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Here Comes Mr. Jordan Bilingual

Evelyn Keyes , Edward Everett Horton , Alexander Hall    DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Still "In the Pink" Sixty Years On Oct. 25 2003
Format:VHS Tape
It is a shame that this delightful comedy isn't better known today. Part of the reason might lie in the fact that the film's star Robert Montgomery (father of Elizabeth Montgomery of BEWITCHED), after a stint in the military in WW II, did very little acting following the war. Therefore, he doesn't have many later films to draw attention to his career as a whole. Also, after the war he because deeply involved in political matters, and was one of Hollywood's more avid Communist hunters. For whatever reason, the film does not today have the reputation it deserves.
There have been two remakes of this film, so some explanation is in order. HERE COMES MR. JORDAN was a film version of a play by Harry Segal titled HEAVEN CAN WAIT. There was a 1944 film by Ernst Lubitsch called HEAVEN CAN WAIT starring Don Ameche, but that movie had nothing in common with HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (apart from being an equally superb comedy). In 1978, Warren Beatty wanted to remake HERE COMES MR. JORDAN using the original play's title with Muhammad Ali in the lead role, but Ali's schedule made this impossible, so he cast himself in the lead and transformed the central character into a football quarterback. Not as good as the original film, this actually wasn't a bad movie at all. In 2001, the film was remade again as DOWN TO EARTH, starring Chris Rock. I often love Chris Rock, but this film is not merely one of the low points of his career: it is a miserable film on every level, with the dreadful decision to make our hero a comic rather than an athlete.
Because of the remakes, the plot is familiar: Joe Pendleton, a boxer with a penchant for playing the saxophone and a shot at the title, is accidentally taken to heaven fifty years too early by an overzealous angel who wrongly assumes that he is about to die.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HERE COMES A CLASSIC COMEDY Oct. 29 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Stories which carry an audience to other worlds or realms of experience are enthusiastically received regardless of trends, fads, or the prevailing national mood. HERE COMES MR. JORDAN is a variation of the usual simple motif of a benevolent angel being sent on a mission to earth. The film begins its rather complicated and enjoyable tale by turning the tables and having a human being journey to heaven to rectify an angelic error. This delightful 1941 film is delightfully refreshing, but its real strength lies in the performance of Robert Montgomery. His sustaining sense of awe concerning all that is happening never falters nor becomes overdone, and he never allows the audience to entertain the idea that the film is a fantasy. Claude Rains performance as Mr. Jordan is immaculate, and Edward Everett Horton makes one hope that none of his descendents are still in the heavenly messenger business! Strangely enough, as clever and quick as the male actors' dialogue is, the dialogue is proportiately bland and unimaginitive for the women. James Gleason as feisty Max Corkle comes close to scene stealing, and all the male characters have solid well-written roles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Montgomery with a Bronx accent! Oct. 9 2001
By Axolotl
Format:VHS Tape
Robert Montgomery made an effective transition from debonair 30's leading man to 40's tough guy, but it took me a little while to get used to and I laughed a little at first at what sounded like an East Side Kids bronx honk imitation! Great plot and acting in a story about likable and feisty prizefighter Joe Pendelton, who is destined to die in fifty years, but is accidentally "snatched up" by an inexperienced and tart-tongued angel, played by Edward Everett Horton, with the always wonderful Claude Rains as Mr. Jordan, head honcho of the otherworld. Unfortunately Joe's body has been cremated by the time they locate it to put his spirit back in, and the three look long and hard to find a new body that will satisfy Joe's picky requirements. He reluctantly agrees to be temporarily placed in the body of just-departed Bruce Farnsworth, a wealthy and ruthless playboy recently killed by his wife and her lover, to help Bette Logan (played by a luminous Evelyn Keyes) get her unjustly jailed father out of prison, a man Farnsworth used as a fall guy. But Joe falls deeply in love with the grateful Bette, a problem since the dastardly duo who offed Farnsworth the first time are still around and plotting again to kill the man they naturally believe is still him. There is a tender poignancy in Joe's making the most of the time left in his temporary body before the inevitable happens, by attempting to prepare an understandably confused and concerned Bette about his impending death and "return" as somebody else. He tells her this in vague "supposing if" terms and not the truth because she naturally wouldn't believe it--who could? Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Not To Like Aug. 25 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Sorry, cineastes, but this review will not include terms like 'auteur', 'mise en scene' or 'decontextualized'. They wouldn't fit anyway: HERE COMES MR JORDAN's tale of a goodnatured boxer killed 'before his time' and hastily compensated with another body by heavenly emissaries, is too airy a souffle to hold up under such heavy analysis. It's pure moonshine, a near-perfect example of the kind of breezy, warm-hearted entertainment that the Hollywood studio system (here at its apex) produced on its best days. There isn't a facet of JORDAN that's not wholly artificial; plot, characters, sets - all of them are imported direct from Never-Neverland. Call it DEATH MAKES A LEFT TURN ON A RED LIGHT. Star Robert Montgomery continues to be unfairly forgotten. An actor at ease before a camera regardless of genre, he does fine work here in a role that's trickier than it seems, and is ably abetted by the always-watchable pair of Claude Rains and James Gleason. The mix of fantasy, comedy and sentiment could never gel this beautifully had a more harshly realistic tone been adopted. (For proof, see the leadfooted Beatty remake - its aloof, smirky hipness is far more archaic now than the simple timelessness of JORDAN's unashamed tall corn, still standing 60 years on.) Not that HEAVEN CAN WAIT is the only remake, official or otherwise; JORDAN's basic premise has been worked harder than a pack mule by now, but every new variation is a progressive diminution from the original. But that's what happens when you try to bottle moonshine by design, instead of catching it by chance.
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