Weepy supernatural melodrama
This gooey concoction stars Warner Baxter as a happily married businessman murdered by the woman he previously spurned (Lynn Bari). His ghost, unable to rest because Bari's loyal husband (Henry Wilcoxon) is taking the rap for her, returns from the grave to make sure wife Andrea Leeds somehow determines the truth. He's aided along the way by the one man on Earth who can see him and talk to him: a pontificating bible-thumper played by Charley Grapewin. We don't learn what makes Grapewin so special--he doesn't seem to be a Mr. Jordan like angel or a Cedric Hardwicke style Grim Reaper--but his handy King James Bible apparently supplies him with a communication system to the beyond. Baxter spends the film tagging along behind Leeds, nagging her from beyond the grave until she stumbles across the evidence needed to free Wilcoxon and put Bari away. The deceased hubby can than, apparently rest in peace (whatever THAT may entail), as he bids a platitudinous farewell to the annoying Grapewin, who shuffles off stage as Baxter picks up a dead (?) bird, presumably symbolic of something. If you enjoy seeing death infantilized to the nth degree (or simply enjoy Christian mythology), Earthbound is for you.
- Oct 12, 2003
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