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directed by Alexander Hall
USA 1941

Here Comes Mr. Jordan is one of those rare Hollywood classics that hasn't dated and never fails to raise one's spirits. It's one of the first and best of the Films Blanc, the splinter genre of light comedy-dramas that imagine the universe to be governed by a fanciful Hereafter. Screenwriters Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller put Robert Montgomery into a no man's land between heaven and earth, while sympathetic angels work to correct a cosmic error. Nominated for seven Oscars, the film won two, for Original Story and Screenplay.

The Columbia release has a confusing history of remakes and sound-a-likes. It's originally from a Harry Segall play called Heaven Can Wait, the title of which ended up on Ernst Lubitsch's unrelated 1943 Film Blanc with Don Ameche and Gene Tierney. But when Warren Beatty remade Mr. Jordan in 1978, he reverted to the Heaven Can Wait title. In a further wrinkle, director Alexander Hall brought back three of Jordan's characters, played by two of the same actors, for 1947's Down to Earth.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

A sophisticated supernatural Hollywood comedy whose influence continues to be felt, Here Comes Mr. Jordan stars the eminently versatile Robert Montgomery as a working-class boxer and amateur aviator whose plane crashes in a freak accident. He finds himself in heaven but is told, by a wry angel named Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains), that his death was a clerical error, and that he can return to Earth by entering the body of a corrupt (and about-to-be-murdered) financier—whose soul could use a transplant. Nominated for seven Oscars (it won two) and the inspiration for a sequel with Rita Hayworth and two remakes, Alexander Hall’s effervescent Here Comes Mr. Jordan is comic perfection.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 7 August 1941 (USA)

Reviews                                                                      More Reviews                                                                    DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Sony Pictures - Region 1, 2, 4 - NTSC vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

1) Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

    

 

  

Also released by Criterion in the UK on Blu-ray - one week later, on June 20th, 2016

Distribution

Sony Pictures

Region 1, 2, 4 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #819 - Region 'A' Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:57 1:34:21.947
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.79 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 47,954,329,564 bytes

Feature Size: 27,683,389,440 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.97 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French Dub (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, Portuguese, Japanese, None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: February 6th, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio
: 1.33:1

Disc Size: 47,954,329,564 bytes

Feature Size: 27,683,389,440 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.97 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Edition Details:

• New conversation between critic Michael Sragow and filmmaker/distributor Michael Schlesinger (32:13)
• Audio interview from 1991 in which actor Elizabeth Montgomery discusses her father, actor Robert Montgomery (1:19:43)
• Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Here Comes Mr. Jordan from 1942 starring Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes, and James Gleason (52:46)
• Trailer (1:48)
• PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

Blu-ray Release Date: June 14th, 2016
Transparent Keep case

Chapter: 10

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray May 16': It's pretty much all in the grain textures where we notice the biggest improvement over SD when it comes to many vintage films. This is no different - the dual-layered transfer has a max'ed out bitrate and the film won't be looking much better than this new 2K digital restoration. It's clean, detail and black levels pick-up but the film-like grain is consistent and so appealing.

Linear PCM for the mono audio and it sounds predictably flat but has some depth that may surprise. The the score by Friedrich Hollaender (Caught, Berlin Express, Background to Danger, The Verdict) adds some keen flavor and is reasonably crisp and attentive. The Criterion offers optional English subtitles and the Blu-ray is region 'A'-locked.

Supplements include a new, 32-minute, conversation between critic Michael Sragow and filmmaker/distributor Michael Schlesinger. Recorded in 2016 they discuss the history and impact of Here Comes Mr. Jordan. There are two audio-only extras; a lengthy (1 hour 20-minute) interview from 1991 in which actor Elizabeth Montgomery discusses her father, actor Robert Montgomery and an hour-long Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Here Comes Mr. Jordan from 1942 starring Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes, and James Gleason. Lastly, we get a trailer and the package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme.

Thoroughly enjoyable vintage film and great to see Montgomery again... we know the story but that doesn't take away from the pleasure - and Criterion's Blu-ray will be the definitive package for this uplifting gem from days of cinema gone by. Absolutely recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: In late 1970's a term film blanc (as opposite to film noir) was created to describe many fantasy pictures set in afterlife (for explanations and discussions see HERE). The early examples of such movies can be traced to Fritz Lang's Destiny and Liliom, but Here Comes Mr. Jordan is one of the best films to represent this trend, especially of 1940's cinema. The film got a stand-alone release from Sony in 2007. The image quality is in great shape - the film was preserved by UCLA Film and Television Archive and restored for this release. The progressive transfer is wonderful, with some grain evident, but it's part of the picture.

The soundtrack is in good shape as well. The commentary by the late Elizabeth Montgomery that was available on laserdisc of this film from The Criterion Collection was NOT carried over. There are no extras, not even a trailer and as you can see the menu is a basic image not even related to the film, but finally having this film on DVD in a great form is a treat in itself.

 - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menus
 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures
 

1) Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

 

    

 

  

Also released by Criterion in the UK on Blu-ray - one week later, on June 20th, 2016

Distribution

Sony Pictures

Region 1, 2, 4 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #819 - Region 'A' Blu-ray

 




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