Down to Earth (1947) 1080p

Movie Poster
Down to Earth (1947) 1080p bluray - Movie Poster
Comedy | Fantasy
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
101 min
IMDB Rating:
6.2 / 10 
Add Date:

Directors: Alexander Hall [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Upset about a new Broadway musical's mockery of Greek mythology, the goddess Terpsichore comes down to earth and lands a part in the show. She works her charms on the show's producer and he incorporates her changes into the show. Unfortunately, her changes also produce a major flop.


  • Down to Earth (1947) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 1
  • Down to Earth (1947) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 2
  • Down to Earth (1947) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 1

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Good idea, bad execution

Goddess Terpsichore (Rita Hayworth) comes down to earth when she discovers a Broadway musical is mocking Greek mythology.

Down to Earth is the ill-advised sequel to Here Comes Mr. Jordan. This film has a good plotline, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

There are several big problems: the absolutely awful musical score (I have to give props to the actors for singing the songs), and Larry Parks, who is just about the most uncharismatic leading man I've ever seen. However, the main problem is that they recast Mr. Jordan. Roland Culver does an alright job, but he's not nearly as great as Claude Rains was.

However, there's good stuff as well. Rita Hayworth is perfectly cast as a goddess (she is a goddess, isn't she?), and James Gleason and Edward Everett Horton reprise their roles as Max Corkle and Messenger 7013 respectively. Fred from I Love Lucy appears as a police detective.

This isn't as bad as people say it is, but it doesn't hold a candle to Here Comes Mr. Jordan. First time viewing. 3/5

A dancing queen goes down to earth to teach mankind a lesson, which is refused

The music, at best, is a bit remindful of Cole Porter, particularly "I've got you under my skin", which it almost makes a pastiche of. On the whole, the music is the worst part of this movie. All the rest is perfectly excellent, and Rita Hayworh plays a part that matches her more than perfectly, as she was probably never better and never had a more gratifying part to play. The show numbers are lavish and sumptuous in abundant luxury, which turns the film into a feast for the eyes, while the plot is part ingenious and part very silly. Terpsichore the muse at Mount Olympus gets annoyed at the way vulgar Americanism twists, parodies and blasphemes the dignity of the eternal muses by depicting them as flippant show girls, so she decides to do something about it, goes down to earth and intervenes, trying to turn that show into some serious highbrow performance of dramatic ballet, but the public doesn't want that and goes to sleep or leaves the show - the vulgar lot wants vulgar entertainment.Roland Culver appears as some Claude Rains type of a manager of the metaphysical set-up and knows what it is all about having complete control, which no one else has. The show rolls on to constant outbursts and wallowings in silly business, until there is an ingenious twist to the end, putting all things in order. It's not a great film, the music is deplored by most music lovers, but it certainly is great entertainment and indeed worth watching for the sake of Rita Hayworth, as she was more unique in many ways than most great queens of the cinema.

Terpsichore and the Psychopomp

Hollywood's most beautiful leading ladies are often referred to as "goddesses", and in "Down to Earth" one of those ladies, Rita Hayworth, gets a chance to play a goddess in the literal sense. Her contemporary Ava Gardner was also to play a goddess in "One Touch of Venus" from the following year.

Danny Miller is a Broadway producer putting on a musical called "Swingin' the Muses". Yes, it's just as bad as it sounds. The plot revolves around a pair of Air Force pilots who crash on Mount Parnassus, the legendary home of the Nine Muses, the Ancient Greek goddesses of the arts. Now theatrical productions can occasionally cause offence to various sections of the population, but Miller's does so in a quite unexpected quarter. The offended party is the Muse Terpsichore herself, the goddess of dance, who is annoyed that Miller's story depicts her as a "man-hungry trollop". She descends to Earth in order to put him right.

Now descending to Earth is not as easy for a goddess as one might think. In order to do so Terpsichore needs assistance from a being known as Mr. Jordan, originally a character in a play called "Heaven Can Wait" which had been adapted for the cinema as "Here Comes Mr. Jordan". (There is no connection with Ernst Lubitsch's film "Heaven Can Wait"). Although he is not referred to as such in the film, Jordan is a psychopomp, a spirit charged with ushering the souls of the dead into the next world, in this case by flying them there in an airliner. He can also ferry immortal beings in the opposite direction, and it is through his good offices that Terpsichore arrives in New York. Once there, using the name Kitty Pendleton, she auditions for, and wins, the star part in Miller's show.

The next development is pretty predictable; Danny falls in love with the supposed "Kitty", never suspecting that she is anything other than a beautiful young actress. Terpsichore takes advantage of his infatuation to rewrite his show, turning it from a vulgar piece of razzamatazz into a highbrow ballet. This proves to be a disaster. The only people who like the new production are a group of pretentious "longhairs"; everyone else loathes it. (The word "longhair" appears to have been an American expression for an intellectual culture-vulture, and could be used even about people who did not literally have long hair). This means that Danny has serious problems. If the show is a failure, he stands to lose more than his money. His main backer is a gangster who has threatened to kill him if the show flops. So how can he bring his show back "down to earth", win back the public and retain "Kitty's" affections, all without getting himself shot?

With a nonsensical plot, a weak leading man in Larry Parks and so-so song and dance numbers, "Down to Earth" could have been an even bigger flop than Danny's production threatens to be. The one thing that saves it is the presence of the lovely Rita. I don't mean that she gives her greatest acting performance; great acting demands a good script, something which this film conspicuously lacks. What Rita brings to the film is not technical acting skills but something rather different, that indefinable star quality which she possessed in spades, combined with her undoubted talent as a dancer. (Like some other dancing actresses- Cyd Charisse is another who comes to mind- was less talented as a singer, and her singing voice was here dubbed). There is also a decent contribution from Roland Culver as Jordan.

The film's take on culture, namely that lowbrow kitsch is always preferable in the eyes of the Great American Public to anything with cultural pretensions, reminded me of another film from a few years later, namely the Fred Astaire vehicle "The Band Wagon". Personally, I found that the ballet sequences were about the only interesting part of "Down to Earth", but that probably means that I am an incorrigible longhair. Without Hayworth, the rest of the film would have been virtually unbearable. As it is, it serves as a record of one of Hollywood's greatest goddesses, and also of what lowbrow kitsch looked like seventy-odd years ago. 5/10
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