Heaven Can Wait
An adorable distillation of all that is Lubitsch, the nostalgia and sentiment in this late masterpiece – his first colour film – might have been quite personal. Walking into purgatory, the recently deceased raconteur, Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche), must make a case for himself, and so begins an examination of a breezy life that is “one continuous misdemeanour”: from his sexual awakening, and eloping with his cousin’s fianceé (Gene Tierney), to a sustained, loving marriage seasoned with his philandering. Delightful and witty as ever, Heaven Can Wait is as much the ultimate celebration of life, as it is a subtle satire of bourgeoise conservatism; its warm colour palate and mellow state are all part of Lubitsch’s delicate touch on romance, sexuality, mortality, and everything in between.
“I consider it one of my major productions, because I tried to break away in several respects from the established moving picture formula” – Ernst Lubitsch