7.2/10
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58 user 38 critic

Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Passed | | Fantasy, Musical | 9 April 1943 (USA)
A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors:

Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley (uncredited)

Writers:

Joseph Schrank (screen play), Lynn Root (based upon the book of the musical play by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethel Waters ... Petunia Jackson
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson ... Little Joe Jackson
Lena Horne ... Georgia Brown
Louis Armstrong ... The Trumpeter
Rex Ingram ... Lucius / Lucifer Jr.
Kenneth Spencer Kenneth Spencer ... The General / Rev. Green
John W. Bubbles ... Domino Johnson (as 'Bubbles' [John W. Sublett])
Oscar Polk ... The Deacon / Fleetfoot
Mantan Moreland ... First Idea Man
Willie Best ... Second Idea Man
Fletcher Rivers Fletcher Rivers ... Third Idea Man (as Moke [Fletcher Rivers])
Leon James Leon James ... Fourth Idea Man (as Poke [Leon James])
Bill Bailey Bill Bailey ... Bill
Ford Washington Lee Ford Washington Lee ... Messenger Boy (as 'Buck' [Ford L. Washington])
Butterfly McQueen ... Lily
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Storyline

Chronic gambler and carouser "Little" Joe Jackson is shot by Domino Johnson at Jim Henry's gambling club over an outstanding gambling debt. Little Joe's wife, the God-fearing Petunia Jackson, prays not only for her husband's mortal life, but also his eternal soul as she's afraid that if he dies now, he, despite not being an evil man, won't make it into heaven. As Little Joe is close to death, he is visited by agents of both the Lord and of Lucifer. They make a deal with him: they will give him six months to atone for the errors of his human life. Once back on Earth, he won't remember the deal but both the Lord and Lucifer will be watching over him, trying to get him to see things their way. As both sides try to get Little Joe's soul, they figure that some of the most powerful tools they have at their disposal are the women in Little Joe's life: Petunia on behalf of the Lord, and Georgia Brown, a gold-digging floozy, on behalf of Lucifer. As hard as both the Lord and Lucifer try to get... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hell | shooting | prayer | church | singer | See All (46) »

Taglines:

Ethel Waters (Famed Torch Singer) See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 April 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cabin in the Sky See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$662,141 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,606,624, 31 December 1943
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

MGM recycled some of its tornado footage from The Wizard of Oz (1939) for a key scene. See more »

Goofs

During the nightclub fight between Domino Johnson and Little Joe, the gunshot he fires accidentally hits Petunia. She falls down on the steps of the staircase, where she drapes her right arm twice over the side. See more »

Quotes

Petunia Jackson: [after she runs Jim Henry and his crony off] Oh, Lord! Please forgive me for backsliding, but sometimes when you fight the Devil you've got to jab him with his own pitchfork!
See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM Greatest Moments: A Video Sampler (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Taking a Chance on Love
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Vernon Duke
Lyrics by John La Touche and Ted Fetter
Performed by Ethel Waters and Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, with dancing by Bill Bailey
See more »

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User Reviews

Witty, well-acted, years ahead of its time
26 December 2003 | by bregundSee all my reviews

This film crackles with energy from start to finish. Every moment of this film contains singing, dancing, or drama. There is so much going on in this film, and so often, that it is impossible to look away from it; its simple and timeless lessons about love, morality, misunderstandings, and forgiveness play out like little vignettes. Minnelli keeps the action moving so quickly that you can't even catch your breath. I doubt that the endearing sincerity of this film, so obvious in scenes such as when Little Joe comes home to greet Petunia, could be as genuine in today's jaded, cynical audiences. This is a wonderful, spirited film packed with talented actors. It's a shame that certain people have to point out that it's an "all-black" cast; why make skin color an issue?


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