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For Heaven's Sake

For Heaven's Sake (1950)

December. 15,1950
| Fantasy Comedy

An angel takes on human form in order to persuade a theatrical couple to finally consummate their child that has been waiting to be born.


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Angels Clifton Webb and Edmund Gwenn are tasked with bringing an unborn (not even conceived yet!) child into the world by getting a theatrical couple (Robert Cummings, Joan Bennett) with a rocky marriage to have a baby. Webb hatches a plan to take human form in order to better accomplish this task. But life as a human proves to be a distraction for him and Gwenn has to intervene.Webb is the star of the show, particularly as a Gary Cooper-inspired cowboy character. If you're a fan of Webb's you have to see this. Cummings and Bennett are fine, if a bit dull. Gwenn is likable as ever. Joan Blondell adds her usual brand of zing to things. Gigi Perreau is cute playing the would-be daughter and Tommy Rettig from Lassie is adorable in a small part. Jack La Rue is fun as an actor who's played one too many gangster parts. Loses momentum midway through but is still enjoyable. Old-fashioned ideas such as having a baby will save a troubled marriage will induce eye rolls for many viewers today, I'm sure. But it's all well-meaning and good-natured. Not for the cynics among us. Sweet, charming, and funny.


Utterly charming comedy with Clifton Webb and Edmund Gwenn delightful as a pair of guardian angels tasked with getting a little girl born to a self absorbed but good hearted couple.Joan Bennett comes across well as the prospective mother, a warm presence this film came along just as she was segueing from her period as a film noir chippy to character and mother roles. Joan Blondell is great fun as a flashy screenwriter injecting her special brand of zip whenever she's on screen. Robert Cummings is bland as the father to be but he fades into the background and doesn't hurt the picture.As enjoyable as the two Joans are this is really Clifton's show and he makes the most of it especially after he temporarily returns to earth in human form and has many misadventures. A sweet, feel good film in the best sense of that phrase.


For Heaven's Sake has a number of witty lines and an interesting premise. If you charted this movie you would see a dip into sentimentality every time Edmund Gwenn shows up. He's such a joke killer in this film. Luckily, he doesn't show up too often. Robert Cummings, never an outstanding presence, turns in a forgettable performance as the theatrical husband and the proximity of his mediocrity somehow manages to suck the life out of the wife, played by Joan Bennett who is usually better than she comes across here. Clifton Webb, sans mustache, is a hoot. In my favorite scene he plays bebop on the harp. It's worth sitting through the whole film just to see that scene.

Dorian Tenore-Bartilucci (dtb)

For those of you who haven't been able to find FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE and want to, look no further than the Fox Movie Channel -- the movie's on FMC as I type this! The movie itself is an odd but amiable comedy starring Clifton Webb as an angel going incognito as a rancher (Clifton Webb as an urbane, persnickety angel going rustic -- there's a mindbender for you! :-) to help theater folk Robert Cummings and Joan Bennett get over their self-absorption and start a family (feeling dizzy yet? :-). Although its tone is uneven, veering between hilarity and mawkishness, it's still watchable thanks to the great cast, particularly Webb, Edmund Gwenn as a fellow angel, and Gigi Perreau and Tommy Rettig as two kid angels who are growing up in Heaven because their parents-to-be keep putting off starting a family. I found the kid angels' part of the story to be the most touching and intriguing, with its concept of children who are already "old souls" when they're born, so they turn out to be "child prodigies" because they already know so much (Webb has a delightful grouchfest about that). Anyway, if you're a sucker for Clifton Webb and heartwarming dramedies where angels solve people's problems, keep your eye on your cable listings, or if your cable company doesn't carry the Fox Movie Channel, now might be a good time to bug them to pick it up! :-)