IMDb > James Gleason > News
Quicklinks
Top Links
biography by votes awardsNewsDeskmessage board
Filmographies
overviewby type by year by ratings by votes awards by genre by keyword
Biographical
biography other works publicity photo galleryNewsDeskmessage board
External Links
official sites miscellaneous photographs sound clips video clips

News for
James Gleason (I) More at IMDbPro »

Connect with IMDb



2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

6 items from 2016


Review: “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” (1941; Directed by Alexander Hall) ; Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

13 June 2016 3:08 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

“A Heavenly Beginning”

By Raymond Benson

They must have done something right. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) has proven to be a timeless and universal movie that keeps on giving, and the welcome new release from the Criterion Collection attests to it.

The premise of the film has been around for a while. Most of our generation know the remake better—Heaven Can Wait (1978, starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie)—which is a superb Oscar-nominated romantic comedy in its own right. Another remake in 2001, Down to Earth, starred Chris Rock.

But that’s not all. It wasn’t until I’d viewed the supplements on the new disk that I appreciated the fact that Mr. Jordan was indeed the first of several Hollywood pictures dealing with “heavenly” concepts—angels, the afterlife, and second chances. In a video discussion, critic Michael Sragow and filmmaker/distributor Michael Schlesinger reveal how the picture’s popularity actually began a trend of similar movies throughout the 1940s—A Guy Named Joe, Angel on My Shoulder, A Matter of Life and Death, It’s a Wonderful Life, and even Mr. Jordan’s direct sequel, Down to Earth (1947, not to be confused with the Chris Rock remake), which features both James Gleason and Edward Everett Horton again playing their roles from the first movie.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan was a major release and surprise hit from Columbia Pictures, a studio that always struggled to be one of the majors despite having director Frank Capra on their team in the ‘30s. Critically and popularly acclaimed, the picture successfully blends fantasy, romance, comedy, and intrigue, creating a delightful, and sometimes thought-provoking, piece of entertainment. It was nominated for Best Picture of 1941, Best Director (Alexander Hall), Best Actor (Robert Montgomery), Best Supporting Actor (James Gleason, and he steals the movie!), and Best B&W Cinematography. The film deservedly won the Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story, for Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller.

The story concerns Joe Pendleton (enthusiastically played by Montgomery in a stretch from his usual sophisticated tuxedo-clad characters) as a prizefighter with a heavy New Jersey accent who crashes in his private plane. His soul is saved by the Messenger (Horton), an angel whose job is to escort to Heaven the departing souls from his “territory.” In the mist-filled outskirts of Heaven, Mr. Jordan (benevolently portrayed by Claude Rains), a sort of St. Peter in a three-piece suit, checks in the new souls as they board another plane to take them to their afterlife homes. But Joe’s soul was accidentally taken before his body actually died—and therefore Mr. Jordan grants Joe a second chance. However, his consciousness must be placed into a recently deceased person—so Joe winds up inside a rich, corrupt banker’s body. Joe, in his new persona, sets about turning the banker’s life around for good, and he also attempts to continue his prizefighting. For the latter, he calls in his former manager, Corkle (Gleason) to train him. First, though, he’s got to convince Corkle that he’s really Joe inside the new man’s form. To complicate things, Joe falls in love with the daughter (Evelyn Keyes) of a man the banker destroyed financially and sent to prison. Joe also doesn’t know it yet, but he will have to jump bodies one more time before the story plays out.

The comedy and romance work like a charm, and the fantasy elements of Mr. Jordan are surprisingly effective. The movie is intelligently written and treats its subject matter with respect; and yet it has fun with the mechanics of death and the philosophical discourse of what we think the afterlife really is. The audience is tricked, in a way, into pleasantly enjoying a movie about death. What happens to Joe Pendleton at the end isn’t the norm for a romantic comedy. Technically it’s not a happy ending—and yet, it is. It’s a feel-good movie with a bittersweet center. This is a testament to the quality of writing in Here Comes Mr. Jordan.

The new 2K digital restoration looks fabulous. It has an uncompressed, monaural soundtrack. Along with the aforementioned video conversation about the film, the supplements include a long audio interview with Elizabeth Montgomery (daughter of Robert Montgomery, and, yes, the star of Bewitched) about her father and the movie; the Lux Radio Theatre radio adaptation starring Cary Grant (who was originally approached to star in the film—one can only imagine what it would have been like with Grant), Rains, Keyes, and Gleason; and a trailer. An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme adorns the booklet.

A little gem from Hollywood released just prior to America’s entrance into World War II, Here Comes Mr. Jordan is a genuine classic, arguably superior to its many remakes and imitations. You will believe...

Click Here To Order From Amazon

»

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

Permalink | Report a problem


Here Comes Mr. Jordan

6 June 2016 8:29 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Here's a sterling example of what Hollywood excelled at back in the golden age: Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains and Edward Everett Horton star in possibly the most magical of movies known as Film Blanc. A cosmic goof leaves a man with fifty years yet to live without a body -- so heavenly troubleshooters try to find him a new one. Here Comes Mr. Jordan Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 819 1941 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 94 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date June 14, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains, Rita Johnson, Edward Everett Horton, James Gleason. Cinematography Joseph Walker Art Direction Lionel Banks Film Editor Viola Lawrence Original Music Frederick Hollander Written by Sidney Buchman, Seton I. Miller from the play Heaven Can Wait by Harry Segall Produced by Everett Riskin Directed by Alexander Hall

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Some movies are so entertaining that it's best to tell people, »

- Glenn Erickson

Permalink | Report a problem


Oberon Later Years: From Empress to Duchess, Shah of Iran Mexican House Connection

25 March 2016 11:15 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Merle Oberon films: From empress to duchess in 'Hotel.' Merle Oberon films: From starring to supporting roles Turner Classic Movies' Merle Oberon month comes to an end tonight, March 25, '16, with six movies: Désirée, Hotel, Deep in My Heart, Affectionately Yours, Berlin Express, and Night Song. Oberon's presence alone would have sufficed to make them all worth a look, but they have other qualities to recommend them as well. 'Désirée': First supporting role in two decades Directed by Henry Koster, best remembered for his Deanna Durbin musicals and the 1947 fantasy comedy The Bishop's Wife, Désirée (1954) is a sumptuous production that, thanks to its big-name cast, became a major box office hit upon its release. Marlon Brando is laughably miscast as Napoleon Bonaparte, while Jean Simmons plays the title role, the Corsican Conqueror's one-time fiancée Désirée Clary (later Queen of Sweden and Norway). In a supporting role – her »

- Andre Soares

Permalink | Report a problem


Bad Boy

5 March 2016 9:58 AM, PST | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

This proto- juvenile delinquent epic launched celebrated WW2 warrior Audie Murphy on the road to Hollywood fame, fortune and more troubled times. Audie commits every crime short of shooting dogs and nuns, but those wacky liberal social workers still give him the benefit of the doubt. Director Kurt Neumann back our hero with expert acting support from Lloyd Nolan, Jane Wyatt and James GleasonBad Boy DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1949 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 86 min. / Street Date January 5, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Audie Murphy, Lloyd Nolan, Jane Wyatt, James Gleason, Stanley Clements, Martha Vickers, Rhys Williams, Selena Royle, Jimmy Lydon, Dickie Moore, Tommy Cook, William F. Leicester, Stephen Chase, Walter Sande, Ray Teal, Charles Trowbridge. Cinematography Karl Struss Art Direction Theobold Holsopple Production Design Gordon Wiles Film Editor William Austin Original Music Paul Sawtell Written by Robert Hardy Andrews, Karl Kamb, Paul Short Produced by Paul Short »

- Glenn Erickson

Permalink | Report a problem


Sean Hayes Will Star as 'God' in the Broadway Comedy An Act of God - See the Pictures!

4 February 2016 5:00 PM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Sean Hayes has landed his holiest role yet! The Emmy award-winning actor will star as "God" in Broadway's hit comedy An Act of God, a play written by David Javerbaum. The Will and Grace star and his angels - played by David Josefsberg and James Gleason - will touch down on Earth for 90 precious minutes to answer some of mankind's deepest questions during the comedy directed by Tony Award winner Joe Mantello. Hayes made his Broadway debut in 2010 when he starred in Promises, Promises alongside Kristin Chenoweth, Molly Shannon and Tony Goldwyn. An Act of God officially open on Feb. »

- Nicole Sands, @nicolesands901

Permalink | Report a problem


Sean Hayes Will Star as 'God' in the Broadway Comedy An Act of God - See the Pictures!

4 February 2016 5:00 PM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Sean Hayes has landed his holiest role yet! The Emmy award-winning actor will star as "God" in Broadway's hit comedy An Act of God, a play written by David Javerbaum. The Will and Grace star and his angels - played by David Josefsberg and James Gleason - will touch down on Earth for 90 precious minutes to answer some of mankind's deepest questions during the comedy directed by Tony Award winner Joe Mantello. Hayes made his Broadway debut in 2010 when he starred in Promises, Promises alongside Kristin Chenoweth, Molly Shannon and Tony Goldwyn. An Act of God officially open on Feb. »

- Nicole Sands, @nicolesands901

Permalink | Report a problem


2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

6 items from 2016


IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners