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Heaven Can Wait (1943 film)

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Genre  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Music director  Alfred Newman
Country  United States
7.6/10 IMDb

Director  Ernst Lubitsch
Initial DVD release  June 14, 2005
Language  English
Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) movie poster
Release date  August 11, 1943 (1943-08-11)
Based on  play Birthday
Writer  Samson Raphaelson (screenplay), Leslie Bush-Fekete (play)
Cast  Gene Tierney (Martha Strabel Van Cleve), Don Ameche (Henry Van Cleve), Charles Coburn (Hugo Van Cleve), Marjorie Main (Mrs. Strabel), Laird Cregar (His Excellency), Spring Byington (Bertha Van Cleve)
Similar movies  Angel, Welcome to Purgatory, What Dreams May Come, City of Angels, A Life Less Ordinary, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Tagline  He believed in Love . . . Honor . . . and Obey - That Impulse!

Heaven can wait 1943

Heaven Can Wait is a 1943 Technicolor American comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. The screenplay was by Samson Raphaelson based on the play Birthday by Leslie Bush-Fekete. The music score was by Alfred Newman and the cinematography by Edward Cronjager.


Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) movie scenes

The film tells the story of a man who has to prove he belongs in Hell by telling his life story. It stars Gene Tierney, Don Ameche and Charles Coburn. The supporting cast includes Marjorie Main, Laird Cregar, Spring Byington, Allyn Joslyn, Eugene Pallette, Signe Hasso, Louis Calhern, Tod Andrews, and Clara Blandick.

Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) movie scenes

Heaven can wait 1943 trailer


Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters4384p4384p

An aged Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche) enters the opulent reception area of Hell, to be personally greeted by "His Excellency" (Laird Cregar). Henry petitions to be admitted (fully aware of the kind of life he had led), but there is some doubt as to his qualifications. To prove his worthiness (or rather unworthiness), he begins to tell the story of his dissolute life.

Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) Heaven Can Wait 1943 Classic Movie from 20th Century Fox

Born in Manhattan on October 25, 1872, Henry is the spoiled only child of stuffy, clueless, wealthy parents Randolph (Louis Calhern) and Bertha (Spring Byington). His paternal grandmother (Clara Blandick in an uncredited role) is also doting and naive, although his down-to-earth grandfather Hugo Van Cleve (Charles Coburn), a self-made millionaire, understands Henry quite well. Henry grows up an idle young man, with a taste for attractive showgirls. One day, Henry overhears a beautiful woman lying to her mother on a public telephone. Intrigued, he follows her into a Brentano's and pretends to be an employee to get to know her better. Despite learning that she is engaged, he begins making advances, finally confessing he does not work there, whereupon she hastily departs.

Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) Heaven Can Wait Ernst Lubitsch 1943 Senses of Cinema

Later, obnoxious cousin Albert (Allyn Joslyn) introduces the family to his fiancée, Martha (Gene Tierney), and her feuding parents, the Strables (Eugene Pallette, Marjorie Main). Henry is shocked to find that his mystery woman and Martha are one and the same. It turns out that Albert was the first suitor of whom both her parents approved. Fearful of spending the rest of her life as a spinster in Kansas City, Martha agreed to marry him. Henry convinces her to elope with him instead. Though everyone (except Grandpa Van Cleve) is scandalized, eventually they are received back into the family.

Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) Heaven Can Wait 1943 Journeys in Classic Film

Henry and Martha enjoy a happy marriage and become the proud parents of a boy. On the eve of their tenth anniversary, however, Martha finds out about Henry's continuing dalliances with other women and goes back to her parents. Henry and Grandpa follow her there. Sneaking into the Strable house, Henry begs her forgiveness and talks her into "eloping" a second time, much to Grandpa's delight.

Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) Heaven Can Wait 1943 The Metropolis Times

Fifteen years later, Henry meets a chorus girl Peggy Nash (Helene Reynolds) in her dressing room shortly before her performance. What begins as a courtship is soon revealed as an attempt by Henry to turn her away from his son, who has been dating her. When Peggy reveals her knowledge of his true identity, Henry buys her off instead for $25,000.

Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) The Merry Widows Waltz Lubitschs Heaven Can Wait 1943

Martha passes away shortly after their twenty-fifth anniversary. Henry resumes an active social life much to the amusement of his son. On October 26, 1942, the day after his 70th birthday, Henry dies under the care of a beautiful nurse, having portended her coming in a dream. After hearing Henry's story, His Excellency denies him entry and suggests he try the "other place", where Martha and his grandfather are waiting for him, hinting that there might be "a small room vacant in the annex".


Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) SelfStyled Siren Heaven Can Wait 1943 The Lubitsch Touch of Crime
  • Gene Tierney as Martha
  • Don Ameche as Henry Van Cleve
  • Charles Coburn as Hugo Van Cleve
  • Marjorie Main as Mrs. Strable
  • Laird Cregar as His Excellency
  • Spring Byington as Bertha Van Cleve
  • Allyn Joslyn as Albert Van Cleve
  • Eugene Pallette as E.F. Strable
  • Signe Hasso as Mademoiselle
  • Louis Calhern as Randolph Van Cleve
  • Helene Reynolds as Peggy Nash
  • Aubrey Mather as James
  • Tod Andrews as Jack Van Cleve (as Michael Ames)
  • Scotty Beckett as Henry Van Cleve, age 9
  • Dickie Moore as Henry Van Cleve, age 15
  • Clara Blandick as Grandmother Van Cleve
  • Clarence Muse as Jasper, the Strable's butler
  • Anita Sharp-Bolster as Mrs. Cooper-Cooper
  • Doris Merrick as Nellie Brown - Registered Night Nurse
  • Edwin Maxwell as Doctor (uncredited)
  • Awards

    It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Cinematography – Color, Best Director and Best Picture.

    Unrelated namesake

    A 1978 film, also called Heaven Can Wait, is a remake of an entirely different film, the 1941 Here Comes Mr. Jordan, which was based on a 1938 stage play originally titled Heaven Can Wait.


    Heaven Can Wait (1943 film) Wikipedia
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