When discussing any Fox Technicolor film from the nitrate era, expectations are to lowered – measurably.
Extant film elements allow the films to appear never as they did, but rather, anywhere from impermissible to nice, while never able to hit anywhere near perfection.
Ernst Lubitsch’s 1943 Heaven Can Wait is fortunately one of those productions that hits the high side of the spectrum, which is fortunate, as it’s one of the studio’s most important three-strip productions.
It arrives via The Criterion Collection.
Don Ameche is one of his best roles, along with the incomparable Gene Tierney, lead a stellar cast of Fox contract players, in a production that stands the test of time – in spades.
Screenplay by Samson Raphelson.
Score by Alfred Newman.
Photographed by Edward Cronjager.
Short of screening an original print, this is as close to the film as one might get, and while it’s not close enough, it allows viewers to see through the haze of poor elements, and get a very decent idea of what once was a magnificent Technicolor production.
Thanks to Fox, The Academy and The Film Foundation for their labor and support in bringing Heaven Can Wait back to a far more than acceptable standard.
Image – 3.5
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely
- Feb 8, 1999
- Real Name
- Robert Harris
None of the "them" have been with the company for decades.I am grateful that Fox is able to inch closer to their Technicolor glory in Blu-ray transfers like this, My Gal Sal, Blood and Sand, Leave Her to Heaven, but I guess I can never quite forgive them for being SO shortsighted.
- Jan 28, 2010
- Real Name
I'm sure you saw the 35mm nitrate Tech print shown at MoMA. Now THAT was an unforgettable experience.This is one of my favorite films. So glad to hear it's on the high side of acceptable. The DVD was difficult to watch, although the performances are so knowing and charming, that one did get pulled in. Apparently, this was D.W. Griffith's favorite color film.
A little surprised to learn that the 1978 Warren Beatty Heaven Can Wait film is not a remake (except in name only) of this film.
The 1978 movie is however, a remake of the 1941 classic Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941). Both films have my interest.
By the way, I just ordered the Blu of The Importance of Being Earnest from Amazon.uk!
- Apr 1, 2004
- Dec 13, 2006
- Real Name
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Much quoted and eternally true. She may be the most beautiful woman to you, but not so to many others whose tastes are different.Has there ever been anyone more beautiful that Gene Tierney? And seeing her at her zenith in Technicolor is worth the purchase.