An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.
It is the exquisite story of the women-devoted life of a never-repenting Casanova, from childhood through old age, death, and even after-death. We find Lubitsch's trade-mark elegant sense of humor, perfect timing, sharp intelligence. There is also a rather deep, though cheerful, representation of common, typical sides (faults, to say better) of a male character: shallow sentiments, selfish approach to a woman's true love, childish refuse to accept years passing.
The stars Don Ameche, Gene Tierney, Charles Coburn make a superb work. However, a main credit of the film is the cast of incredibly nice actors (willingly?) gathered by the director. The Devil himself (Laird Cregar) is likeable, with his perfect manners and friendly approach! We are unable to dislike even those shrewish old rich women, who pop out along the movie. It's impossible to give the deserved credit to all those wonderfully talented supporting actors. Let me mention the delightful butler Jasper (Clarence Muse), with his role of ambassador between Mr. and Mrs. Strabel.
To be personal, I'm very fond of "Heaven Can Wait", since it was my first encounter with Gene Tierney. When she appeared on the screen I couldn't believe my eyes: "Who, who, who is this girl? I'm dreaming or what? Does this girl actually exist?" Honestly, I felt dizzy for the remainder of the movie.
Only after repeated views of "Heaven Can Wait" I was able to distract my eyes from Gene, and fully appreciate the great merits of this magnificent, highly-recommended Lubitsch's masterpiece.
- Jan 11, 2001