Heaven Can Wait, 1943. Three and a Half Stars.
I found myself looking through the TV guide for movies, as I so often do, and came across this one: A playboy recollects his life to the gatekeeper of Hades. And it was from the 40's. Sounded interesting, so I set up a recording for it.
I don't really have much to say, except, it was pretty good! Well at least I enjoyed it! It wasn't as "naughty" as I expected, but that's fine: The story told is from the Victorian era, so there was a big importance in "preserving decency" and "the family honor" and all that. So I thought it was fitting that Van Cleve's "affairs" were only alluded to.
I don't think he deserved Martha though, but at least he wasn't a completely selfish person that he was before he met her...
I really liked "His Excellency" and the "waiting room" to Hell. I can't help being fascinated by the extravagant sets mostly found in this period of films.
Also, someone cross-stitched the credits at the beginning... Or someone painted them to look cross-stitched. Either way, a lot of talent and time went in to that!
This movie is based on the play Birthday by Leslie Bush-Fekete. I'd like to check it out some time. It's too bad this movie didn't keep the Birthday title; the story was strongly focused on the passage of Van Cleve's birthdays in order to mark the events of his life, so it makes much more sense than "Heaven Can Wait" (which was an entirely different play that inspired a movie in the 40's and it's remakes/re-imaginings in the 70's and 00's).