Blu-ray Review: Here Comes Mr Jordan (Criterion Collection)

The story of defying death and getting the chance to start over is one which has fascinated
audiences since the introduction of talking films. Whilst the subject has been covered extensively, most notably in A Matter of Life and Death and Heaven Can Wait, the first film to consider this storyline was released by Columbia Studios in 1949. Directed by Alexander Smith, Here Comes Mr Jordan was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning three.

Boxer Joe Pendleton’s (Robert Montgomery) escapes almost certain death in a plane crash but a bureaucratic error means he’s forever (de)parted from his body. Mr Jordan (Claude Rains) steps in to clear up the mess, but when Joe adopts someone else’s body, things are not plain sailing. Whilst still determined to be crowned champion, the appearance of the beautiful Miss Logan (Evelyn Keyes) throws a spanner in the works.

Here Comes Mr Jordan is a great American film in the same vein as Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s a feel-good movie containing values and entertainment for all ages. Robert Montgomery is perfect as the affable Joe, a real golden boy, whilst Smith ensures that there’s always a layer of laughter keeping proceedings light and amicable. Here Comes Mr Jordan is a tasty piece of pie with a extra cherry on top.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between critic Michael Sragow and filmmaker/distributor Michael Schlesinger
  • Audio interview from 1991 in which actor Elizabeth Montgomery discusses her father, actor Robert Montgomery
  • Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Here Comes Mr. Jordan from 1942 starring Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes, and James Gleason
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

Here Comes Mr Jordan is released on Blu-ray as part of the Criterion Collection by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Monday.

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