In 1944, after an intense bidding war, Twentieth Century-Fox studio head Darryl Zanuck acquired the film rights to Ben Ames Williams’s Leave Her to Heaven for $100,000, then an exorbitant price for an unpublished work. Later that year, Williams’s mystery novel, about one woman’s obsessive love for her husband, became one of the best-selling author’s greatest successes, and by December 1945 Fox had released its film adaptation.
The title of the book and the film is taken from act 1, scene 5 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In the scene, the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to him, urging his son to avenge his murder, though without acting against Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother: “Leave her to heaven / And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge / To prick and sting her.”
Director John M. Stahl—who was born Jacob Morris Strelitsky in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1886, and who made his first film in Hollywood in 1914—was one of the thirty-six founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (Today he is perhaps best known for the fact that three of his films—Imitation of Life, 1934; Magnificent Obsession, 1935; and When Tomorrow Comes, 1939—were remade by melodrama master Douglas Sirk in the 1950s.)
10 Things I Learned: Visions of Eight
The producer of our edition of this ambitious omnibus film about the 1972 Munich Olympic Games details how its dynamic group of international directors came to be involved with the project.
10 Things I Learned: Memories of Murder
The producer of our edition of this unnerving procedural shares details about director Bong Joon Ho’s approach to visual style, his commitment to verisimilitude, and the lengths to which actor Kim Sang Kyung went in order to portray his character.
10 Things I Learned: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
This portrait of the legendary singer-songwriter on tour in 1975 was nearly a decade in the making. The producer of our just-released edition takes a close look at the special period in Dylan’s career that the film captures.
You have no items in your shopping cart