- Actors: Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains, Rita Johnson, Edward Everett Horton
- Directors: Alexander Hall
- Producers: Everett Riskin
- Format: Subtitled, NTSC
- Language: English
- Subtitles: Portuguese, English, Japanese
- Dubbed: French
- Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Canadian Home Video Rating : General Audience (G)
- Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Release Date: Feb. 6 2007
- Run Time: 94 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000L2127M
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,170 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
Here Comes Mr. Jordan Bilingual
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When a boxer (Robert Montgomery) is accidentally called to Heaven 50 years before his time, it's upto celestial executive extraordinaire Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains) to straighten out the matter. When Columbia Pictures' financial advisors read the screenplay for the fantasy comedy HERE COMES MR. JORDAN, they had their doubts as to its box-office potential. Screenwriter Sidney Buchman went directly to studio president Harry Cohn in an effort to convince him to make the film. Cohn liked the script's uniqueness and, saying that all his bankers wanted was "what sold last year," told Buchman he'd make the picture. To play the saxophone-playing boxer Joe Pendelton, Cohn decided to borrow Robert Montgomery from MGM. Although Mongomery had some initial doubts about his part, he delivered what was to become an Oscar -nominated performance. The film, which received a total of seven 1941 nominations, including Best Picture, won two (Best Motion Picture Story, Best Screenplay). HERE COMES MR. JORDAN
Top Customer Reviews
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. The angel, Messenger 7013 (played marvelously by the inimitable Edward Everett Horton), brings Joe to his supervisor, Mr. Jordan (played magnificently by the ultra-suave and civilized Claude Rains). It is decided to provide Joe with a new body, where upon he tries in his new millionaire's body to get back into shape ("in the pink") in order to get a new shot at the championship. The only trouble is that the millionaire's wife and lover want to kill him so they can get his money and each other. Rounding out a great cast is Evelyn Keyes as the girlfriend of Joe (and the love interest of his subsequent incarnations) and James Gleason, Joe's trainer, who nearly steals ever scene he is in. The scene where Joe, in his new body, hires Gleason and then tries to convince him of his real identity, is just hysterical.
More people need to see this film. It remains one of the finer comedies made immediately before the onset of WW II, and is vastly better than the two films based upon it. It deserves far more attention than it has, in recent years, received.
The story finds Pendleton as an up and coming prize fighter,who also happens to be a flyer.Against his managers suggestion(Gleason),Pendleton flies to NYC for his up coming bout.On the way his plane crashes and the next thing Joe knows is he is walking beside Horton(an angel) in the clouds.They walk until they meet Mr.Jordan(Rains),the man in charge.The two are at first unable to persuade Joe he is really dead.Eventually Rains hits home to Joe, but when the list for new arrivals is checked there is no mark in it for Joe at all.It seems Horton pulled Joe out before the plane crash.Big mistake.Rains orders Horton to take Joe back and put him back into his body.Off the two go but unfortunately his body has been removed from the crash site and cremated! Back the two go to Mr.Jordan who is now quite perturbed and decides he must take on this foul up personally.
Both Rains and Montgomery comb the Earth for a suitable host but none is found, until they reach the home of a rich business man in NYC known as Farnsworth. It seems his business dealings aren't exactly on the up and up and Joe is told Farnsworth is about to be murdered(by his wife and male secretary,who are in love).Joe and Jordan are about to leave when Keyes walks in wanting to speak (to a now dead)Farnsworth.Joe is instantly smitten.Farnsworth's wife asks the butler to summon his employer.This he does.In the time it takes the butler to arrive and knock on the bathroom door,Joe makes his mind up to temporarily take over Farnsworth's body in order to help out Keyes.When Joe/Farnsworth arrives downstairs to talk to Keyes,his "wife" faints dead away.The two discuss her father who has been swindled,set up and arrested by Farnsworth's own company.As this is Joe's first major conversation in his new host it doesn't go as planned, and she walks out.However Joe vows to help her,and he also vows to get Farnsworth into fighting shape in order to go back into the ring to get his shot at the title.
Next day is a busy one.First,,he tells his secretary he is going to pay back all the money he has taken from investors(about $5 million!) to save Keye's father.It is a stormy meeting he ends up having with his stockholders later.Secondly, he summons his old manager Max(Gleason).Somehow Joe/Farnsworth manages to convince him that he is really Joe.The clincher is when he plays his saxophone,the one Max himself gave him.Joe writes Max a $25,000 cheque to pay to get a fight arranged between himself and the champ.Everything is going smoothly until he receives a visit first from Horton then Mr.Jordan.It seems he can no longer stay in the body.Joe implores him to stay after all he's done to straighten things out and all the preparation he has done for the fight.When Mr.Jordan will not be swayed he leaves the room,then a shot rings out.Montgomery stumbles back in and dies on the floor.
The hunt for another body starts again.Just as Joe arrives with Mr.Jordan to see the fight he should have been in, he remembers his sax that he left on the piano back at Farnsworth's place.They return to retrieve it only to find a policeman interrogating the entire Farnsworth household,Keyes and Max.They listen in for a bit .When Joe wills Max to turn the fight on on the radio,they hear the contender,a guy by the name of Murdoch,suddenly go down for no reason.It seems he had been shot by someone who saw he wasn't throwing the fight the way Murdoch said he would.Mr.Jordan tells Joe that he could become Murdoch,finish the fight and become the new champ;the way it was ordained to be.Joe agrees to step in and he ends up winning the fight and becoming champ.After the fight as Joe/Murdoch is taking a shower Mr.Jordan tells Joe(he cannot hear it)that he is now Murdoch and he will now live out the rest of his life as it was meant to be,with no more memories of his previous life.
Out of the shower Max comes in to see Murdoch,but he soon sees that Joe is gone.However Murdoch fires his crooked manager and hires Max instead.Max asks if the sax is his,and hesitantly he says yes,but asks Max to look after it for him.On the way out of the arena he bumps into Keyes.The two have a quiet conversation and looking into each others eyes know there is a connection there somehow.They walk to a cafe Murdoch frequents and,presumably,the rest of their lives together.
This film is a winner through and through.It is one of those feel good films and typical of what 40s Hollywood was capable of when they were firing on all cylinders.The film won two Academy awards in the screenplay and writing departments.Montgomery wasn't exactly fighter fit,even by 40s standards,however his personality soon wins you over.He is ably supported by Rains and Keyes and also by two superb character actors Horton and Gleason.
Technically speaking the film is in full screen mode and is generally clear and crisp but does have some graininess.This is the only movie on DVD I own(and I own a LOT) that does not have any scene selection on it.When the DVD starts you are taken to a screen menu that gives you a subtitle choice and"play"...that is it.A first.
All in all a wonderful film that will leave you with a smile and maybe a tear on your face at the end.The film is fit for any age of viewer and crosses a myriad of religious viewpoints without treading on any.Highly recommended.