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Heaven Can Wait (1943)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 13 August 1943 (USA)
An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.

Director:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writers:

Samson Raphaelson (screenplay), Leslie Bush-Fekete (play) (as Lazlo Bus-Fekete)
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Tierney ... Martha Strabel Van Cleve
Don Ameche ... Henry Van Cleve
Charles Coburn ... Hugo Van Cleve
Marjorie Main ... Mrs. Strabel
Laird Cregar ... His Excellency
Spring Byington ... Bertha Van Cleve
Allyn Joslyn ... Albert Van Cleve
Eugene Pallette ... E.F. Strabel
Signe Hasso ... Mademoiselle
Louis Calhern ... Randolph Van Cleve
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! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 August 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heaven Can Wait See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ernst Lubitsch migrated to 20th Century Fox partly out of frustration at being unable to get his pet projects "A Self-Made Cinderella" and "Margin for Error' made at his home for 20 years, Paramount. He and writing partner Samson Raphaelson hit upon the idea of adapting Leslie Bush-Fekete's 1934 play "Birthdays" for the screen. It was a subject close to Lubitsch's heart as he was undergoing a divorce at the time. See more »

Goofs

At Henry's birthday party on October 26, 1898, Albert says he and Martha rode the elevators of the Flatiron Building that day. The Flatiron Building opened in 1902. See more »

Quotes

His Excellency: Sometimes it looks as if the whole world is coming to Hell.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: New Haven Can Wait (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

By the Light of the Silvery Moon
(uncredited)
Music by Gus Edwards
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Underrated masterpiece
1 June 2005 | by ngrim_See all my reviews

Utterly perfect Fox picture with handsome Don Ameche and stunningly beautiful Gene Tierney. It also stars the wonderfully hilarious Charles Coburn as Ameche's grandfather.

A well written, well acted and well directed film that is unjustly underrated and should be rediscovered. The entire film is shot in gorgeous full Technicolor and handled by director Ernst Lubitsch capable hands.

It details the story of a man, played by Ameche, who thinks that he deserves to go to hell after he dies. He then proceeds to recount his life story to the devil (Laird Creger). A true delight that is not to be missed.


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