema, television and music.

    At NKU, he is currently Chair of the English Department, Director of the Cinema Studies Program, and has been instrumental in bringing the Festival of New French Films to campus.

    John is a graduate of the University of Southern California (BA, English, 1981) and UCLA (MA, English 1984 and Ph.D., English, 1989). He recently authored Screen Ages: A Survey of American Cinema, and his current projects include work on gender in American cinema and television; writing in the digital age; and the movie adaptations of the Harry Potter series.


    Tim Swallow

    Timothy SwallowTim operates The Garfield Theatre and is a founder and president of Cincinnati World Cinema, with a 22-year history of film programming and presentation, including world premieres and festivals. Prior to CWC, he spent two decades as a live events producer, focusing on music, theatre and the arts.

    His experience includes management, marketing, finance, IT and event production. Specializing in short film and documentaries, Tim’s passion, and CWC’s mission, is building a film community to experience high-quality international, independent and short-form cinema not otherwise available in this market.



    CLICK TO ENLARGEIt couldn’t be easier – across the street from the Garfield Theatre, you’ll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees, sides and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks.

    For CWC patrons, the Butcher and Barrel offers a 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol; menu is on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially if you are dining between a CWC double feature. You should offer your online confirmation or ticket from the event, and let your server know if there are time constraints. The discount is valid only for the date of ticket.

    HOURS: MON, closed; TUE-WED-THS, 4-10 pm; FRI-SAT, 4-12 am; SUN, 4-10 pm. The kitchen closes one hour before the restaurant, every night. Hours and menu subject to change – check the website before booking.
    RESERVATIONS REQUESTED: 513-954-8974 or


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