Heaven Can Wait



Ernst Lubitsch’s Heaven Can Wait (1943) is a mindful comedy piece. The film focuses on Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche), an aged philanderer who died. Instead of passing on, either to Heaven or Hell, he ends up narrating his story to the debauched satan who keeps no resistance to descent souls to hell. Henry's character is portrayed as a Charming yet spoiled manipulative individual . The film starts around his mother to his nurse, to a little girl he knew, to the family’s French maid and his wife. Sex while not explicit but leaves room for the audience to read between the lines. The blur sexual tension between the french maid and hints as a hiccup or, as we later see, a sneeze.

The good portion of the movie centers on the relationship between Henry and Martha Strabel (Gene Tierney). The comical content diluted a quite stressful complex situation of Henry and Martha's affair and how they ran away and eloped. While the rest of the family is appalled, Henry’s grandfather Hugo (Charles Coburn) supports them, as he always does, sending money for their honeymoon.

Their marriage has its ups and downs, separations and reunions, but they love each other throughout. Soon after Martha's death, Henry loses interest in his life. Henry is not the same without Martha. Years later, Henry's tale comes to end as he dies with the sight of a young nurse. Henry is willingly expected to go to Hell, but with his charismatic personality and review of his life resulted in satan to grant his entrance in heaven.

This movie was made in 1943 which was the start of World War II and so the light comedy was good for the audience at that time. It was a black and white movie that was later revised and produced in color. Women had a little bit of liberation, however, the women in this movie are objectified.

Overall the movie was entertaining!

The movie is attached via youtube .


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