Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Passed  |   |  Musical, Fantasy  |  9 April 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,827 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 34 critic

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.


, (uncredited)


(screen play), (based upon the book of the musical play by), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Trumpeter
Lucius / Lucifer Jr.
Kenneth Spencer ...
The General / Rev. Green
John William Sublett ...
Domino Johnson (as 'Bubbles' [John W. Sublett])
Oscar Polk ...
The Deacon / Fleetfoot
First Idea Man
Willie Best ...
Second Idea Man
Fletcher Rivers ...
Third Idea Man (as Moke [Fletcher Rivers])
Leon James Poke ...
Fourth Idea Man (as Poke [Leon James])
Bill Bailey ...
Ford Washington Lee ...
Messenger Boy (as 'Buck' [Ford L. Washington])


Chronic gambler and carouser "Little" Joe Jackson is shot by Domino Johnson at Jim Henry's gambling club over an outstanding gambling debt. Little Joe's wife, the God-fearing Petunia Jackson, prays not only for her husband's mortal life, but also his eternal soul as she's afraid that if he dies now, he, despite not being an evil man, won't make it into heaven. As Little Joe is close to death, he is visited by agents of both the Lord and of Lucifer. They make a deal with him: they will give him six months to atone for the errors of his human life. Once back on Earth, he won't remember the deal but both the Lord and Lucifer will be watching over him, trying to get him to see things their way. As both sides try to get Little Joe's soul, they figure that some of the most powerful tools they have at their disposal are the women in Little Joe's life: Petunia on behalf of the Lord, and Georgia Brown, a gold-digging floozy, on behalf of Lucifer. As hard as both the Lord and Lucifer try to get... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hell | shooting | prayer | church | singer | See All (46) »


At Last on the Screen! The Musical Comedy Sensation! See more »


Musical | Fantasy


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un petit coin aux cieux  »

Box Office


$662,141 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Cabin in the Sky", the original musical comedy, had been written by Lynn Root (lyrics and libretto) and composed by Vernon Duke and John La Touche. The producer was Albert Lewis in association with Vinton Freedley. See more »


During the nightclub fight between Domino Johnson and Little Joe, the gunshot he fires accidentally hits Petunia. She falls down on the steps of the staircase, where she drapes her right arm twice over the side. See more »


Georgia Brown: You're gonna be filthy rich!
Joseph 'Little Joe' Jackson: I am? How filthy?
See more »


Featured in QI: Engineering (2007) See more »


Happy Birthday to You
(1893) (uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Sung by Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson and others
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User Reviews

Something that all ages can yet relate to...
2 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I must admit, as a support to the Harlem Renaissance, I show this film to my students. No child has ever been left unaffected at seeing this film. What a wonderfully touching film. It addresses real issues of today in a yesterday atmosphere. The cinematography is somewhat lacking, but for the 1940s that is of no diminish to the beauty of this film. In addition, it is yet a marker to the contribution of the African American to the film industry and well worth the title of one of life's best kept African American secrets. The actors in the film also warrant acclaim for this. This all person-of-color film is so lovely, emotion filled and real, who would not want to spend their time evaluating its worth? As a 7th grade Language Arts instructor who is greatly proud of her heritage and the contributions my ancestors and friends have made, I am indeed proud of this cinematic star-studded glimpse of the past. And, I still cry every time I watch it today...

32 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why aren't today's African American inspired comedies this good? CaperGuy
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