Heaven Can Wait

Watch Heaven Can Wait

"He believed in Love… Honor… and Obey – That Impulse!"
  • Passed
  • 1943
  • 1 hr 52 min
  • 7.4  (12,236)

Heaven Can Wait is a romantic fantasy film released in 1943 directed by Ernst Lubitsch and produced by 20th Century Fox. The screenplay was written by Samson Raphaelson based on Leslie Bush-Fekete's 1938 play titled "Birthday." The film stars Gene Tierney as the captivating Betty Logan, Don Ameche as the witty Henry Van Cleve, and Charles Coburn as Henry's grandfather Hugo Van Cleve.

The movie's initial scene shows an aged Henry Van Cleve, who is already deceased, is standing before the desk of the devil himself because he is ultimately convinced he will end up in Hell. Henry requests to recount his tale of love, life, and progression to make a case that he deserves passage to heaven. The devil, intrigued, grants his wish, and the happy memories unfold.

We then find ourselves transported back to the early 1900s in New York. Henry Van Cleve, the wealthy womanizer, attends his own funeral to the surprise of his family and friends who are preparing to say goodbye to him. As he watches the proceedings, he begins reflecting on his life and memories of his tumultuous upbringing, his family, childhood memories, relationships with women, and most significantly - the love of his life, Betty Logan.

The next scene shows Henry as a young man, introduced to Betty Logan by his grandfather, Hugo Van Cleve. Henry is instantly smitten with Betty, and the attraction is mutual. However, Betty is engaged to another man, Arthur, who is a responsible and successful financier, in comparison to the improprieties and excesses of Henry. Despite the obstacles, Henry and Betty's infatuation remains strong, and they secretly marry.

The Van Cleve family is disappointed in Henry for marrying Betty, but the newly-weds remain unbothered and start building their life together. However, things go awry as Henry's flippant and steamy nature leads him to numerous affairs, causing stress and concern for Betty. Betty is devoted to Henry and wants to salvage their relationship. However, Henry ends up neglecting his relationship, and conflicts with his family become visible. The film takes viewers on an emotional ride through Betty and Henry's relationship, the birth of their children, Henry's inevitable death, and the question of where he will spend eternity.

Heaven Can Wait is a film that not only captures the theme of fantasy and romance, but takes the audience on an emotional rollercoaster that explores human nature and morality. The cinematography of the movie is spectacular, showcasing the grandeur of Henry's affluent world yet still capturing the raw and personal moments he experiences. Additionally, the use of flashbacks and storytelling offers an exciting twist, making it hard for viewers to predict the next scene.

The cast did a phenomenal job, with Gene Tierney portraying Betty Logan as a strong-willed woman who endures the hardship of her marriage while still loving Henry. Charles Coburn is convincing as Henry's grandfather, displaying the love he has for his grandson despite his flaws. Don Ameche is also remarkable as Henry, displaying the contrasting sides of Henry's personality, showcasing his gregariousness, wit, and charm.

Ultimately, Heaven Can Wait (1943) is a movie that leaves the audience pondering the decisions they make while captivating them with a love story far ahead of its time. Through its unique storytelling technique, this classic film teaches us about the essence of life and emphasizes the significance of love, family, and legacy.

Heaven Can Wait is a 1943 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 52 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.

Heaven Can Wait
Where to Watch Heaven Can Wait
Heaven Can Wait is available to watch free on Plex. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Heaven Can Wait for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 52 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (12,236)