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Down to Earth

Down to Earth title card

Year - 1947
Studio - Columbia
Stars -Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks, Marc Platt, Roland Culver, James Gleason, Edward Everett Horton, Adele Jergens
Director - Alexander Hall
Writing Credits - Edwin Blum, Don Hartman, Harry Segall (play - Heaven Can Wait)
Music - George Duning, Heinz Roemheld

Synopsis

The goddess Terpsichore (Rita Hayworth) is distressed to learn that a new Broadway musical about her and the nine muses is in rehearsal, but has cheapened her story. She appeals to Mr. Jordan (Roland Culver) to allow her to go down to Earth and help the producer, Danny Miller (Larry Parks) with the production. Mr. Jordan consents and instructs Messenger 7013 (Edward Everett Horton) to accompany her.

On her arrival, she auditions for the role of Terpsichore and Danny is stunned with her talent and immediately offers her the job. Mr. Jordon brings in Max Corkle (James Gleason) to be her agent, and he suggests her Earth name, Kitty Pendleton (after the boxer, Joe Pendleton, he managed in Here Comes Mr. Jordan).

Down to Earth poster

Terpsichore convinces Danny to make changes to the play that result in it being more highbrow and, as a result, it is a failure with audiences and critics. Danny announces that he is putting the "swing" elements back into the production and, when the play opens in New York, it is a huge hit.

Mr. Jordan reveals to Terpsichore that her purpose in being sent to Earth was to help Danny's play succeed, as he owed a large gambling debt to a mobster, who had assumed financial responsibility for the show. Had it been a failure, Danny would have been murdered. She begs to stay on Earth as a mortal, as she has fallen in love with Danny, but Mr. Jordan insists she must return. He does provide her a glimpse of the future, however, when she and Danny are reunited in Heaven.

Show Spoilers

Down to Earth is something of a Technicolor musical sequel to Here Comes Mr. Jordan, with James Gleason and Edward Everett Horton reprising their original roles, and Roland Culver taking the reins from Claude Rains as Mr. Jordan. The film was remade in 1980 as another musical, Xanadu. A film blanc with the same title was 2001's Down to Earth, a remake of 1978's Heaven Can Wait.