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5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
A surprisingly poignant and delightful movie, with rich sets and great acting. A good movie to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Published 7 months ago by Cattieluver

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3.0 out of 5 stars Lubitch's film makes adultery acceptable and even cute!
Heaven Can Wait can be viewed as the director's attempt to introduce a "Lubitch touch" of sophisticated European sexual morality and attitude into the uptight moral structure that ruled Hollywood films in the 1940s. Lubitch came from a world where sexual relationships were based on "laisons dangereux," games, and loose sensual connections which...
Published on June 30 1999 by taxi8C40@aol.com opr Marty


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5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, Sept. 15 2013
By 
Cattieluver (Ottawa, Ontario) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heaven Can Wait (DVD)
A surprisingly poignant and delightful movie, with rich sets and great acting. A good movie to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Henry Van Cleve's women, July 23 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Heaven Can Wait (DVD)
Well it is that time Henry (Don Ameche) has finally kicked the bucket. He finds himself in the antechamber of the place down there. This has been expected so Henry who makes no excuses clarifies his complex womanizing life. The interrogator "His Excellency" (Laird Cregar) listens thoughtfully. We see examples of women that knew him and where they go. We also see the flashback reactions of his friends, relatives, and wife (Gene Tierney.)

So was the outcome pre-determined?
Will Henry meat the inevitable?
How does "His Excellency" view the events?

-----------------------------------------
It is now time to pick this up on Criterion. The extras add significantly to the story.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lubitch's film makes adultery acceptable and even cute!, June 30 1999
Heaven Can Wait can be viewed as the director's attempt to introduce a "Lubitch touch" of sophisticated European sexual morality and attitude into the uptight moral structure that ruled Hollywood films in the 1940s. Lubitch came from a world where sexual relationships were based on "laisons dangereux," games, and loose sensual connections which evoke the court romances of Versailles in the reign of Louis IV. Armed with this attitude, Lubitch took on this film with a passion because here was material that was truly his cup of tea--a handsome, sophisticated gentleman who can't say No to the ladies from his earliest teenage years to his old age. In fact, Henry van Cleve is clearly a philanderer, a womanizer and a cheat! His wife realizes this early in their marriage and wants a divorce, but is convinced by her sweet-talking husband to "stand by her man." In fact Mrs. van Cleve is well aware of his habits and accepts them with a quiet and chuckling acceptance--and continues to do so until she dies conveniently off-stage. Strangely, she feels that her husband is finally hers when she notices he has a "little tummy." Of course, Mr. V continues his lecherous ways until the very moment of his demise which the audience is led to believe was brought on by the pretty blonde nurse who enters his sick room. Lubitch's moral position is strange indeed for a 40s Hollywood film. Through the character of the Excellency, he literally excuses or absolves the husband from his marital vow to stay true to his wife. He accomplishes this by having the husband continually announce his undying love for his spouse--and having the wife believe it!.
Viewed from one angle, Lubitch seems to be saying that in the end it is the love of husband and wife that really counts. But I see it rather as Lubitch's sophisticated European approach to sex where "Love (all Love) Conquers All."
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Film Has Style But Little Substance, Nov. 5 2001
By 
"tierneyfan" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
What was the point of the film? That adultery is forgivable and one can actually end up in heaven? The film lacks the wit of earlier Lubitsch films such as "Shop Around the Corner". It's way too talky and lacks action. For example, viewers would've sympathized with Martha the scorned wife more had the film shown her witnessing her husband's infidelity. Don Ameche is competent as the lead but lacks the spark and roguish charm the role requires. I found it hard to believe women would find him irresistable and that his wife would want to stay married to him. This film could've eliminated several scenes not quite pertinent to its story, which dilutes the impact of the storyline. Don't buy this film. Rent it first.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FORTIES LUBITSCH, May 16 2000
I finally viewed this film after meaning to for years and I was a little disappointed. I felt that it contained passable but uninspired performances from the leads, and the Technicolor itself seemed gaudy. The supporting cast seemed more effective with Laird Cregar as Lucifer himself (he was great) plus the hilarious Marjorie Main and gruff Eugene Pallette as Gene's parents. I think that it was my subconscious comparing this work with the Lubitsch gems of the thirties. By 1943, his touch seemed a little outdated, therefore this little flick was just a tad disappointing (to me anyway).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Although not great, still worth seeing, July 15 2002
By 
magellan (Santa Clara, CA) - See all my reviews
Don Ameche stars as a turn of the century playboy who still has a good heart, and so the devil isn't convinced he belongs in Hell. He gets to tell his life story, which is recounted in the film, to see whether he really belongs in Satan's Realm after all.
Although Ameche and Tierney have the starring roles here, Charles Coburn as the puckish and witty Grandpa steals many of the scenes. And Laird Cregar is superb as the Devil, a role he underplays with irony, wit, and charm, and he seems more like a bemused business executive rather than the Prince of Darkness himself. I would go so far as to say his supporting-role performance is actually the best part of the movie.
A brief note on Cregar, which I turned from up the IMDB database. Can you believe he was only 26 or 27 when he played this role? He looks and acts like a suave, sophisticated, man in his 40's! Unfortunately Cregar died of complications from a crash diet. He had wanted to play leading-man roles, but when the 6' 3" tall but husky Cregar decided to lose weight rapidly, he developed heart complications from the severe diet, and he died at only age 28--a great loss.
Although Ameche is good in the role, I think it required a little more intensity and energy, and perhaps even roguishness, than Ameche displayed, but he still comes off as a basically good human being, despite his philandering ways with women--who we really don't get to see much of anyway in the film--so he doesn't seem like that successful a playboy, either. And the goodness part is important, since that's why the Devil thinks he may have come to Hell by mistake.
Last but not least, the period sets are lavishly realized and certainly add to the overall ambience of the movie. And there are some funny scenes where the overly polite, New York upper- crust society of Ameche's family is contrasted with Tierney's crustier, but more down-to-earth and plain-speaking, parents from Kansas City.
In the end, the Devil decides in Ameche's favor. When Ameche steps into the elevator connecting Heaven and Hell, he turns to Cregar and says expectantly, "Down?" And Laird Cregar has the last scene-stealing word, as he manages to seem both playful and ironic as he pronounces his fateful decision and says, No--up!"
Overall, although not great, still a good movie. Big Steve says go see it (or in this case, rent it or buy it), and don't Bogart the popcorn.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Lubitsch's Best, Oct. 29 2000
By 
D.A. (Ottawa, Canada) - See all my reviews
Ernst Lubitsch's "Heaven Can Wait" - written by Lubitsch's long time collaborator Samson Raphaelson - is, quite simply, one of the sublime experiences of classic Hollywood cinema. Easily one of the Lubitsch's greatest accomplishements. As expected of a Lubitsch classic, "Heaven Can Wait" is a sheer delight full of grace, glory, and gaiety. Not to mention, every shot, every gesture, and every movement is close to perfection. Rarely has a classic used the Technicolor in such a stunningly beautiful manner. And what a terrific cast! Don Ameche, Gene Tierney, Charles Coburn, Marjorie Main, Eugene Pallette, and Spring Byington are nothing short of brilliance. Keep your prejudices to yourself - this is a film that needs to be judged in its own terms.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure marvel, Aug. 22 2000
Viewed it 5 times this month : a real marvel to me. I am sorry I don't master english enough to write a comment making justice to my feelings and thoughts. The main point is that every situation is dealt with the way real humanity would be in dreams. Fantasyland maybe, but such a pleasure ! And also, such fine acting and conducting... Definitely love it. Along with Night of a Hunter and Rio Bravo, this is my favourite english speaking movie.
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Heaven Can Wait
Heaven Can Wait by Ernst Lubitsch (DVD - 2005)
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