Some 43 years after 'Leave Her To Heaven' was made (back in 1945 after the end of World War II), Timothy Bradshaw rewrote and Christian I. Nyby directed the remake of the same film in 1988. Loni Anderson played the role Gene Tierney originated and Patrick Duffy played the role Cornel Wilde originated. Based on Ben Ames Williams' 1944 bestseller which was noted for its "subtle psychological overtones", the 1988 version changed its name to 'Too Good To Be True' because "Fox owns the rights to the title … and didn't want to relinquish it." 

'Too Good To Be True' won its time slot when it went on air back in November 1988 (attracting 31% share of the audience; 19.9% ratings, about 17.9 million households were counted watching) against 'Monday Night Football' (27% share; 15.7% ratings) and 'Murphy Brown' (22% share; 14.7% ratings) and 'Designing Women' (23% share; 15.3% ratings). 

Shot on location around Bass Lake in Sierra, Navada, in the Maine woods, on a ranch in New Mexico and in Warm Springs, Georgia, 'Leave Her To Heaven' was the first psychological drama to be filmed in color instead of black and white back in 1945. The picture told "the uncompromising story of a girl who wanted a monopoly on the thoughts and interests of the man she loved."

Twentieth Century-Fox publicists said Gene Tierney was selected to play Ellen Berent because "there was no precedent for casting the role of Ellen Berent. There had never been another girl like her, at least on the screen. She was young, American, beautiful and lovable; and at the same time, she was a psychopathic demon. The most logical choice for her part seemed to be Miss Tierney, who first found fame as a glamor girl but had made a determined and successful fight to become a versatile actress."

Of the part, Gene Tierney told 'United Press' in 1945, "Oh, she's about as mean as they come. A totally despicable girl without a saving grace to her name. The studio really must have battled to make you take the part. I was simply dying to play it right from the moment I read the book. I was scared to death someone else would get it. I've been the pretty young wife in too many pictures now in which everyone else got the meaty parts."

Film critic Edwin Schallert expressed, "Gene Tierney, in fact, has a role to play that is veritably psychopathic in its violence, yet so solidly motivated that you view her as a thoroughly human, if also thoroughly poisonous heroine. She is the hopeless victim of a selfishness so consuming that when it manifests itself in love, she sacrifices everything for possession, and for vengeance when she cannot possess.

"Her various actual crimes, as revealed in the feature include two murders, one of prenatal character, and finally a suicide which tends to throw the guilt attaching to her death on an innocent person. In other words, even from the grave she reaches back into life to harm. Miss Tierney enacts this sordid virulent role in a manner that will prove strangely arresting for those who look on."

'Leave Her To Heaven' was hailed as "an amazing study of a character, and the 'powers of darkness' at work through the medium of a single woman, whose hate is even more sinister than her love. And both are sinister beyond belief." Gene Tierney elaborated, "I have a young (on-screen) brother-in-law who's sort of an invalid. I resent the attention my (on-screen) husband gives him so I eliminate him by just letting him drown when I could have saved him. Much simpler than swinging a sash weight. I dispose of an unborn child by falling down stairs. And then I commit suicide in such a way as to throw suspicion on my (on-screen) sister – Jeanne Crain – because I think my (on-screen) husband – Cornel Wilde – is interested in her. You see, I'm determined not to let go of him."

'Leave Her To Heaven' was noted for being "produced with great care, and very daringly, under the supervision of William A. Bacher and the direction of John M. Stahl." The picture was "far away from that boy-meets-girl fodder so often discerned on the screen (at the time). John M. Stahl maintains a highly pitched mood and fast pace that is overwhelming in its intensity and emotional impact."

Gene Tierney portrayal of Ellen, Edwin Schallert believed, "It is even the kind of interpretation that may win the Academy award. This rather depends on the mood of the voters, as it will represent a wide swing away from their prior selection. It is admirably accomplished in the insidious phases." Another critic remarked, "Even in her death she (Ellen) endeavors to hold on to her possession with a terrific passion, even plotting to have her half sister tried for her murder and subjecting her husband to the disgrace of a prison sentence. For the first time the movie exploits Gene Tierney's extraordinary talent to the fullest - passionately warm and murderously cold by turn."

In the 1988 version, Loni Anderson told Nancy Mills of 'Asbury Park Press', "If this character weren't so hideous, you'd feel sorry for her. She's pathetic in her possessiveness and her jealousy. She does the most terrible things. The only (favorable) thing you can say about her is that she loves her husband. But the love is a sickness, a mad, jealous, obsessive possession.

"You don’t get punished for it. You don't have to go to prison. You can get all those nasty feelings out and there are no consequences. We'd finish a scene and the crew would say, 'Get away from me,' and go like this (Loni made a cross with 2 index fingers). I've been wanting a role like this for years. It's such a nice departure and a real challenge. People ask me, 'Did you play her with dark hair?' It goes back to that old cliché; blondes are sweet, redheads have a hot temper and brunettes are evil. I did it as a blonde. I used to have dark hair, and I never considered myself evil."

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