Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lubitsch: “Heaven Can Wait”

"Heaven Can Wait" is Lubitsch’s final completed film. The Warren Beatty version is a remake. The last film Lubitsch began was "That Lady in Ermine" in 1947 (released in 1948), starring Betty Grable. Unfortunately, he died of heart failure at age 55 before the film was finished. Otto Preminger took it over. "Heaven Can Wait" was Lubitsch's first film in Technicolor, and for it he received his final Oscar nomination for Best Director. It starred Don Ameche and Gene Tierney. During the film's shooting, Lubitsch suffered his first heart attack. It is easy to see how Lubitsch, in his way, is attuned to issues of mortality in this film. Via varied settings and characters, Lubitsch's four decades of work explores the push and pull of human relationships, particularly those between spouses and lovers. The universality of these films continue to speak to us today.

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