Here Comes Mr. Jordan Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
This movie has been remade so many times, I wasn't surprised by anything that happened in this one, the original. It didn't really interest me anymore, except that some of the scenes were pretty funny. And the acting is good.
Super Reviewer
October 15, 2013
Although a carbon copy of Heaven Can Wait, Jordan is a far superior film. The characters are loveable and you truly want to see a reconciliation of matters from the heavens. Beatty would of course ruin the story in his remake of Heaven Can Wait which liberally steals from Jordan.
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2008
There's a reason this has been remade so many times.
July 1, 2014
Better than I was expecting. Montgomery and Rains are very good in their roles, and it was nice seeing Edward Everett Horton in this, he's fast becoming one my favorite classic Hollywood character actors. Very enjoyable movie.
½ June 28, 2009
An incredible classic, what great performances, especially by Robert Montgomery, the writing is awesome, among the best ever, what a supporting cast! The Warren Beatty remake can't compare. A must see for any movie lover.
½ March 8, 2015
I thoroughly liked this film. I remember it coming on TV many times and never got tired of it. Wholesome and enjoyable.
February 9, 2015
Truly original in it's concept.Great comedy with a dash of serious and sad undertones. A good comic platform for James Gleason, who plays the role to it's fullest. Robert Montgomery shows there is more to having true heart: than a body.
August 14, 2013
A low-fantasy stunner with tender direction, a big heart, and terrific performances all around.
*4/4*
May 30, 2013
The classic 'get a second chance at life by returning in a recently dead person's body' story that is so good, it has been remade at least twice.
May 27, 2013
Robert Montgomery plays fighter Joe Pendleton whose spirit is prematurely snatched from his body when it appears his plane is about to crash. Claude Rains plays Mr. Jordan, the angel whose job is to find a suitable replacement body so Pendleton can fight for the championship. Claude Rains plays a similar role in Angel on My Shoulder which starred Paul Muni.

This movie is superior to the 1979 remake, Heaven Can Wait, starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. Except for making the protagonist a football player instead of a boxer, the remake copied the original story line exactly in almost every respect, e.g., a businessman being murdered by his wife and his attorney, a crooked businessman falling in love when he meets the woman that he is swindling, the scenes when he convinces his friend who he really is, transferring his spirit to an athlete dying during competition, and the ending scene when he runs into the woman and they try to remember if they ever met before. In 2001, the film was remade is a miserable film on every level, with the dreadful decision to make our hero a comic rather than an athlete.

James Gleason plays Joe's trainer Max Corkle, who nearly steals ever scene he is in. The scene where Joe, in his new body, hires Gleason and then tries to convince him of his real identity, is just hysterical.
½ May 21, 2013
I thoroughly liked this film. I remember it coming on TV many times and never got tired of it. Wholesome and enjoyable.
½ May 25, 2012
Joe Pendleton (Montgomery) is slowly rising as a champion boxer, and has just won a big deal match. On the side, Joe is also a pilot AND a saxophone player, and the two don't mix well when he crashes his plane on the way to a fight. He dies and goes to heaven, and there he meets Mr. Jordan (Rains) who is pretty much the master of everybody's fate. It turns out that Joe wasn't supposed to die-- so Mr. Jordan decides to put him inside a selfish millionaire's body, a man who was just murdered by his wife (Johnson) and her lover. If Joe cleans up the millionaire's messes, Mr. Jordan will give him the chance to fight in the championship-- but things get complicated when Joe falls for a beautiful woman (Keyes) who was screwed by the man Joe's using as a body.. "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" is one of the films credited with inspiring both Ernst Lubitsch's version of "Heaven Can Wait" and Warren Beatty's. Unfortunately, this film isn't as good as the other two. Yes, "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" is still good-- it's charming, lighthearted, and entertaining, but the problem is is whatever parts could be satirical or even dark never happen. The biggest issue here is Alexander Hall's direction-- the film remains to be a by-the-numbers '40's film, and considering what a unique idea this film holds, it just be bursting by the seams unique. Unfortunately, that just doesn't happens. We're instead left with a fine, pleasing film-- but ultimately forgettable. At least the performances by all the actors are good. "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" is a decent watch, but it's never as funny as it could be.
½ October 10, 2011
Not bad. A fun little idea, but Robert Montgomery was clunky and awkward to watch, and not in a fun way. Claude Rains nearly picked up Montgomery's marginal performance.
½ July 24, 2011
I thoroughly liked this film. I remember it coming on TV many times and never vgot tired of it. Wholesome and enjoyable.
½ March 6, 2011
Apparently, Souls Are Interchangeable

This is going to be another one of those movies where people tell me I'm overthinking things, but I think you're supposed to consider them. After all, this particular one is integral to the plot and the explanation you're going to get for why I didn't like it. For most of this movie, things are a lighthearted romp of questionable but vaguely entertaining nature. Sure, you've got Movie Theology, but of course you do. It's a movie, and a comedy at that. I don't expect it to conform to any particular belief system, given that no character ever espouses one. There isn't even a clear view of Heaven. Just a staging area. But as we got into the last five minutes or so, I started to be very uncomfortable with goings-on, and so I am giving you a spoiler warning now. This is getting into a theological debate for which the movie is not prepared, I think, but I'd imagine viewers have been having it for decades. I can't see how they wouldn't.

Joe Pendleton is a boxer and a good one. He's got a shot at the world championship. He just has to fight one more guy in order to go for the title, and he flies himself off to I think New York to enter the last phase of his training. Only while he's flying, something goes wrong with his plane. Just before he hits the ground, Messenger 7013 (Edward Everett Horton) takes him out. This turns out to be a mistake; Joe would have been able to straighten out the plane and wasn't scheduled to die until 1991. Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains), who seems in charge of intake for deaths in airplane crashes (clearly a new job), declares that they must find a new body for him. They look at a lot of them, finally settling on one Bruce Farnsworth, who was due to be murdered by his wife, Julia (Rita Johnson), and confidential secretary, Tony Abott (John Emery). Joe falls for Bette Logan (Evelyn Keyes), whose father is slated to go to prison over certain business dealings for which Farnsworth is responsible. Joe straightens it out, then decides that he still wants to go for the title, only using Farnsworth's body.

The movie implies a few times that there's such thing as free will, with Mr. Jordan saying that things will work out between Joe and Bette if they work out. On the other hand, this movie is firmly in the camp of predestination. It isn't just that Joe is slated to live another fifty years. It's that, for example, he is specifically slated to win that championship, and he is told that he can't win it in Farnsworth's body, because that's not how it's supposed to go. The film is very big on how things are supposed to go. However, it is still possible for Messenger 7013--and why doesn't he get a name and Mr. Jordan does?--to make the mistake he did. Oh, it's out of kindness; he didn't want Joe to suffer. But how is that his decision to make? What's more, how is fate changed by the giving of three more weeks to Farnsworth? And if those three weeks are his fate, was Joe really taken out too early?

And then there's the ending. Joe is put into the body of Murdoch, who is given Joe's shot at the title. Murdoch, you see, has been shot by gamblers who couldn't get him to throw the fight. Joe Leaps into his body, wins the fight, and seems poised to go on in this new life with his old manager, Max Corkle (James Gleason), the only living person who knows what's going on. When Joe takes on the body permanently, however, all his memories of being Joe Pendleton are wiped in favour of those of the new guy. This worries me. We are specifically told early in the film that his parents are waiting and ready to meet him when he arrives, but if he's been Murdoch that whole time, so what? If he has the belief instilled in him that he is a different person and always has been, what will that say about his soul when he goes to Heaven permanently? Indeed, what is the soul if everything you are can be wiped out and yet it is still the same soul? Presumably he will go back to being Joe Pendleton, but why isn't he now? Because he'll talk? But he did as Farnsworth!

The movie wants to be a comedy romp with something a little deeper. Only in adding that "little deeper," it opens a barrel of questions I'm not sure the writers ever considered. Mr. Jordan is suave and debonair, a charming host. I'm even willing to believe there are flustered afterlife operatives like 7013, though I'm uneasy about the control this particular one seems to have. However, I think this movie has not considered its own theology enough. The important question left by this movie is about the very nature of the Self. I believe that any soul would necessarily entail the details of yourself, your personality. The fact that Joe's personality survives the first time and that no one is surprised by that indicated this to be the case. Murdoch is dead and is said to be a personality even after, capable of being pleased over the fight's outcome. There's even the touching fact that some part of Joe still recognizes Bette--and some part of Bette still recognizes Joe. However, Joe Pendleton has been completely wiped out for at least the fifty years he will spend in that body.
½ December 26, 2006
An incredible classic, what great performances, especially by Robert Montgomery, the writing is awesome, among the best ever, what a supporting cast! The Warren Beatty remake can't compare. A must see for any movie lover.
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