7.5/10
8,778
65 user 48 critic

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

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall
Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Boxer Joe Pendleton dies 50 years too soon due to a heavenly mistake, and is given a new life as a millionaire playboy.

Director: Alexander Hall
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes
Cluny Brown (1946)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A free-spirited parlor maid and a Czech refugee surprise an English village with their unconventional ways.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Charles Boyer, Jennifer Jones, Peter Lawford
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A writer falls in love with a young socialite and they're soon married. But her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of them both, and everyone else around them.

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain
Ninotchka (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire
Angel (1937)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman and her husband take separate vacations, and she falls in love with another man.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted...and forms a unique relationship with the ghost.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After learning her multi-millionaire fiancé has already been married seven times, the daughter of a penniless marquis decides to tame him.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Gary Cooper, Edward Everett Horton
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a small kingdom's main tax payer leaves for Paris, its king dispatches a dashing count to win back her allegiance.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Edward Everett Horton
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

Here's the story mama and papa didn't tell you! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 August 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El diablo dijo no 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #291. 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

Randolph Van Cleve: Believe me, Bertha, I never knew what a musical comedy girl looked like.
Bertha Van Cleve: Well, what can he possibly derive from their company?
Randolph Van Cleve: To me they were creatures from another planet.
Bertha Van Cleve: Where does he get it from? Nobody in our family was musical.
Randolph Van Cleve: To this day I wouldn't know how to find the stage entrance to a theatre.
Hugo Van Cleve: It's always around in the back, up an alleyway. There's a sign over the door: 'Stage Entrance.' You can't miss it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rocket to Mars (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Ta-ra-ra Boom-der-é
(uncredited)
Written by Henry J. Sayers
Played when Young Henry tells his mother the six dollars is worth it
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Any other director would destroy this.
3 October 2008 | by bobsgrockSee 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.


24 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 65 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed