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Heaven Can Wait (1943)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Fantasy  -  11 August 1943 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,005 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 30 critic

An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.

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Title: Heaven Can Wait (1943)

Heaven Can Wait (1943) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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Marjorie Main ...
Laird Cregar ...
...
Allyn Joslyn ...
...
...
...
Helene Reynolds ...
Peggy Nash
Aubrey Mather ...
James
Tod Andrews ...
Jack Van Cleve (as Michael Ames)
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Storyline

Henry Van Cleve presents himself at the gates of Hell only to find he is closely vetted on his qualifications for entry. Surprised there is any question on his suitability, he recounts his lively life and the women he has known from his mother onwards, but mainly concentrating on his happy but sometimes difficult twenty-five years of marriage to Martha. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He believed in Love . . . Honor . . . and Obey - That Impulse!


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 August 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El diablo dijo no  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 1983 interview, "A Conversation with Don Ameche", Don Ameche said this movie was his favorite of all the films he worked on. See more »

Goofs

In the breakfast scene just before Martha (Tierney) comes home to her parents Mr. Strable is served a large second helping of pancakes. Moments later when the camera gives him a medium shot, the stack is gone and the butler refills his plate. See more »

Quotes

Henry Van Cleve, Age 9: Hello Mary.
Mary, Age 9: Don't speak to me, Henry Van Cleve. You're a bad boy and my mother says I shouldn't talk to bad boys.
Henry Van Cleve, Age 9: I betcha you don't know what I've got in this box.
Mary, Age 9: And I'm not interested, Henry Van Cleve.
Henry Van Cleve, Age 9: Then I won't tell ya it's a beetle.
Mary, Age 9: A beetle!
Henry Van Cleve, Age 9: D'ya like it?
Mary, Age 9: Oh, who doesn't like beetles!
Henry Van Cleve, Age 9: It's yours.
Mary, Age 9: Thank you! Oh, thank you, Henry. I wonder if I should take it?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Death Proof (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played when Jackie is bouncing the ball
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User Reviews

 
Any other director would destroy this.
3 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ernst Lubitsch, the great European director who immigrated to America and changed movies for the better shows his true light touch in this very original yet very charming story about one man's life and the changes and problems he faces. Don Ameche is perfect as the lead character, Henry Van Cleeves, a man spoiled rotten as a child but grows up and learns many things, mostly from his beautiful wife Martha, played by Gene Tiereny. However, the best role goes to Charles Coburn who plays the rough, frank, outspoken yet lovable grandfather who sympathizes with Henry and strives to make his life better.

The kind of material here could have been used to make an epic story on the level of films like Gone With the Wind or Giant. Nevertheless, we see Henry's life in full motion, always moving ahead even when he is helpless to stop it. And Lubitsch's touch has never been more prominent, taking some scenes any other director would have made disturbing or unsettling and giving them a witty and comical feeling. It's a shame Lubitsch died so early or else we could have gotten more of these classic and moving stories.


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