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!?


THE MERRY WIDOW
1934, Warner Bros., 99 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

Director Ernst Lubitsch reunites his LOVE PARADE stars Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald for this effervescent adaptation of Franz Lehar’s operetta. When the kingdom of Marshovia teeters on insolvency, a playboy is asked to marry a wealthy widow and keep her fortune from leaving the country. Both English and French language versions of this musical comedy were shot simultaneously; the American release earned an Oscar for Art Direction


THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER
1940, Warner Bros., 99 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, coworkers in a quaint Budapest shop, clash in person but fall in love via anonymous letters in this charming classic set at Christmastime. Under Lubitsch’s expert direction, the film becomes both an intimate love story and a heartwarming ensemble comedy, as multiple subplots following the lovers’ colleagues, including cantankerous shop owner Frank Morgan and egotistical ladies' man Joseph Schildkraut, are deftly woven into the narrative. A deeply romantic masterpiece based on Miklos Laszlo’s play "Parfumerie" (which also inspired Nora Ephron’s YOU’VE GOT MAIL.)


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