Leave Her to Heaven

Ok, having the 65″ DLP in the shop for repairs leaves my better half and I in the “man cave” ¬†huddled around a 27″ TV with only TV speakers. My stipulation for watching movies for a while, any film we pick to watch has to be only available in full screen and mono or basic stereo. So what a great time to catch up on old movies and discover some films I have been missing out on.

Leave Her To Heaven was the choice of the night. I have to say, I was quite surprised by this film. Although shot in Technicolor, the movie plays out like classic Film Noir. In fact I think the movie could have benefitted from being shot in black and white. Saying that, it did take home an Oscar for color cinematography.

This film is about Ellen, played wonderfully by Gene Tierney (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Razor’s Edge) who has a very quick change of heart and calls off her engagement just to announce that she is getting married to a man she just met. Her performance did earn her a Best Actress nomination that year and deservedly so. The man she is marrying, author Richard Harland played by Cornel Wilde (A Song to Remember). They make a great couple until jealously sets in and Ellen starts coming up with different ways to assure they have time alone together…including murder. Another notable in this film is Vincent Price (Pit and the Pendulum, The Fall of the House of Usher), who was great to watch in a normal role and not in one of the horror roles he made a name for.

As always, I don’t want to give away too many fun details, because discovery is half the fun. In all, this movie is worth watching. It may not be one that i watch again and again, but still noteworthy.

House of Wax (1953)

house-of-wax Originally shot for 3-D, this one still works as one of the classic horror movies. Professor Henry Jarrod is betrayed, and is burned badly and thought to be dead. After disposing of his partner, Jarrod decides to reopen his House of Wax paying tribute to the macabre, making his Palace of Wax a true House of horrors.

The great Vincent Price (The Pit and the Pendulum) plays Henry Jarrod. He plays a good portion of the film with very heavy make-up, and in my opinion, maybe a little too much make-up. There is just something about his performances that are naturally creepy, down to the tone of voice and the way each line is delivered. Also if you think you recognize Igor, yes, that is Charles Bronson (Death Wish), even though he is credited under his real name Charles Buchinsky.

If you are in the mood for classic horror with style, you should watch this one. Since it was originally a 3-D movie, there a few shots that would not make it into a normal film, or at least be cut back. Still, this movie is all classic horror movie fun. Throw it on late at night with a big bowl of popcorn.