Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) is a comedy film in which a boxer, mistakenly taken to Heaven before his time, is given a second chance back on Earth. It stars Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains and Evelyn Keyes. The movie was adapted by Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller from the play Heaven Can Wait by Harry Segall. It was directed by Alexander Hall.
It won Academy Awards for Best Writing, Original Story and Best Writing, Screenplay. It was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robert Montgomery), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Gleason), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Best Director and Best Picture.
Here Comes Mr. Jordan was followed by Down to Earth (1947), in which two of the actors reprised their roles.
It was remade as Heaven Can Wait (1978), and Down to Earth (2001) (sharing the name with the sequel to Here Comes Mr. Jordan). It was also remade in India as Jhuk Gaya Aasman (1968). This film and its remake version inspired the tv series Quantum Leap, that ran on NBC from March 1989 to May 1993.
Boxer and amateur pilot Joe Pendleton (Robert Montgomery) takes a joyride in a small plane, which crashes. His soul is "rescued" by 7013, an officious angel (Edward Everett Horton), who assumed that Joe could not have survived. Joe's manager, Max Corkle (James Gleason in a bravura performance), has his body cremated. In the afterlife, the records show his death was a mistake; he was supposed to have fifty more years. The angel's superior, Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains), confirms this, but since there is no more body, Joe will have to take over a newly dead corpse. Mr. Jordan explains that a body is just something that is worn, like an overcoat; inside, Joe will still be himself. Joe insists that it be someone in good physical shape, because he wants to continue his boxing career. Joe keeps saying the body they find "Has to be in the pink", a color that Mr. Jordan finds annoying. Another annoying fact is that Joe has somehow managed to bring his saxophone with him to heaven; it's his good luck charm, on which he plays "The Last Rose of Summer" very badly.
After Joe turns down several unsuitable "candidates", Mr. Jordan takes him to see the body of a crooked, extremely wealthy banker-investor named Farnsworth. Farnsworth's wife Julia (Rita Johnson) and his secretary, Tony Abbott (John Emery) have just drugged and drowned him in a bathtub. Joe is reluctant to take over a life so unlike his previous one, but when he sees the murderous pair mockingly berating Miss Logan (Evelyn Keyes), the daughter of a financier who was sold worthless bonds by Farnsworth's bank, he changes his mind (and body). The audience continues to see Montgomery as Pendleton, but everyone in the film, including his wife and secretary (who are astonished to see that the murder didn't "take"), see and hear Farnsworth.
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