Classic Film Guide

One Foot in Heaven (1941)

Nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, this film is about a pastor (played believably by Fredric March) and his wife (Martha Scott) through many years in service to their communities. It was directed by Irving Rapper, based on Hartzell Spence's book about his father (Peter Caldwell plays the author as a boy, age 10; Frankie Thomas at age 18), with a screenplay by Casey Robinson (Captain Blood (1935)). Memorable support is provided by Beulah Bondi as a wealthy member of his congregation (whose money he needs for a church upgrade), Gene Lockhart as a member whose wife sings (poorly) in the choir, Grant Mitchell as the architect of the church improvements, Jerome Cowan as a skeptic the pastor feels he must win over, and Harry Davenport as "Bondi's" poor gardener whose interaction with the pastor causes her to become upset. Charles Halton appears uncredited.

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