Friday, February 13, 2009

Here Comes Mr. Jordan | Remakes & Sequels

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. The movie was adapted from the play Heaven Can Wait. Boxer 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), 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.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan(1941) was followed by Down to Earth (1947). This film D2E was given a sequel in 1980 in Xanadu. Confusingly, the 2001 film Down to Earth is a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (which this film, as mentioned above, is a sequel to), which was also remade into the 1978 film Heaven Can Wait.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan(1941) was remade several times, with different titles: Heaven Can Wait (1978), Heaven's Touch (1983), and Down to Earth (2001). It was also remade in India as Jhuk Gaya Aasman (1968).

Down to Earth (1947) is a sequel to the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan, but it is a musical comedy starring Rita Hayworth (Kitty Pendleton) and Larry Parks. Edward Everett Horton (Messenger 7013) and James Gleason (Max Corkle) reprise their roles from the earlier film, but Roland Culver replaces Claude Rains as Mr. Jordan. Max Corkle hears Kitty talking to Mr. Jordan and realizes this is the same heavenly messenger he had heard about in Here Comes Mr. Jordan. (Corkle makes a reference to the previous movie and tells Mr. Jordan that his old friend Joe Pendleton is doing just fine - and has a wife and two children now.)

Heaven Can Wait (1978) comedy film directed by Warren Beatty and Buck Henry, adapted from the original stage play Heaven Can Wait by Harry Segall. Beatty also stars in the lead role, playing a football player who, after being killed in a collision accident, is sent back to earth in the body of a millionaire.

1978's Heaven Can Wait is a remake of the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan, and should not be confused with the 1943 film of the same name. The 1978 film was subsequently remade in 2001 as Down to Earth, a film starring Chris Rock. Beatty had initially wanted Muhammed Ali to play the central character, but due to Ali's continued commitment to boxing, Beatty changed the character from a boxer to an American football player and played it himself.


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