Down to Earth (1947): Hall’s Musical Sequel to Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Starring Rita Hayworth and Larry Parks

Alexander Hall directed Down to Earth, a musical comedy starring Rita Hayworth and Larry Parks, a sequel to his Oscar nominated Here Comes Mr. Jordan of 1941.

Grade: B (*** out of *****)

Down to Earth
Down to Earth FilmPoster.jpeg

Original theatrical poster

Edward Everett Horton and James Gleason reprised their roles from the earlier film, Roland Culver replaced Claude Rains as Mr. Jordan.

Hayworth stars as the Muse Terpsichore annoyed that Broadway producer Danny Miller (Parks) is putting on a play which portrays the Muses as man-crazy tarts fighting for attention from Air Force pilots who crashed on Mount Parnassus.

She asks permission from Mr. Jordan to go to Earth and fix the play, and he sends Messenger 7013 (Horton) to keep an eye on her.

Terpsichore uses the name Kitty Pendleton and quickly gets an agent, Max Corkle (Gleason), and a part in the show. During rehearsals, she criticizes Danny’s depictions of the Muses.

Danny, now in love with Kitty, is persuaded and alters the play from musical farce to ballet, scored by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

The revised play is a flop, and Danny, threatened by gangsters who demand a success, goes back to his original concept. Kitty is ready to leave until Mr. Jordan explains the situation. Despite arguments, Kitty still loves him and decides to save him even if it damages her reputation.

Max Corkle makes reference to the previous movie by telling Mr. Jordan that old friend Joe Pendleton, now living as K.O. Murdock, is doing fine, with wife and two children.

Kitty performs “Swingin’ the Muses” the way the producer intended, and when the musical is a hit, Terpsichore must return to heaven.  She wants to stay with Danny, but she is now invisible to mortals.

In the happy ending, Mr. Jordan grants her vision of their reunion in the afterlife.

Cast
Rita Hayworth as Terpsichore/Kitty Pendleton (singing voice dubbed by Anita Ellis)
Roland Culver as Mr. Jordan
Larry Parks as Danny Miller (singing voice dubbed by Hal Derwin)
James Gleason as Max Corkle
Edward Everett Horton as Messenger 7013
Adele Jergens as Georgia Evans and & New Terpsichore (singing voice dubbed by Kay Starr)
William Haade as Spike
James Burke as Detective Kelly
Marc Platt as Eddie
Kathleen O’Malley as Dolly

Credits

Directed by Alexander Hall
Produced by Don Hartman
Written by Harry Segall
Music by George Duning, Heinz Roemheld
Doris Fisher (songs), Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Greek ballet)
Cinematography Rudolph Mate
Edited by Viola Lawrence
Distributed by Columbia Pictures

Release date: August 21, 1947

Running time: 101 minutes

Remakes
The title “Down to Earth” was used for the comedy film Down to Earth (2001) starring Chris Rock, which is a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan.

Down to Earth was remade as Xanadu (1980) starring Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck and Gene Kelly (in his final role), initially a commercial flop, which later became a cult favorite.