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From Hell to Heaven (1933) Online

From Hell to Heaven (1933) Online
Original Title :
From Hell to Heaven
Genre :
Movie / Action / Drama / Romance / Sport
Year :
Directror :
Erle C. Kenton
Cast :
Carole Lombard,Jack Oakie,Adrienne Ames
Writer :
Lawrence Hazard,Percy Heath
Type :
Time :
1h 7min
Rating :
From Hell to Heaven (1933) Online

The various residents and occupants of a resort hotel await the outcome of a horse race at a nearby track, as it will affect each of their lives in different ways. .
Cast overview, first billed only:
Carole Lombard Carole Lombard - Colly Tanner
Jack Oakie Jack Oakie - Charlie Bayne
Adrienne Ames Adrienne Ames - Joan Burt
David Manners David Manners - Wesley Burt
Sidney Blackmer Sidney Blackmer - Cuff Billings
Verna Hillie Verna Hillie - Sunny Lockwood
James Eagles James Eagles - Tommy Tucker
Shirley Grey Shirley Grey - Winnie Lloyd
Bradley Page Bradley Page - Jack Ruby
Walter Walker Walter Walker - Pop Lockwood
Berton Churchill Berton Churchill - Toledo Jones
Donald Kerr Donald Kerr - Steve Wells
Nydia Westman Nydia Westman - Sue Wells
Cecil Cunningham Cecil Cunningham - Mrs. Chadman
Thomas E. Jackson Thomas E. Jackson - Detective Elmer Lynch

During the January shooting for this movie, Carole Lombard, shivering in summer attire, turned to her warmly dressed crew and shouted, "All right, you warm, bloody bastards, what's good for one is good for all! I'm not shooting till I see every one of you down to your jockey shorts!" Much to her delight, the crew complied.

Paramount's response to MGM's highly successful Gran hotel (1932)

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.

User reviews



This film started out slowly and I was expecting a real stinker. However, each and every story-line as it developed caught my interest and sympathy. Carole Lombard's part here is very small and she is perhaps the least interesting character of them all. I must admit, there may be something I'm missing because the excellent print that I viewed was 51 minutes long and the documentation says it should be 70 minutes in length. Jack Oakie's part as the announcer at the track was very smooth and entertaining. He brings a little comic relief. It was nice to see Sidney Blackmer from the Cary Grant movie "People will Talk" and an episode of "The Outer Limits" as Lombard's love interest. Each couple bets on a different horse in the race and I really was on edge to see who of the many likable characters would win. The innovative scene at the track where the camera is placed on a long boom which swings in and out at different locations in the stands and focuses on one couple at a time is interesting if not dizzying.


This film features a huge cast of well-known character actors playing a group of people at a hotel near a race track awaiting the outcome of a particular race. They include Jack Oakie, Carole Lombard, Adrienne Ames, Sidney Blackmer, David Manners, Cecil Cunningham, Nydia Westman, Shirley Grey and Bradley Page. There's the comical pair, the criminal pair out to fleece someone, a woman estranged from her husband, and the various gamblers, jockeys and horse owners with lots of cash on the line. Carole Lombard, the biggest name in the cast, is probably the least interesting of the cast. Cecil Cunningham, a tall, gangly character actress stands out to me out from everybody. There's a little something for everybody to do here, so it ends up pretty much as a mixed bag. Definitely "B" scale, however. Interesting note: the villain's name is Jack Ruby!


If a lot of people, from vastly different backgrounds, bet on different horses in the same race, most will be disappointed. All seem to have worthwhile motives and causes, and this makes it tough for the moviegoer watching "From Hell To Heaven" to pick a rooting interest throughout the film. They all come to the same hotel awaiting for the big race, hence the "Grand Hotel" type milieu.

Paramount assembled an impressive cast for this horse racing drama, most of whom are forgotten nowadays. Carole Lombard may be the most recognizable name, but she was still playing straight dramatic parts and not doing 'screwball' comedies yet. Jack Oakie is along for comic relief and brings his considerable energy as the track announcer. Also in the cast - and worthy of mention - are some long-ago stars, like Cecil Cunningham, who played parts later taken by Helen Broderick and Alice Brady, and Sidney Blackmer, who later played heavies. This is an old-fashioned track flick and fashionistas will get a kick out of the 30's outfits, while history buffs will take note of a time when bookmakers were legal and jockeys apparently could be switched overnight, before a big race.

"From Hell To Heaven" is an interesting and absorbing story which holds the viewers interest and keeps moving for its 70 minute length. There is some genuine suspense regarding the outcome of the big race, and the viewer can build up sympathy for several of the principals. This played at Capitolfest, Rome, NY, 8/13, and was shown in 35mm.


Even in its short, 53-minutes, TV cutdown (NOT 67 minutes as stated on the otherwise very acceptable VintageFilmBuff DVD) version, this is an interesting movie. True, the title is way, way misleading. The movie has absolutely nothing to do with either hell or heaven. It's actually a horse-racing picture in earnest, or a portmanteau movie in thin disguise, distinguished both by its large cast and its remarkably inventive direction by Sidney Salkow of all people, here making his movie debut. Salkow was one of the first of Hollywood's directors to dessert the film industry for TV. Until I saw this movie with Salkow's truly astonishing crowd scenes, I never thought much of his work. I would describe him as a competent but uninspired journeyman director. This movie, however, gives the lie to that description. Even the dialogue episodes, directed by our old, almost always competent (but usually with next-to-no pizazz) friend, Erle C. Kenton, are not bad either.As for the players, even Jack Oakie is reasonably amusing in this one. Alas, David Manners comes across as a bore as usual, but Carole Lombard is lively enough and she has some good scenes with Sidney Blackmer of all people. And although he is billed way way way way way way way down near the bottom of the cast list, Thomas Jackson also has some great scenes; while Clarence Muse, I'm very happy to say, also benefits from a disproportionate amount of footage in the cutdown even though he is billed next to last! But, as I said above, what the script has in common with either "hell" or "heaven" is a total mystery. If ever a movie toted an inappropriate title, From Hell To Heaven leaves other contenders at the starting post!


At the Lurie Spring Hotel, people come and go, but nothing ever happens. Sounds familiar? This movie came out four months after MGM's GRAND HOTEL and was Paramount's response to it. Originally it clocked in at an less-than-grand 67 minutes. I saw a 52-minute version and, while the names may sparkle in recollection, they were not quite so distinguished then. Carole Lombard and Jack Oakie were the two top-billed stars, and further down were ... well, it doesn't matter too much. Because the multi-plotted movie is too brief for more than vignettes. Everyone is waiting for the big race, the broke ex-wife and the embezzler who need the money; the horse owner who has everything riding on this race, and the jockey whom he fired for redemption.

And so forth. It's directed by Erle C. Kenton, one of many directors to emerge from Mack Sennett's studio. It's a pleasant enough effort, but it definitely was not an A picture by the time it hit the screen. Even so, it's a fine example of the professional polish that even the cheapest of Paramount's programmers could achieve.