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Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 21 August 1941 (USA)
Trailer
1:38 | Trailer
Boxer Joe Pendleton dies 50 years too soon due to a heavenly mistake, and is given a new life as a millionaire playboy.

Director:

Alexander Hall

Writers:

Sidney Buchman (screen play), Seton I. Miller (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Montgomery ... Joe Pendleton
Evelyn Keyes ... Bette Logan
Claude Rains ... Mr. Jordan
Rita Johnson ... Julia Farnsworth
Edward Everett Horton ... Messenger 7013
James Gleason ... Max Corkle
John Emery ... Tony Abbott
Donald MacBride ... Inspector Williams
Don Costello ... Lefty
Halliwell Hobbes ... Sisk
Benny Rubin ... Bugs
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Storyline

Boxer Joe Pendleton, flying to his next fight, crashes...because a Heavenly Messenger, new on the job, snatched Joe's spirit prematurely from his body. Before the matter can be rectified, Joe's body is cremated; so the celestial Mr. Jordan grants him the use of the body of wealthy Bruce Farnsworth, who's just been murdered by his wife. Joe tries to remake Farnsworth's unworthy life in his own clean-cut image, but then falls in love; and what about that murderous wife? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A picture different from anything ever screened before!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heaven Can Wait See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Gleason was mainly brought on board to polish the dialogue. Gleason had a knack for authentic sounding vernacular language but also happened to be a great actor. See more »

Goofs

At the opening of the montage of newspaper headlines announcing Farnsworth buying back the stock, stock footage from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is used, with a headline declaring "SMITH LIES, SAYS SENATE". See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Mr. Jordan: So long, champ.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Road to Morocco (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

The Last Rose of Summer
(1808) (uncredited)
Music: traditional Irish melodies
Played often on saxophone by Robert Montgomery (probably dubbed)
Played also in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The soul lives on
29 December 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Here Comes Mr. Jordan" stars Robert Montgomery as Joe Pendleton, a prize fighter who, hurtling toward earth in his damaged plane, is taken to heaven prematurely by a new heavenly worker (Edward Everett Horton). Upon reaching the gates, it appears that the book states that Joe isn't scheduled to head skyward until 1991. An attempt to return his spirit to his body fails since Joe was cremated; Joe ends up in the body of a business tycoon, Farnsworth, just drowned by his wife and male secretary, except Farnsworth is suddenly not dead. Joe as Farnsworth meets Bette (Evelyn Keyes) and falls in love with her while wreaking havoc with the man's money and business and continuing to aggravate his wife and secretary. Then Mr. Jordan comes to him with some really bad news.

This is a delightful movie, and though "Heaven Can Wait," its '70s remake, was very enjoyable, how could it be as good or better when Claude Rains and Robert Montgomery are in the original? Montgomery, who for years did light comedy as an elegant leading man, is wonderful as a streetwise prizefighter. James Gleason, as Joe's manager Corkle, has some great comic moments when he meets up with Farnsworth and Farnsworth claims to be the dead Joe. Evelyn Keyes is lovely in the ingénue role, and Rita Johnson makes an excellent murderous wife. Claude Rains played the devil in another film, and as Mr. Jordan apparently works with the Head Honcho on the other side. He exudes warmth and calmness and performs beautifully opposite the more volatile Montgomery characters.

This film was released before Pearl Harbor, but everyone knew the U.S. would be entering the war. Thus began a spate of these films - "A Guy Named Joe," "Heaven Can Wait," "The Bishop's Wife," "Angel on my Shoulder," "It's a Wonderful Life," "Down to Earth," and others. The fascination with death, angels, destiny, and souls was understandably rampant as reflected by Hollywood from 1941-1948 as people sought to understand what happened to their loved ones.

"Here Comes Mr. Jordan" is one of the really fine examples of this genre, with beautiful performances and story. I shed some tears at the end. Perhaps you will too.


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