Gene Tierney 19/11-1920 - 6/11-1991

Gene Tierney - Enigmatic beauty

The almost insanely beautiful New York girl with the adorable overbite started out as a model and with some theatre acting on Broadway
before being contracted by 20th Century Fox. Her film acting debut was in 1940 and the first years she often had to play roles as fake
exotic women (as in the pic above) in a slew of crappy films with racist tendencies (where a white bwana met a pacific native girl to be his
sexual slave, or something like that if you want to be cynical). However, after having dazzled everyone with her photogenic presence in
Joseph von Sternberg's 1942 trashy but visual feast The Shanghai Gesture, she finally got a great role in Ernst Lubitch 1943 comedy Heaven
Can Wait
. The, the year after she finally earned her place in Film History Hall of Fame when she portrayed the fake murder victim Laura in
Otto Preminger's 1944 Film Noir Crime classic Laura, based on Vera Caspary's novel .... surprise .... Laura.
Then followed 2 roles as a Bitch. 1945 in John M. Stahl's Film Noir in Color MASTERPIECE Leave Her to Heaven, and in 1946 The Razor's
Edge against Tyrone Power (based on Somerset Maugham's novel)

Leave Her to Heaven is one of the greatest films ever made, a psychological drama thriller Noir with color cinematography beyond my
ability to describe in words, and this combined with the otherworldly beauty of Gene Tirney and her sensational performance as the
mentally disturbed Ellen Berent, her best acting ever, makes this film a classic that grows in stature in Film History.
The famous scene in the boat with her cold blank face (pic above left) is for sure one of the most horrific on film, ever.

Gene probably had her last really great role in the 1947 The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, a bitter-sweet comedy and
romantic love story where she played against Rex Harrison. Yeah, a comedy it says but even though undeniably great, watching it always
makes me melancholic and sad. Maybe there's something wrong with me? Bittersweet comedy, yeah, yeah, that usually means Feel Bad.

The Shanghai Gesture, 1942

Gene was immensely popular during the 1940's, at first on the theatre stage and then in Hollywood wher she became one of the film queens
and pursued by some of the most popular and rich bachelor's of the world, as Prince Aly Khan and future President JF Kennedy.
But, after being infected by the measles during her pregnancy she gave birth to a gravely disabled daughter, and Gene started to suffer
from depression and other mental problems, and a lot of misery followed, about which can be read in Wikipedia and other sources.

Swedish DVD edition of 1943 Ernst Lubitsch film

Playboy Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche) has died and gone to Hell. Together with a jovialic Satan they reminisces his life to see if he's
in the right place, in Heaven or Hell. Flashbacks to different parts of his life follows. When he was a 16 year old boy and his governess,
played by our own swedish Hollywood export, Signe Hasso lost her job when she took the boy to a bar, when he was 26 and met
Gene Tierny's Martha Strable in a bookshop, more episodes from his life follows until Satan sends him up to Heaven.

1.33:1 fullscreen original ratio, english mono audio, in color, Swedish DVD edition region 2 PAL, barebones no extras


Back to Film Noir page