Best Movies by Farr
Heaven Can Wait Poster
Released Runtime Category
1943 112 Comedy, Romance, The Criterion Collection
Director Language
Ernst Lubitsch English
Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Laird Cregar, Charles Coburn

Heaven Can Wait

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What's it About

On the day of his death, assured that he'll be rebuffed in Paradise, aristocratic New Yorker Henry Van Cleve (Ameche) pays a visit to His Excellency (Cregar), a highly courteous Lucifer who agrees to listen to Van Cleve's life story and determine whether he's right for Hell — a place people had often "told him to go." Thus begins this playboy's tale of lifelong philandering, and the effect it had on his lovely wife Martha (Tierney), a woman he truly adored at first sight. 

Why we love it

A deft, subtly brilliant romantic comedy by the great Ernst Lubitsch, "Heaven" examines a privileged man whose boyish love of courtship colors his devotion to his wife, making his life "one continuous misdemeanor." Penned by the gifted Samson Raphaelson and shot in lavish Technicolor, "Heaven" marries urbane wit and bittersweet themes about youth and aging, folly and regret. Ameche and Tierney make a handsome, appealing pair from their first meeting in a bookshop, while Coburn (as scampish Grandpa Hugo) and Allyn Joslyn (as Henry's strait-laced cousin Albert) round out a fabulous supporting cast. Delicate, charming, and almost effortlessly moving, don't wait for this "Heaven."

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"