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
Short of screening an original print, this is as close to the film as one might get