Boxer Joe Pendleton (Montgomery) finally has a shot at the championship, and embarks on his private plane to meet his destiny. When the plane goes down, Joe ends up in an otherworldly way-station, where it’s soon clear a mistake has been made. An inexperienced angel (Horton) has plucked Joe out of the picture too soon, and now celestial boss Mr. Jordan (Rains) must fix the mess. It turns out Joe can go back to earth, but not in his own body. When he assumes the identity of a rich industrialist just murdered by his wife, Joe must merge new persona with old — and somehow, still make it to that title match.
Why we love it
Alexander Hall's ingenious comedy/fantasy was a departure for the usually suave Montgomery (father of Elizabeth from TV's "Bewitched"), but he tackles the role of working class pugilist with humanity and heart. The laughs come fast and furious once the befuddled Joe starts occupying the body of business titan Bruce Farnsworth, stunning his would-be killers and servants with a new-found passion for exercise and fair play. (This same story was re-made to fine effect by Warren Beatty's "Heaven Can Wait" in 1978.)