Heaven Can Wait

USA | 1943 | 112 minutes | Ernst Lubitsch

Newly restored by the Film Foundation, Ernst Lubitsch's enchanting and witty Technicolor comedy opens in the art-deco waiting room of Hell, where a recently deceased lothario (Don Ameche) recounts his life and misdeeds to a bemused Satan.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

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"I can safely say that my whole life was one continuous misdemeanor," Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche) says as he strolls into Satan's office at the gates of hell, certain that a lifetime of marital indiscretion has doomed him to an eternity of hellfire and brimstone. Ernst Lubitsch was one of the pioneers of classic Hollywood comedies, and the delightfully indelicate Heaven Can Wait is one of his most popular and beloved films. The film follows Henry's efforts to convince Satan that he belongs in hell, recounting his 70 years of careless seduction and blissful ignorance of the world at large. One part black comedy, one part continental comedy of manners, the film finds Lubitsch at his most deliciously wicked, rejecting America's puritanical impulses and assuring us that a little light infidelity is the foundation of any happy marriage. Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director in 1944, Heaven Can Wait is being presented in a stunning new restoration from 20th Century Fox, the Academy Film Archive, and The Film Foundation, and features classic performances from Don Ameche, Gene Tierney, and Laird Cregar.

Director Biography
Celebrated director Ernst Lubitsch was born in Berlin in 1892. He began his career in Germany as an actor, eventually lending his talents to directing. Heaven Can Wait highlights his impeccable eye for humor, grace, and romance, which has influenced many directors around the world.

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  • Director: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Principal Cast: Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn, Marjorie Main
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1943
  • Running Time: 112 minutes
  • Producer: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Screenplay: Samson Raphaelson
  • Cinematographers: Edward Cronjager
  • Editors: Dorothy Spencer, James Basevi, Leland Fuller
  • Music: Alfred Newman
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Cluny Brown (1946); A Royal Scandal (1945); That Uncertain Feeling (1941); The Shop Around the Corner (1940); Ninotchka (1939); The Merry Widow (1934); Design for Living (1933); Trouble in Paradise (1932); One Hour With You (1932); The Smiling Lieutenant (1931); Monte Carlo (1930); The Love Parade (1929); Eternal Love (1929); The Patriot (1928); Lady Windermere’s Fan (1925); Anna Boleyn (1920); The Doll (1919); The Oyster Princess (1919)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: 20th Century Fox