RARA-AVIS: Slightly Scarlet and Leave her to Heaven

From: Raymond Tait (raymond.tait@ntlworld.com)
Date: 29 Oct 2009

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    Mark wrote "...saw Slightly Scarlet yesterday, based on Cain's Love's Lovely Counterfeit. Speaking of which, is Cain's book that melodramatic? It was almost like a noir done by Douglas Sirk."

    Reading this reminded me of a movie I watched a few months ago: Leave Her to Heaven with Gene Tierney. I loved it even though Cornel Wilde was a bit wooden in the lead role. Tierney is excellent and the cast also includes Vincent Price and Chill Wills both of whom enrich any film they are in. It has the bones of a classic noir plot but it is set largely in the outdoors and the colours are wonderful - lots of deep rich reds. The director was John Stahl who doesn't seem to have created anything else half as interesting. I wasn't able to find out much about it and it seems to be one of those unusual gems that cinema throws up unexpectedly from time to time where the outcome is more than the sum of the parts. I seem to recall that Martin Scorsese is an admirer.


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