Turner Classic Movies starts off the new year with a day of movies about angels and ghosts, including some of my favorites:
“A Guy Named Joe” Spencer Tracy is a fighter pilot who is killed in action and returns as an angel to help his devastated girlfriend (Irene Dunne) find a new love.
“Cabin in the Sky” God and the devil battle for the soul of a wounded gambler in this classic film featuring rare performances by some of the leading African-American performers of the early 20th century, including Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Lena Horne, Ethel Waters (singing “Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe”), Louis Armstrong, Rex Ingram, and Duke Ellington.
“Topper” A carefree young couple (Cary Grant and Constance Bennett) are killed in an accident and come back to liven the life of a straight-laced attorney.
“Matter of Life and Death” David Niven plays a pilot whose negotiation with the heavenly powers may be real or may be his delirious fantasy.
“Angel on My Shoulder” A gangster (Paul Muni) goes to hell and makes a deal with the devil — he can return to earth to get revenge on the man who murdered him if he will impersonate an honest judge and make everyone think he is corrupt.
“Here Comes Mr. Jordan” Remade as “Heaven Can Wait” with Warren Beatty and “Down to Earth” with Chris Rock, this is the classic about a boxer who is accidentally taken to heaven too soon by an over-eager angel and returns to earth in the body of a wealthy man.