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Heaven Can Wait (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Deceased turn-of-the-century playboy Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche) presents himself to the outer offices of Hades, where he asks a bemused Satan for permission to enter through the gates of hell. Though the devil doubts that Henry’s sins qualify him for eternal damnation, Henry proceeds to recount a lifetime of wooing and pursuing women, his long, happy marriage to Martha (Gene Tierney) notwithstanding. Ernst Lubitsch’s Heaven Can Wait, nominated for Academy Awards for best picture and director, is an enduring classic that showcases his trademark blend of wit, urbanity, and grace.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 4K digital restoration by Twentieth Century Fox and the Academy Film Archive in collaboration with The Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Conversation from 2005 between film critics Molly Haskell and Andrew Sarris
• Creativity with Bill Moyers: A Portrait of Samson Raphaelson (1982), a thirty-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
• Home recordings of director Ernst Lubitsch playing the piano
• PLUS: An essay by film scholar William Paul
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 6.8 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Director : Ernst Lubitsch
- Media Format : NTSC, Subtitled
- Run time : 1 hour and 52 minutes
- Release date : August 21, 2018
- Actors : Don Ameche;Gene Tierney
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : Criterion Collection
- ASIN : B07D3Q9F2Q
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,861 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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. The extras focus mainly on the director Ernst Lubitsch and the writer Samson Raphaelson. First off is a discussion of the film by 2 critics. While they are able to provide some interesting background information, they tend to interrupt each other and come across as eager fans rather than commentators. The effect was irritating. Molly Haskell, in particular, is pretentious, always looking for a feminist angle if possible.
The interviews with Samson Raphaelson are unusual. One of the interviews is really a lecture to film students so you have to concentrate hard to follow his train of thought. His comments are at their best when he dismisses loaded questions about the motivation of Lubitsch and himself e.g. Lubitsch's use of doors. As Raphaelson says, if an actor leaves a set, it is 99% likely to be through a door - end of discussion!
There is also a charming monologue from Lubitsch's daughter about growing up in a house full of music. This is followed by some wonderful photos from her personal albums with some accompanying tunes played by Lubitsch himself on the piano. The music is upbeat and in combination with the photos, you get a very personal insight into their lives. She has also provided a copy of the film's original pressbook which is dry and ironic in the best Lubitsch sense.
Overall, this is another excellent comprehensive Criterion package which would have been improved by a good commentary to replace that dumb conversation between the film critics.
* HEAVEN CAN WAIT [both versions]
* HERE COMES Mr. JORDAN.
IF you believe in The After-Life, you'll love ALL of these classic-flix!
Oh! Try DEFENDING YOUR LIFE AS WELL.
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Im very disappointed as it wasn't cheap and now Ive got to go to all the effort of returning it. A huge pain in the A.
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