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.

Directors:

Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley (uncredited)

Writers:

Joseph Schrank (screen play), Lynn Root (based upon the book of the musical play by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethel Waters ... Petunia Jackson
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson ... Little Joe Jackson
Lena Horne ... Georgia Brown
Louis Armstrong ... The Trumpeter
Rex Ingram ... Lucius / Lucifer Jr.
Kenneth Spencer Kenneth Spencer ... The General / Rev. Green
John W. Bubbles ... Domino Johnson (as 'Bubbles' [John W. Sublett])
Oscar Polk ... The Deacon / Fleetfoot
Mantan Moreland ... First Idea Man
Willie Best ... Second Idea Man
Fletcher Rivers Fletcher Rivers ... Third Idea Man (as Moke [Fletcher Rivers])
Leon James Leon James ... Fourth Idea Man (as Poke [Leon James])
Bill Bailey Bill Bailey ... Bill (as dancer Taking A Chance On Love)
Ford Washington Lee Ford Washington Lee ... Messenger Boy (as 'Buck' [Ford L. Washington])
Butterfly McQueen ... Lily
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Storyline

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

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Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Cabin in the Sky", the original musical comedy, had been written by Lynn Root (libretto) and composed by Vernon Duke (music) and John La Touche (lyrics). The producer was Albert Lewis in association with Vinton Freedley. It opened at the Martin Beck Theater on October 25, 1940 and ran for 156 performances. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Joseph 'Little Joe' Jackson: How am I gonna reform if I don't remember what a mess I was in when I was dead?
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Connections

Featured in The Men Who Made the Movies: Vincente Minnelli (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Li'l Black Sheep
(1943)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Performed by Ethel Waters (uncredited) and chorus
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User Reviews

Why they all got something from Ethel
13 May 2005 | by jahlauneSee all my reviews

Ethel Waters, you hear her singing style in almost all early singers from the late 20's and 30's. Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday. She had the clearest voice and such enunciation. She was a miserable woman tho and thats why you never hear other singers give her praise. In this film her singing is as tear jerking today as it was on those old 78's. She sings and you understand every word and in this movie you even can see her do a little shimmy for which she was renowned for early in her career. A great cast. Lena is superb as always and Bubbles from the vaudevillian team "buck and bubbles" along with earl snake hip tucker. These are Harlem legends that ruled 133rd street (the real swing street) in their day. My mother never tires of this movie as she was a devout Ethel fan all her life (she was born in 1923) so she grew up listening to this legend. Get this bit of American history


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 April 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un petit coin aux cieux See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$662,141 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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