DCP, re-rating. Being one of my favorite filmmakers of all time and having already enjoyed this film a lot, this review has led me to realize that in this more affectionate way with a fiction mostly romanticized - with a somewhat moralistic perspective - the Lubitsch of the great ironic lucid movies attenuates his formal verve to a sweet-bitter review of life, with his usual brilliant ellipses and great technicolor.
A truly beautiful film. It tells the story of an old man who is stuck in front of the gates of hell. He has to recount his life story so that the judge will decide whether the man goes down to hell or goes up to heaven. A magnificent use of Technicolor which makes it worth watching just for this. 3.5 stars.
Lubitsch's profound use of ellipsis really is like grasping at the wind of life to catch only the most important bits. Still, I get the distinct impression that Lubitsch is looking back on his own life - and his distinct gender politics, marrying love and polygamy - and hoping Satan is just a heck of a nice fella. There is a very peculiar, dark melancholy there. And I truly hope that worked out for him, really.
Watching a newly restored print tonight on the bigscreen, I realized just how funny in every way Lubitsch was. A witty, though mature, film about the ebbs and flows of marriage. A scoundrel and a woman with a heart of gold. Beautiful cinematography, expert use of space, and comedic timing - reminiscent of Jean Renoir here. Sometimes love can be our biggest downfall. Other times, it's what saves us.
Lubitsch's warmest and most elegant film. He transforms Don Ameche into an accomplished farceur. No small feat. However, he doesn't quite achieve the same miracle with Gene Tierney but she is still a beauty. As usual, the supporting players are superb, especially Signe Hasso, Laird Cregar, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette and Marjorie Main.
Heaven Can Wait is a frank, dryly satirical, and uniquely charming film from one of the great masters of early American cinema, Ernst Lubitsch... What makes Heaven Can Wait different from other films from the classical period is Lubitsch’s charming nature... There’s a certain kindness about the world that is captured on screen; it is all quite familiar and friendly and makes one feel good about the world. 85/100
"I'm not employed here. I'm not a book salesman. I took one look at you and followed you into the store. If you'd walked into a restaurant, I would have become a waiter. If you'd walked into a burning building, I would have become a fireman. If you'd walked into an elevator, I would have stopped it between two floors, and we'd have spent the rest of our lives there." Brilliant!