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A New Leaf is a Black Comedy written and directed by Elaine May. Walter Matthau plays Henry Graham, a spoiled, pompous man who has spent all of his inherited wealth and has no way of earning a living for himself by working, so he decides to marry into wealth. Henry marries botany professor Henrietta (played by May), and plots to murder her.During the film's troubled post-production, May was unable to turn in a final cut of the film; after she refused to show Paramount a rough cut of the film, which was supposedly three hours long, the film was taken out of May's hands. Robert Evans shortened the film to 102 minutes, deleting some of the film's darker elements, which included a subplot in which Henry murders two men who are blackmailing Henrietta. The final released version presented the ending as a display of redemption and affirmation of love, with Henry falling in love with Henrietta, whereas the original ending essentially depicted Henry's fate of remaining with Henrietta as an Ironic Self-Inflicted Hell for his murders. Walter Matthau stated that he preferred the studio's cut of the film, rather than the longer, darker version.Though well received by critics, it was not a commercial success.For more on Elaine May's battles with film studios, read about Ishtar.
A New Leaf provides examples of the following tropes: