Heaven Can Wait (1943)
HBO claimed to be playing the 1978 version of this movie, the one with Warren Beatty, which I have seen far more times than anyone should. I think maybe we taped it off TV when I was a kid? Anyway, I hadn't seen it in maybe ten years, so I taped it. But when I sat down to watch it, the guide had LIED. It was, in fact, the 1943 version with Don Ameche, and, apparently, an entirely different plot (like, entirely).
[it is the LOBBY of HELL]
Devil: Well, come in, come in! So you're interested in coming to Hell, eh?
Old Man Don Ameche: Well, the line for Heaven is really long.
Devil: But you haven't done anything bad enough!
Old Man Don Ameche: I think if I tell you the story of my life, you'll see it's one long misdemeanor...*
[he LAUNCHES into his TALE]
Don Ameche: You see, from the day I was born, women were fighting over me...
His Mom: My baby!
His Grandma: I want to hold him!
[they act CRAZY because he has a MYSTERIOUS CHARM]
Don Ameche: And it didn't get any better!
Little Girl: Gee, I sure like that beetle you got there.
Little Don Ameche: Well, you can have it.
Little Girl: That other beetle you have sure looks PRETTY lonely...
Little Don Ameche: Sigh. Do you want this one too?
Little Girl: Do I look like the kind of girl who would take a boy's last beetle?*
[he GIVES it to her because WOMEN are DEMANDING]
Don Ameche: But I had this lame-o cousin who was always salting my game.
Cousin Albert: I'm upstanding! And I wear glasses, so I'm smart.
Their Grandpa: I like you better than that Albert...he's so lame. Here, have some money from our family coffer.
[he SPENDS recklessly but NO ONE CARES because he is SO FUCKING CHARMING]
Don Ameche: Mom! Dad! I found the girl I'm going to marry! I just met her.
Cousin Albert: Family, this is my fiancee.
Gene Tierney: Hello.
Don Ameche: Of all the rotten luck! It's the woman I overheard lying to her mother on the phone and then followed to the bookstore, where I pretended to be a bookstore employee so I would have an excuse to talk to her, and she told me she wanted a book called How to Make Your Husband Happy and I was disappointed that she was engaged because she's so pretty, and now it turns out the husband is my cousin! Damn!
Gene Tierney: [has a SNEEZING FIT and is sent to the library]
Don Ameche: I love you. Let's get married.
Gene Tierney: But...you just met me. I mean - I don't really love your cousin; I only agreed to marry him to get out of Kansas and away from my amusingly provincial parents.
Don Ameche: Okay, let's go!
Gene Tierney: Okay. You are way hotter than your cousin anyway.
[they ELOPE and everyone is PISSED except GRANDPA]
Don Ameche: Then we had a kid, who was just a big a rascal as his old dad.
[the kid does some RASCALLY, yet still CHARMING things]
Don Ameche: But then...I had a dalliance.
Gene Tierney: You cheater! I'm moving back to Kansas with my parents!
Her Mother: Jasper, tell my husband not to read the comics aloud.
Her Father: Jasper, tell my wife I'll read the comics aloud if I want!
Jasper, Their Servant: These white folks is crazy!!
Don Ameche: Wife, I love you. Please come home.
Gene Tierney: My resolve has faded due to your charm. Also, my parents are annoying.
[they are HAPPY for a LONG TIME and then she DIES]
Son of Don Ameche: Dad, I met a girl!
Don Ameche: It's not...a showgirl, is it?
[he PAYS OFF the showgirl to DUMP his son so she won't SULLY his son's GOOD NAME, but then the son DUMPS her anyway]
Don Ameche: Well, don't I have egg on my face now?
[he gets OLD and has a NURSE that looks like his WIFE and then he DIES]
Don Ameche: So, now I'm dead. Wasn't my life scandalous and bad? Shouldn't I come to Hell?
Devil: No, sir. You'll find your wife waiting in the other place. Have fun, and give my regards to St. Peter!