Leave Her to Heaven

Synopsis: Novelist Richard Harland and socialite Ellen Berent meet on a train to New Mexico. They are immediately attracted to each other, soon fall in love and decide to get married, about which everyone they know is happy except Ellen's fiancé back home, politician Russell Quinton. However, Richard and Ellen's love for each other is different than that of the other as Ellen demonstrates in the manner which she tells everyone of their impending marriage. Ellen's love for Richard is an obsessive, possessive one, much like the love she had for her now deceased father, who Richard physically resembles. Ellen wants Richard all to herself and resents anyone who even remotely takes a place in his life and heart, even if his love for that person is not a romantic one. These people include most specifically Richard's physically disabled teen-aged brother Danny Harland, Ellen's own adopted sister Ruth Berent, and a young man neither has gotten a chance to really know yet. After time, Richard learns to w
Director(s): John M. Stahl
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min

It's good to see you, Dick.

It's good to be back.

Everything has been arranged.

She's up there waiting for you.

Thank you.

Poor, dear man.

I... I guess I'll be going now.

Good luck to you, Dick.

Been through hell, hasn't he?

To a man like that,

two years in prison is worse than hell.

Isn't that Dick Harland, the chap

who used to live in Back of the Moon?

Yes, I believe it is.

Well, of all the seven deadly sins,

jealousy is the most deadly.

Oh, will you bring us

some coffee, please?

- You were his lawyer, weren't you?

- Yes, I defended him.

Some might say

I lost the case for him.

I read the newspapers, but I never

could make head nor taiI of it.


...there's some things that

couldn't be told in the courtroom.

Yet, of all the people involved...

...I suppose I'm the only one

who knew the whole story.

You see, it was through me

they first met.

He'd been working very hard

on a new book.

I invited him up to my place

in New Mexico for a rest.

They met on the train.

- Thank you.

- You're quite welcome.

Oh, I'm sorry.

I was staring at you, wasn't I?

I didn't mean to, really.

It's only because...

Because you look so much

like my father.

When he was younger,

of course, your age.

A most remarkable resemblance.

For a moment I thought...

Do forgive me.

To tell you the truth,

I was doing quite a bit of staring myself.

And I assure you it's not because

you look like my mother.

In fact, I can't say you look like

anyone I've ever met before.

Then why did you stare?

- Do you want to know?

- If it's not too unflattering.

Now, you know perfectly well

that nothing I could say about you...

The way you look, I mean,

could be anything but flattering.

- Of course, if you don't like flattery...

- But I do.

On second thought,

it won't be flattery.

It'll be the truth

and nothing but the truth.

Any resemblance to flattery

will be sheer coincidence.

- Shall I proceed?

- Proceed.

While I was watching you, exotic words

drifted across the mirror of my mind...

...as summer clouds

drift across the sky.


- Couldn't you be a bit more specific?

- I'll try.

Watching you, I thought of tales

in the Arabian Nights...

...of myrrh and frankincense and....

- And patchouli?

- Patchouli, that's it.

Wait a minute.

I knew it. Here it is. I quote:

"As he watched her, exotic words

drifted across the mirror of his mind.

He thought of tales

in the Arabian Nights...

...of myrrh and frankincense

and patchouli. " Unquote.

- So that's where it came from.

- Oh, I guess so. But really, I wasn't...

I give you my word,

it's weeks since I read it.

- It must've impressed you enormously.

- The book? Not particularly.

- Rather a sloppy job, I thought.

- I agree with you.

You do?

Next stop, Jacinto.

Next stop, Jacinto.

Oh, that's me.

Jacinto. That's me.

Oh, there you are. Hello there.

Oh, it's nice to see you.

- Mrs. Berent.

- Hello.

- Hello.

Hello, baby, how are you?

Hello, darling.

- And how's Louise?


- And the children?

- Fine, wonderfuI.

Get those bags, will you?

- Looking forward to seeing the ranch.

- Can you stay long?

Here! Here we are!

Hello there.

Hello, Glen, how are you?

Nice to see you.

- Glad to see you, Dick.

- You look fine.

- How's your brother?

- Danny's still flat on his back.

He wanted very much to come...

...but the doctor thought the trip

might be too much.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Ladies, may I present Mr. Harland?

Mrs. Berent.

- How do you do?

- How do you do?

Ruth Berent.

- How do you do?

- Hello.

Ellen Berent.

- How do you do?

- How do you do?

We met on the train, rather briefly.

Too briefly.

I've got the car right here, folks.

Are you all ready? Come on.

- Did you say Harland?

- Richard Harland.

Oh, Mr. Harland, I'm terribly sorry.

I doubt if I'll ever forgive you.

Wait till you get a look

at the new colts.

Oh, I bet they're darling.

Ellen, we've got plenty

of wild turkey this year.


- Big as ostriches, twice as ornery.

Hope you people

are all good and hungry.

- Here we are.

- Mom, they're here! They're here!

- Welcome to Rancho Jacinto.

Thank you, Glen.

- Mother, isn't it wonderfuI?

- It's beautifuI.


Oh, my dear.


I did want to come to meet you...

...but I thought it best to stay here

to supervise dinner.

- Ellen, how are you?

- How are you?

Dick, it's so good seeing you.

But where's Danny?

- He couldn't quite make it, Louise.

- Oh, I'm terribly sorry.

- Is he still at Warm Springs?

- Yes, he's getting along fine.

Oh, good.

You'll probably want to change.

Come on, I'll show you your room.

Those trout

were in the stream hours ago.

- You couldn't get that in Boston.

Perhaps, but our codfish...

I was born and raised

in Boston myself.

I yield to no one

in my passion for codfish.

- I hate codfish.

- So do I.

- Children, that's rank disloyalty.

- It's treason.

Mr. Harland, what do you think?

Mrs. Robie,

I'm what you call a salmon man.

Fact of the matter is Mother

just doesn't like New Mexico.

Since this is my first visit, I don't see

how you can say such a thing.

It's true just the same.

Father and I used to come here

every spring, year after year.

And occasionally Ruth came along,

but never Mother.

Too bad Mr. Berent didn't come along

this time. I've been told I resemble him.

- Who told you that, Mr. Harland?

- I did.

Louise, don't you think so?

Well, yes, now that you mention it.

- Glen?

- Well, in a way.

In every way.

I noticed it the minute I saw him

in the club car.

His face, his voice, his manner.

It's uncanny.

Well, I must admit

you've aroused my curiosity.

If I should get an opportunity

to meet your father...

That's hardly likely, Mr. Harland.

- My husband...

- We've come for my father's funeraI.

My goodness, there is a resemblance.

Why, a most decided resemblance.

Tell me, what did they mean

about coming here for the funeraI?

Oh, that was rather

a figure of speech.

As a matter of fact, Professor Berent

died some time ago in the East...

...and his body was cremated.

They brought the ashes here.

They're having the ceremony

in the morning.

- Where?

- High up in the mountains...

...sort of a plateau.

A favorite spot of his.

He used to go there a lot with Ellen.

Well, now, if you'll excuse me,

I'll see if the children have gone to bed.



Ellen's gone for a walk.

- Well, how did you know that I...?

- Oh, I'm quite psychic.


And is your sister psychic too?

Oh, yes, much more than I am.

Only I'm not her sister.

- You're not?

- No, I'm her cousin.

I've lived with the family

ever since I was a child.

Mrs. Berent adopted me.

Good evening, Mr. Harland.

Oh, good evening.

In all fairness,

I must confess the nights here...

...seem more beautifuI

than at Beacon Hill.

Infinitely. I think everything's

more beautifuI here.

Ellen has gone for a stroll.

Thank you.



- Am I intruding?

- Not at all.


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Jo Swerling

Jo Swerling (April 8, 1897 – October 23, 1964) was an American theatre writer, lyricist and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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