HEAVEN CAN WAIT
1943, 20th Century Fox, 112 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

No, not the one with Warren Beatty, but the glorious Technicolor fantasy in which newly deceased Don Ameche arrives in Hell and reviews his life to learn if he’s going to remain Down There or not. With Gene Tierney, Charles Coburn, Marjorie Main, Eugene Pallette (did this guy ever take a vacation?), Spring Byington and a marvelous turn by Laird Cregar as a very genial…could it be Satan!?


HOLLYWOOD CAVALCADE
1939, 20th Century Fox, 97 min, USA, Dir: Irving Cummings, Malcolm St. Clair

In Daryl Zanuck’s pet project, 20th Century Fox Golden Girl Alice Fay is Molly Adair, a toiling New York stage actress who is lured into the fledgling motion picture business in 1913 by an ambitious young director (Don Ameche). Her career rises and his declines as the film takes us through the silent years, recreating productions of the slapstick comedies that defined the era - from Keystone Cops to pies in the face, bathing beauties and finally the first sound movie, THE JAZZ SINGER. It’s a treat to see the real Buster Keaton and Al Jolson play themselves re-creating elements of their own careers - in Technicolor! Renowned slapstick director Mack Sennett served as technical advisor and the scenario is said to be a thinly-veiled version of his love story with actress Mabel Normand. Also with silent cinema legend Rin Tin Tin.


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