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Heaven Can Wait is a 1943 American comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch and stars Gene Tierney and Don Ameche. The screenplay was written by Samson Raphaelson, based on the play Birthday by Leslie Bush-Fekete. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography - Color.
The film follows Henry van Cleve (Ameche), a man hoping to prove he deserves a place in hell by recounting his life story to the Devil at the reception of hell. Henry talks of his life, in which he was the spoiled only child of an upper class family. For much of his youth, including childhood, he spent his time chasing various women. The day before his 25th birthday, he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Martha Strabels (Tierney). Though she is engaged to his obnoxious cousin, Henry is able persuade her to elope with him. The rest of their marriage chronicles both and happiness and difficulty they face in staying together.
Not to be confused with the 1978 movie of the same name, a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan.
Tropes associated with this work:
- Casanova: Henry. Leads to problems later on when he's married to Martha.
- Cool Old Guy: Henry's grandfather.
- Framing Device: Henry telling the Devil his story.
- Gorgeous Period Dress
- Happy Ending: The Devil says that Henry doesn't really belong in Hell and he should try "that other place."
- Hellevator: Only told to go the other way.
- Hospital Hottie: The blonde night nurse who takes care of Henry before he dies.
- Ladykiller in Love: Henry for Martha.
- Love At First Sight: Henry and Martha. They stay together, but their marriage isn't perfect considering Henry's habit of getting around with the ladies.
- Precocious Crush: The happens to a young Henry with his French tutor/nanny.
- Pretty in Mink: Martha has a coat trimmed with gray fur, and a matching hat and muff.
- Satan: Interviews Henry to see if he really deserves to be let into Hell.
- Self-Inflicted Hell
- Together in Death: It's implied that Martha might be waiting for Henry in Heaven.
- Your Cheating Heart: Martha almost leaves Henry because of his Casanova behavior.