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Autumn Leaves Reviews

Butch-bobbed, bug-eyed career gal spinster Crawford meets shy Cliff Robertson and grabs for love, gets a schizo. Released a year after the nihilist film noir classic KISS ME DEADLY, the film recaptured the twisted qualities of the human mind. Labeled a "woman's picture," AUTUMN LEAVES is an intense melodrama about loneliness, despair, and mental illness. Taking a pleasant romantic tale and plunging it into a whirlwind of schizophrenic violence has the same effect as seeing a hammer shatter a shiny piece of glass. Almost like a nightmare going on in Crawford's mind, the film's visual style gets more and more distorted and the lighting very harsh as Robertson's schizophrenia builds. Joan's performance is on the money and the Crawford cult will enjoy her "reading" Lorne Greene and Vera Miles as she chases them down the street ("And you, ya slut!"). The lady later said Robert Aldrich "likes evil things, twisted things." The title song, penned by Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prevert, and Johnny Mercer, was a big hit for Nat King Cole.