Here Comes Mr. Jordan Review
Continues to win hearts with its themes of love being universally timeless
Movies reviewI don't want anybody's body. I want my body!
Joe Pendleton is ‘in the pink’, a professional boxer on his way to becoming the champ; he also loves to play the saxophone – badly. On his way to New York the aeroplane he is piloting fails and it plummets to Earth whereupon he finds himself in Heaven due to an overzealous Heavenly Messenger who prematurely brought his spirit along. This Heavenly mix up means Mr Jordan, the Messenger in charge, has to sort out the issue and return Joe to his body, but when it is discovered it has already been cremated, Heaven has no choice but to find him another body to live out his natural life. To wit Joe is given the body of a corrupt millionaire stockbroker and tries to right his wrongs, especially concerning one Bette Logan, whom he has taken quite a fancy too. However, still wanting to box, but in the wrong body, when a chance at the title comes up again, Joe does whatever he can to secure his rightful place, including taking the body of the boxer in the ring – but will his spirit still find Betty even though his body has changed?
Here Comes Mr Jordan is based on Harry Segall's stage play Heaven Can Wait (this title was used for the 1978 remake with Warren Beatty) and is brought to the screen by celebrated director Alexander Hall. What is immediately apparent, even 75 years later, is the immense charm that the picture has; an easy watching romantic comedy (before the term was coined) that keeps the comedy light, the tragedy heartfelt and romance on the level to leave a film that is a fully rounded whole. Leading the way is Robert Montgomery as Joe, who is happy-go-lucky in all aspects; whilst his love interest is Evelyn Keyes, whose looks, demeanour and presence are enough to win over anyone. But the real star of the show is Claude Rains as the titular Mr Jordan, the Heavenly Messenger charged with sorting out the mess; his no nonsense, pragmatic but effortlessly charming manner leads the film and his all knowing smile says more than any words. The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards winning 2 (for Original Story and Screenplay) and it continues to win hearts today, its themes of love being universally timeless.
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