Here Comes Mr. Jordan - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Here Comes Mr. Jordan Reviews

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½ February 2, 2017
Original, cute, slick well acted and fun. Watch and enjoy!
½ January 19, 2017
Agreeable fantasy (later remade with Warren Beatty) that sees boxer Robert Montgomery (father of Elizabeth) mistakenly claimed for Heaven by Edward Everett Horton before his time. So, Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains) promises to find him a replacement body and eventually deposits him inside a millionaire who has just been murdered by his wife and secretary. Montgomery resists at first but when he sees the injustices fostered by the millionaire and falls in love with the daughter of one of his victims, he decides to stay in the body (despite wishing to fight for the world championship anyway). Not exactly a laugh riot but genial and with some good performances (particularly by James Gleason as Montgomery's manager in the ring). Rains has not much to do but he is always a pleasure to watch. Montgomery's loutish New York mugging was a bit difficult for me to take but probably engaged the audiences of the time. Also the idea that our fates are predestined didn't quite jell with the notion that Montgomery has some control over the road he is on, but ah well. Above average.
½ September 4, 2016
This only natural to want to be able to do something over again, to correct mistakes were tried for a better outcome. It was simple when we were kids in Brooklyn playing stickball. If you missed the swing and the other team was amiable to it call for 'a do over. Your request will be granted one simple reason, reciprocity, refusing your do over would mean there's would be refused been the situation is reversed. There is one point in time that it would be very natural to want the ultimate do over, death. It is understandable that even if you live past hundred years of age is going to be something you would like to do differently, some decision you would like to start a different option was taken. Many movies have been made about a dead person being given some celestial second chance but, although not the first, it certainly ranks among the best, 'Here Comes Mr. Jordan'.

Made in the middle of World War II, 1941, the idea of giving a man who died too early a second chance was an exceptionally appealing and quite comforting concept for the movie going audience back at home. The story and screenplay for this film both one Academy Awards with an additional five nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role. The source material was a relatively minor play written by Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller, who also adapted it to the screen. This is usually an ideal situation in the playwright is also a screenwriter as no one knows better how to alter the most crucial aspects of the story is being in the best position to maintain its emotional integrity. Individually they have extremely impressive resumes that included for Mr. Bachman, 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' and for Mr. Miller the iconic 1939 variation of the classic tale 'The Adventures of Robin Hood'. As for Mr. Hall he has directed an incredibly long list of movies most of which romances which included the best-known that stared Shirley Temple, 'Little Miss Marker'. Those of us who enjoy the movies today going to the movies this is the way to pass the time and obtain a bit of escapism when these movies were made America was in the Great Depression, followed by World War II. In the escapism was far beyond anything we've ever experienced and it was filmmakers like these that maintain the positive morale among the population.

Joe Pendleton (Robert Montgomery, was an adventurous young man was a professional boxer and amateur pilot which led into the natural nickname of 'The Flying Pug'. While flying his small plane to his next fight in New York City the craft losses control when a cable snaps. Joe dies in the fresh and is approached by heavenly Messenger 7013 (Edward Everett Horton). Although 7013 certain that Joe could not have survived the crash justifying and rescuing assault one ticket back to heaven he discovered that there has been a mistake made Joe was supposed to live in additional years. The first course of action would be to return Jordan's body but unfortunately his manager Max "Pop" Corkle (James Gleason), had the body cremated. With no vessel to be reunited with his soul alternative arrangements had to be made. 7013 referred the matter up to his superior, Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains), who really confirms the situation. The only solution that Mr. Jordan has available is for Jo to have his soul placed in the corpse of a recently deceased man. Understandably Joe was a little upset with this idea Mr. Jordan reassures him that is just like putting on an overcoat, the real Joe will remain intact inside the body. Once you accept the idea Joe has one demand, the body has to be "in the pink" that is physically fit and capable of having him resume his boxing career. [This is an opportunity to return from the dead Joe is a bit particular about his new body. At the several rejections the next candidate is Bruce Farnsworth, exceptionally wealthy investment banker which is drowned in a bathtub after being drugged. Behind the plot was Bruce's his wife Julia (Rita Johnson) and his secretary, Tony Abbott (John Emery). As if first-degree murder wasn't sufficient to portray these characters is faultless and evil they are seen mocking young woman, Julia Logan (Evelyn Keyes), the daughter of a financier who was sold worthless bonds by Farnsworth's bank. At the scene that he has a chance to potentially help her Joe relents and accepts the body.

Joe plans to use his new identity as money to support his training getting them into the best fighting shape ever. Mr. Jordan intercedes telling Joe that although he is destined to become the champion he cannot do it in that way. A better suited body has become available in Joe has just enough time for a brief conversation with Julia. In this short period of time his become very close to her and he tells her that she is approached by somebody, particularly a boxer; she should give him a chance. Mr. Jordan and has a move on to his next body, the prizefighter named Murdoch. In life Joe has known him and had great respect for him as an honest boxer and all-around good person. Realizing that he forgotten his lucky saxophone Joe, now in the body of Murdoch, run back into the pond for a mansion to retrieve it. Everyone inside thinks that font growth had just disappeared in a private investigator is hired. Matter is turned over to the police to be investigated by Inspector Williams (Donald MacBride). Joe/Murdoch tries to explain what happened including details about Mr. Jordan and the body swapping which just convinces the detective that he is crazy.

This is very typical of a movie about time. The plot relies upon request situations that provide a perfect foundation for physical comedy as well as situational humor. It was not unusual for film about time to blend several different genres. We are used to niche programming with today's entertainment paradigm almost unlimited sources of entertainment. When movies had to appeal to the largest possible audience the best way to ensure a decent box office was to provide a little bit or something for everyone. This movie had comedy, drama, mystery and a touch of the supernatural. Mostly the movie had heart. But every newspaper headline was filled with reports war, casualties and destruction. The people in the audience desperately needed something that would lift his spirits and allow them to hold onto a little bit of faith. This movie would undoubtedly be considered 'sappy' by today's standard but on the other side of the coin, 1941 audience would be appalled by what goes for entertainment today. This will has been inducted into the Criterion Collection and given a high definition release. As always the film is impeccably restored with the care and honor it deserves and released with a collection of added material that will greatly enhance your understanding of the movie and appreciation of its lasting cinematic merits.
½ August 21, 2016
Old classic I might have seen on tv once before. Man's soul stuck without a body is given one about to die to be able to continue with life prematurely interrupted. Some very good points made in this film that even now we have not seen often. The most crushing one is the original name of the soul would be forever forgotten while he would continue the fame of another man. The saxophone being carried in heaven and back on earth is the one clue that stand out well. Some ideas may have inspired Ghost Whisperer, the excellent tv series of a few years back.
½ August 21, 2016
Old classic I might have seen on tv once before. Man's soul stuck without a body is given one about to die to be able to continue with life prematurely interrupted. Some very good points made in this film that even now we have not seen often. The most crushing one is the original name of the soul would be forever forgotten while he would continue the fame of another man. The saxophone being carried in heaven and back on earth is the one clue that stand out well. Some ideas may have inspired Ghost Whisperer, the excellent tv series of a few years back.
June 6, 2016
I don't like Robert Montgomery. Is there something wrong with me? I hate his acting and vibe, especially in this. Not for me.
May 6, 2015
The original Heaven Can Wait starring Robert Montgomery (Bewitchs Elizabeth Montgomerys Father). Wonderful performances from James Gleason, Edward Everett Horton and they always spot on Claude Rains. A great comedy.
April 2, 2015
Starring Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains and Evelyn Keyes. You may already know the basic premise since it was remade as "Heaven Can Wait" with Warren Beatty in 1978 and more recently as "Down to Earth" (2001) with Chris Rock. Joe Pendleton (Montgomery) is a saxophone-playing boxer who is plucked from an airplane disaster by a heavenly messenger (Edward Everett Horton). In his haste, the messenger neglects to save Pendleton's body from being destroyed in the crash so a new 'vessel' must be found for the former athlete's spirit. Mr. Jordan (Rains), who is in charge of newly arrived souls in Heaven, solves the dilemma by placing Pendleton inside the body of just-murdered millionaire Bruce Farnsworth and revives him, completely baffling Farnsworth's evil wife (Rita Johnson) and her lover (John Emery). Complicating matters even further are Farnsworth's romance with a woman (Keyes) handling a financial crisis for her father and his preparation for a championship boxing match under Pendleton's former trainer (James Gleason). In spite of its outlandish premise, "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" successfully suspends one's disbelief through its expert performances, witty dialogue, and energetic direction by Alexander Hall.
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.
½ February 19, 2015
A clever idea dealing with life after death, it was a rather ridiculous towards the end though.
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.
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.
December 13, 2013
Old classic typical of movies made during wartime regarding heaven & the afterlife. To lift people's spirits my grandad told me
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.
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.
March 29, 2013
This movie is a delight. Robert Montgomery (whom I know from his umpteenth appearances in Joan Crawford pictures) is a delight. Claude Rains is a delight. Delightful.
March 18, 2013
Truly original in it's concept.Great comedy with a dash of serious and sad undertones--The soul lives on!!
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