Adapted from a stage play by Harry Segall titled Heaven Can Wait. Joe Pendleton is a boxer and he’s been preparing for a big fight. He is also a pilot and he’s playing his saxophone while he is flying a small plane to his next fight. The rope holding the tail in position frays, it breaks and he is immediately in a nosedive to the ground. A Heavenly Messenger prematurely takes Joe’s spirit from his body before he dies and Joe’s manager has his body cremated. Joe talks to Mr. Jordan in heaven and he allows Joe to use the body of Bruce Farnsworth. Farnsworth's wife and his private secretary have drowned him in the bathtub. Joe starts doing things properly with Farnsworth's business affairs and his wife and secretary decide they need to kill him again. Mr. Jordan transfers Joe into the body of the prizefighter Joe was going to fight against.
This film starts out with saying the following events are true. I’m not so sure about them being true? There is a lot of running around and complaining because mistakes have been made with Joe Pendleton and his body. His appearance doesn’t change but the people he interacts with see the image of the body he is using and they hear the voice of that person. To Joe, he’s just the same even when he looks in the mirror. He just has different jobs and people around him. True or not, the movie is interesting and enjoyable. 3 ½* (I liked this movie)
94 min, Fantasy directed by Alexander Hall with Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes, Rita Johnson, Edward Everett Horton, James Gleason, John Emery, Donald MacBride, Don Costello, Halliwell Hobbes.
Note: Imdb 7.7 out of 10, 100% critic 83% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, TCM 4* out of 4* user 4* out of 5*, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 104 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed at Providencia Ranch, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California. Columbia Pictures planned to make a sequel to this film titled Hell Bent for Mr. Jordan. The original cast couldn’t be re-assembled and it was never made. There is a remake of this film with the title Heaven can Wait from 1978 with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. Another film from 1943 is titled Heaven Can Wait but with a different story.