Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 
Buy New

or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details

or
 
   
More Buying Choices
newbury_comics Add to Cart
$19.99  & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Amazon.com Add to Cart
$21.41  & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Fulfillment Express US Add to Cart
$24.04  & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Have one to sell? Sell yours here

Heaven Can Wait (The Criterion Collection) (1943)

Gene Tierney , Don Ameche , Ernst Lubitsch  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.95
Price: $19.59 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
You Save: $10.36 (35%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 2 left in stock.
Sold by rightpricedvd and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Monday, April 21? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Watch Instantly with Rent Buy
Heaven Can Wait   $2.99 $6.99

Other Formats & Versions

Amazon Price New from Used from
DVD 1-Disc Version $19.59  

Explore The Criterion Store

TV Deal of the Week
Interested in learning more about Criterion titles or the Criterion brand? Visit the Criterion Store to browse pre-orders, new releases, and best sellers. Shop now

Frequently Bought Together

Heaven Can Wait (The Criterion Collection) + Trouble in Paradise (The Criterion Collection) + Design for Living (Criterion Collection)
Price for all three: $69.04

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn, Marjorie Main, Laird Cregar
  • Directors: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Writers: Leslie Bush-Fekete, Samson Raphaelson
  • Producers: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00092ZLEE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,927 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Heaven Can Wait (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New video conversation between film critics Molly Haskell and Andrew Sarris
  • Creativity with Bill Moyers: A Portrait of Samson Raphaelson (1982), a 30-minute program exploring the screenwriter's life and career
  • Audio seminar with Raphaelson and film critic Richard Corliss recorded at the Museum of Modern Art in 1977
  • Lubitsche home piano recordings
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A new essay by film scholar William Paul

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The last masterwork by Ernst Lubitsch--whose other gems include Trouble in Paradise, Lady Windermere's Fan, Ninotchka, and The Shop Around the Corner--Heaven Can Wait was nominated for best picture and director Oscars in its day but largely neglected thereafter. Partly it's a matter of no one expecting a 1943 Fox movie featuring Don Ameche, the star of so many bland Technicolor musicals at that studio, to be a comedy of rare loveliness. Also, there's the confusion engendered by the existence of another film with the same title: the 1978 Warren Beatty movie that was the remake of a classic '40s comedy-fantasy--but Here Comes Mr. Jordan, not Heaven Can Wait. It's high time to get our priorities straight.

Following his demise, the aristocratic Henry Van Cleve (Ameche), having no hope of Paradise, betakes himself "where all his life so many people had told him to go." Hell, or at least its antechamber, would appear to be a luxury hotel in neoclassical mode, and--this is a Lubitsch movie, after all--His Satanic Excellency (Laird Cregar) is a perfect gentleman and the most gracious of hosts. To establish his credentials for spending eternity there, Henry begins to narrate a life which, though lacking any notable crimes, "has been one continuous misdemeanor."

Centered in a Fifth Avenue mansion left over from 19th-century New York, the film is Lubitsch and writing partner Samson Raphaelson's valentine to "an age that has vanished, when it was possible to live for the charm of living." Spanning more than half a century, it chronicles the high points of Henry's life so delicately that--in a variation on the strategies of Lubitsch-Raphaelson's risque '30s classics--it leaves some of them entirely offscreen, their emotional impact measured by what the characters feel and say about them afterward. We'll leave it to you to find out what they are. Suffice it to say that Ameche and Gene Tierney--as Martha, the love of Henry's life--give performances far subtler than anything else in their Fox contract-player careers, and there are sublime opportunities for those peerless character actors Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette, and Marjorie Main. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

Newly deceased playboy Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche) presents himself to the outer offices of Hades where he asks a bemused Satan for permission to enter the gates of Hell. Though the Devil doubts Henry's sins will qualify him for eternal damnation, Henry proceeds to recount a lifetime spent wooing and pursuing women. Nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture and Director, Heaven Can Wait is an enduring classic that showcases director Ernst Lubitsch's trademark blend of wit, urbanity, and grace.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A passport to Hell is not issued on generalities." April 26, 2005
By Dave
Format:DVD
At last, this timeless romantic comedy has gotten the Criterion "treatment" and is being released on dvd. Don Ameche stars as Henry Van Cleve, an over-the-hill former playboy who has died and gone to Hell. But Satan, or "His Excellency" (Laird Cregar, giving one of his very best performances!) isn't convinced that Van Cleeve belongs there, so Henry tells him the story of his life (through flashbacks of course).

Growing up a Van Cleeve wasn't easy, and young Henry had no one to turn to for help (both his parents are somewhat out of touch with reality!) except his wild grandfather (Charles Coburn), who is obviously not a very good role model for Henry. As Henry becomes a man, he starts pursuing young and beautiful women, and finally meets a respectable young lady, Martha (Gene Tierney). The problem is that Martha is already engaged to a relative of Henry's! But, he wins her over and they elope and begin their life together.

After ten years of marriage, Martha walks out on Henry because of his flirtations with other women. With the help of his granfather, Henry finally convinces her to come back to him, and somehow they manage to stay married. Eventually, in an ironic twist of fate, middle-aged Henry finds his son facing the same problem with women (he can't stop chasing them!) that he suffered with for decades. Henry and Martha's bond together gets only closer as they grow older together, but sadly death seperates them...but only temporarily. Needless to say, after hearing the story of Henry's life, His Excellency knows that Van Cleeve belongs with Martha in Heaven!

This wonderful Ernst Lubitsch film from 1943 is a bold-for-its-time look at marriage and infidelity, and the fast-paced script is packed with witty dialogue.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"As Henry Van Cleve's soul passed over The Great Divide, he realized that it was extremely unlikely that his next stop could be Heaven. And so, philosophically, he presented himself where innumerable people had so often told him to go."

Henry (Don Ameche) is greeted courteously by His Excellency (Laird Cregar). "I presume your funeral was satisfactory?" the devil asks. "Well...there was a lot of crying," Henry says, "so I believe everybody had a good time." His Excellency explains that while he will consider Henry's request, there must be good reasons to avoid going Up There. "If you meet our requirements, we'll be only too glad to accommodate you. Would you be kind enough to mention, for instance, some outstanding crime you've committed " "Crime...crime...I'm afraid I can't think of any," Henry says. "But I can safely say my whole life was one continuous misdemeanor."

Heaven Can Wait is the witty, nostalgic, gentle and surprisingly thoughtful tale of Henry Van Cleve, philanderer, wealthy lay-about and a man far from noble. Under Ernst Lubitsch's direction and with Samson Raphaelson's screenplay, Heaven Can Wait is, as critic Andrew Sarris says, "a hidden masterpiece."

His Excellency is intrigued and asks Henry to tell him his story. Henry believes that he can do this only through the women in his life, and, in one linear flashback, he does, starting as a babe in a bassinet. Henry loves women, he loves the pursuit, he loves the pleasures of the chase, the theater, the champagne, the supper clubs. He's spoiled, he's optimistic, he's endlessly inventive in finding ways out of being discovered. He may be innocently selfish, but it's in an almost childlike way.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly made, brilliant script April 14, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was Don Ameche's finest film. For once, he had a first rate director and script and a chance to take the centre stage in a comedy. He plays a lifelong flirt who, in spite of his love for his wife, can't help himself when he encounters a pretty woman. Whether it be due to the Production Code or otherwise, his actions are very genteel and neither the audience nor his wife take him very seriously but his charm and humour create a warm and funny character.

All the other actors shine in their roles. Gene Tierney is subtle, versatile and graceful as Ameche's wife. It is a mystery to me why she is sometimes singled out as mediocre. She has some very complex dialogue which she delivers faultlessly, her timing is excellent and she ages very convincingly. Charles Coburn as grandpa has the best lines, Signe Hasso as a French maid steals every scene in which she appears and Eugene Pallete as Tierney's father-in-law, Mr Strable, is very funny. There is a memorable scene between Pallette and harridan wife Marjorie Main at their breakfast table which ranks as one of the funniest scenes ever. The great Laird Cregar creates a superbly ambiguous and attractive devil and lastly, special mention of Allyn Joslyn as cousin Albert. Watch his straight back and smug grins. This is brilliant comic acting.

Two criticisms - the film sags after the Gene Tierney character dies and the 1940s styled lacquered cuties who appear make us long for Tierney's grace and poise. Samson Raphaelson, who wrote the film, comments on how the film loses momentum at this point in his interviews. Finally,the wig which Tierney wears as a middle aged woman is just plain weird.

The DVD offers a perfect print with glorious Fox technicolour, overstuffed sets and the usual high standard of photography.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not on board with the glowing reviews for this one.
I could tell very quickly that this was based on a play. The scenery and costumes were very, very stage-y... as were the performances. Read more
Published 3 days ago by deborah
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite version...
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the more modern version; it's just this is my FAVORITE VERSION ! Also Don Ameche & Gene Tierney are So Good ( & she's Gorgeous, too) !!! Try it !
Published 1 month ago by StatAppleAnnie
5.0 out of 5 stars This Movie is Like Candy.
"You eat candy only for the beautiful taste, and this is enough reason to eat candy." -- Mademoiselle

Tierney in her prime, Ameche at his most charming, and the Lubitsch... Read more
Published 2 months ago by E. MCDONOUGH
5.0 out of 5 stars Under-recognized classic
Great performances! Witty dialogue! Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, and Charles Coburn are gems. This is what is meant by the Lubtisch touch.
Published 3 months ago by Arnold A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the original Heaven can wait
This was really a Great movie and watch again cant wait it comes to prime again will sure watch again.
Published 3 months ago by YAHRAZ777
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven Can Wait
I bought this as a Christmas present. I can't wait for my stepmom to open it. It is one of her favorite movies.
Published 3 months ago by bailey417
5.0 out of 5 stars Ameche and Tierney
A delightful film. I didn't realize how good an actor Don Ameche was until I saw this film. Gene Tierney is a work of art. There could be no greater devil than Laird Cregar. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Buffalo Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film starring Don Ameche and Gene Tierney
I fell in love with Don Ameche when I was a little girl. This film is an absolute delight. I also adore Gene Tierney and collect her films. Read more
Published 5 months ago by G. N. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic
Was so wonderful to find and see again. Interesting to view from a modern perspective. Forgot how much I loved Martha! Lol
Published 5 months ago by Mark A. Rothberg
5.0 out of 5 stars A comedy of rare loveliness
I normally prefer to write my own reviews but this, from the Amazon review, is right on the money:

"The last masterwork by Ernst Lubitsch -- whose other gems include... Read more
Published 7 months ago by William Erickson
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0x9dd72e70)

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 



Look for Similar Items by Category

rightpricedvd Privacy Statement rightpricedvd Shipping Information rightpricedvd Returns & Exchanges