Boxer Joe Pendleton, flying to his next fight, crashes...because a Heavenly Messenger, new on the job, snatched Joe's spirit prematurely from his body. Before the matter can be rectified, Joe's body is cremated; so the celestial Mr. Jordan grants him the use of the body of wealthy Bruce Farnsworth, who's just been murdered by his wife. Joe tries to remake Farnsworth's unworthy life in his own clean-cut image, but then falls in love; and what about that murderous wife?Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For his second of two Oscar nominations Robert Montgomery was loaned to Columbia Pictures for Here Comes Mr. Jordan, a very charming fantasy about a man who fulfills his destiny in many different ways in many different bodies.
I'm not sure how theologically sound this is, but apparently they make mistakes in heaven. Of course when you've got a new heavenly retriever on the job like Edward Everett Horton anything is possible.
He snatches prize fighter Robert Montgomery from a private plane that's about to crash. Only problem is that Montgomery wasn't supposed to die in the crash. What to do, send for Claude Rains in the title role as the heavenly fixer, Mr. Jordan.
Montgomery goes through two different bodies after that in an effort to give him the life span that the heavenly records are supposed to have for him. In one of those guises he meets Evelyn Keyes for whom he falls big time and she him. Of course there's a problem because Montgomery is a millionaire, married to Rita Johnson who with his private secretary, John Emery is trying to kill him.
Through all of this lending his confused elfin charm is James Gleason as Montgomery's fight manager. Seems as though Gleason had a destiny also, to manage a heavyweight champion. Gleason got his career role in Here Comes Mr. Jordan as he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor, but lost to Donald Crisp for How Green Was My Valley. The film itself was Columbia's entry in the Best Picture category, but also lost to How Green Was My Valley.
This was Robert Montgomery's second Oscar nomination and the movie going public accepted him as good natured, saxophone playing pug Joe Pendleton a lot better than the homicidal maniac in Night Must Fall his first and other Oscar nomination. This time Montgomery lost to Gary Cooper in Sergeant York.
My favorite in this film however is the wise and patient Claude Rains as Mr. Jordan. One thing the film does do is that the end will have you wondering whether the whole thing really was Montgomery's destiny. Some of Rains's expressions will keep you guessing.
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