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Film / Heavenly Music

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Heavenly Music is a 1943 short film (22 minutes) directed by Josef Berne.

Ted Barry, a bandleader, has died and arrived at the gates of Heaven. After his place is confirmed by the man at the reception desk, an angel named Joy, who knows him, gets his autograph. Joy then escorts Ted to the Hall of Music, which is populated by all the great composers—Beethoven, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and more. Ted then finds himself having to prove to these greats of music history that big band music is a worthy art form and he deserves admission to the hall.



  • Angelic Beauty: The absolutely gorgeous Joy. She tells Ted that the two of them can't date because she's an angel, but her kiss inspires him to hear the "heavenly music" that he incorporates into his song.
  • Archangel Gabriel: Played by none other than Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas, he shows up at the end playing his trumpet in the concert.
  • Book Ends: A short song by a heavenly choir both opens and closes the short.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Mr. Frisbie, Public Relations, is at the entrance desk of Heaven. He has to confirm who Ted is before letting him in.
  • Conversation Cut: Ted singing his song to Joy as he's composing it cuts to Ted in front of all the composers in the Hall of Music, playing it for them.
  • Ear Trumpet: They can't fix Beethoven's hearing in Heaven? Nope, he has to use an ear trumpet.
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  • The End: The closing song by the heavenly choir says they have to go now, and "We'd like to linger longer but you see this is the end." The final The End card pops up as the choir sings those words.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Namely, Heaven appears to be a giant mansion up among the fluffy clouds.
  • Historical Domain Character: The Hall of Music is filled with the greats, including Wagner, Paganini, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, and Beethoven, who seems to be the leader.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Tchaikovsky nails Barry for lifting the "Nutcracker Suite" for use in Barry's big band number. Barry says there's nothing wrong with using a theme, that there are "only seven notes on the scale", and that Tchaikovsky stole from Wagner, and Wagner stole from Brahms...
  • Take That!: When Barry tells Beethoven that his orchestra often played the "Moonlight Sonata", Beethoven says "I heard you...I forgive you."
  • Title Drop: After Joy's kiss allows Ted to hear heavenly music, he composes a song with that title.
    "I seem to hear heavenly music/Every time you're near, there's heavenly music..."
  • Trial of the Mystical Jury: Ted Barry has to prove to the greats of music history that he belongs in their company.

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