Monday, July 17, 2006

Heaven Can Wait - addendum

Following up on my post on Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait, here's my favourite scene from the movie: the deathbed speech of Henry (Don Ameche), where he recounts a dream that sums up the ultimate goals of his life: have as much fun as possible with liquor and beautiful women. And after the speech is finished, with one of Lubitsch's trademark door gags -- every Lubitsch movie has several gags where the camera holds on a closed door while we imagine what's happening behind it -- he gets to die the way he wants, with a young woman telling him to open his mouth and say "ah."

Note that Ameche has to deliver the big speech in one uninterrupted take; no cutting or inserts to break up the speech and make it easier on the actor.

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