Heaven Can Wait

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Year Released: 1943
Rating: 3.5

Don Ameche tells the Devil about his life as a womanizer in a guilty bid to spend the rest of eternity in Hell, including how he got drunk with a French maid (Oui, Monsieur!) and stole his wife (Gene Tierney) from a relative. For being lighter than air - there's that Lubitsch touch again - and with so many pleasurably comedic moments (Charles Coburn's a scene-stealer as the mischievous Grandfather), one wouldn't figure it's actually a little sad in the way it deals with decisions and consequences and the guilt in going after what you want: Ameche thinks he's been a bad man with a roving eye, but just like everyone else, he's just very flawed (the fact that it covers his birth to death is also so very 'final': most pictures only give you a fraction of a human life). Tierney sparkles as his loving wife who is desperate to get out of Kansas (not that there's anything wrong with Kansas); Coburn's character is missed when he's not in the picture.