MovieChat Forums > Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) Discussion > TWO destructive FLAWS in this movie

TWO destructive FLAWS in this movie


I cannot believe that NOT ONE person who posted didn’t see the TWO HUGE FLAWS in the end of this movie, nor how it got this stature in the first place. First of all, someone told me 30 years ago that this was his favorite movie and I finally got to see it the other day. I was very disappointed. I don’t know what all the hoopla about ‘best movie ever’ is with such gigantic plot flaws.
Here are the huge flaws explained, I hope.
We are supposed to believe, and I accept, that it is the “soul” which contains all of the person’s characteristics and ‘humanity’ as that’s what we see when Joe Pendleton is in “Heaven” and also later in the two “new” bodies, because they never really make that point. Also, when Joe is “IN Heaven” AND in the new bodies, we SEE JOE, so WE know that it’s really him “inside” the body (wink wink) and we are to believe that everyone else in the movie sees the “real” person who originally owned the body he has assumed. Everyone ‘sees’ ‘Farnsworth’ or ‘Murdock’, but we see ‘Joe’ (Montgomery), to make it easier for us, I guess (and to use two fewer actors? LOL). OK, let’s accept that and go with it.
So now, Joe was brought to “Heaven” by mistake, and is told by the angels that he, Joe, was supposed to live to 1991. Ooops. More of this in a moment.
Also, near the end, when Murdock dies, really dies, we must assume given the plot of the movie, that Murdock’s soul, with all HIS personality and character, goes to ‘Heaven’, as Joe did originally. BUT, in the end, when Joe is supposed to be “permanently installed” in Murdock’s body, it is NOT Joe’s personality, NOT Joe’s “soul” if you will, who is actually in there, because Mr. Jordon said he would have NO memory of being Joe, but it would be Murdock’s personality and character that resides in the “resurrected Murdock” and NOT JOE’s.
So, (flaw 1) how could Murdock’s “soul”, his personality and character, be BOTH “really dead” and in Heaven, where we expect him to be according to the movie’s plot, AND back in HIS OWN body to live as himself to, presumably, 1991, and with Joe’s “girl” to boot??
And, (flaw 2) though it was Joe who was supposed to be living until 1991, “Joe”, his soul, his essence, his personality and characteristics are REMOVED from Murdock at the end by Mr. Jordon and replaced with...MURDOCK’s. So, WHERE is Joe’s “soul”?? Where is “Joe”? He can’t be in “Heaven”, cause then he’s DEAD. And, he’s NOT in Murdock, because Murdock is now back in Murdock. With Joe’s girl. LOL
These flaws were glaring and made no sense, and infuriated me at the end of the movie. I kept asking “So, where’s Joe?”
I hope I have made the two enormous flaws clear. Once you “get it”, it hope it becomes clear.

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in the end, when Joe is supposed to be “permanently installed” in Murdock’s body, it is NOT Joe’s personality, NOT Joe’s “soul” if you will, who is actually in there, because Mr. Jordon said he would have NO memory of being Joe, but it would be Murdock’s personality and character that resides in the “resurrected Murdock” and NOT JOE’s.

You misunderstood.

It *IS* Joe's soul and personality in Murdoch's body at the end. He just has a form of amnesia when it comes to his earlier life before the unscheduled destruction of Joe's original body ...... well, and his time in Bruce's body too, for that matter.

Murdoch's soul *IS* still in heaven at the end of the movie.

It's not explicitly stated at the end (when Joe's amnesia sets in), however the presumption would be that when Joe returns to heaven in 1991 then he would regain all of his memories of his soul's entire existence in all three bodies (and in between them).

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I get what you're saying...I seem to remember Warren Beatty and his writers doing a better job of explaining what was going to happen to Joe the longer he stayed in his permanent body. That being said, it's that fading of Joe's memory that makes it so poignant; Joe has to actually become Murdock for the rest of his time on Earth (why? I don't know lol). He's Joe, but he's also Murdock. After the screwup at the beginning with Joe's death, nothing will be "perfect" again with Joe until he meets his reward in 1991. But throughout the movie, when Mr. Jordan tells Joe it's his destiny to become champ, and that if it's meant to be with Betty, it will be - even though he has to switch bodies again - we think that everything will be as it was supposed to be with Joe had he not been "pulled out" too early. But we find out in the end that, even though Joe has become champ (as Murdock), and he will end up with Betty, there are really only faint traces of Joe left. Betty is practically with a new guy and, even though Max will be his manager, Max will always long for Joe to really be Joe...he's the only one who REALLY knows now, including Joe/Murdock himself. It's just this plot device that makes the movie, for me anyway, so sad at the end. Such a great injustice has been done to Joe Pendleton, and we see that it can never be truly righted. But, as sad as it is, it's like life. Sometimes we get what we want, but is it ever as good as how we thought it would be? If Joe could remember all he's been through with the mistake, through Farnsworth's body, then Murdock, and to be champ and be with Betty after all that it seems to me it would be so much more fulfilling for him (and for us)...but there's really no Joe left, not enough to make up for all that he strived for and was taken from him from a sympathetic but careless, not-nearly-contrite-enough angel (think about all the training he did as Joe, then as Farnsworth, when all he really needed to do was to pop into an already in-shape fighter's body...)

"How do you feel?"
"Like the Kling-Klang King of the Rim-Ram Room!"

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"Think about all the training he did as Joe, then as Farnsworth, when all he really needed to do was to pop into an already in-shape fighter's body...)"

Yeah but if he did that he wouldn't have met Betty!

To the OP: It has been noticed, by a lot of people. The thread "distressing soul merge" covers a lot of what you say here.

You want sausage? I've got sausage, too.

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It's just this plot device that makes the movie, for me anyway, so sad at the end. Such a great injustice has been done to Joe Pendleton, and we see that it can never be truly righted. But, as sad as it is, it's like life. Sometimes we get what we want, but is it ever as good as how we thought it would be?

You've made a valid point. It did feel as if everything had not been righted but thats the way life is. Reflecting back to the final scene I think there still is an aspect of Joe left as he got a sense of deja vu when he saw Bette again. So maybe Joe does live on in the end, even if its not his full self.

"I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not".

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"I seem to remember Warren Beatty and his writers doing a better job of explaining what was going to happen to Joe the longer he stayed in his permanent body."


That's the problem - you want it dumbed down and spoonfed to you. It is listed as a fantasy. In a fantasy, things are not 100% real. You expect realism in a drama or biography, not a fantasy.

It is a solid movie - not an all-time great, but clearly worth watching and very entertaining

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"I seem to remember Warren Beatty and his writers doing a better job of explaining what was going to happen to Joe the longer he stayed in his permanent body."


That's the problem - you want it dumbed down and spoonfed to you. It is listed as a fantasy. In a fantasy, things are not 100% real. You expect realism in a drama or biography, not a fantasy.

It is a solid movie - not an all-time great, but clearly worth watching and very entertaining




I wasn't the one complaining about "flaws", Fyi- I love the film as is. Maybe in the future you'll want to actually quote the correct person when you feel like getting your jag- off fix.


"Richard, the world wouldn't be safe without the bomb."

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Only "Two Flaws??" I count around 200! Who cares, it's a movie!

Enjoy!!

"Good news is no news, no news is bad news, bad news is good news!" James Morgan

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Son....you need to get out more. Socialize. Perhaps join a bowling league. The film is entertainment...not a life guide. Get over it.



Remember When Movies Didn't Have To Be Politically Correct?

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Actually, I thought this version did a much better job of explaining this point than the 1978 remake did. In this one, Mr. Jordan clearly states that Joe's personality would always shine through no matter what happened. This allows for us to accept that, even with no memory of having lived as someone else, he will always be Joe. This also explains why he asks James Gleason to stick around as his new manager, even though he doesn't remember knowing him.

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The same thing bothered me--the big question of, "But who gets the girl?"

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I don't like it at all either. No matter what happens to me the most important thing I have and the only thing that makes me me is my memories and experiences which shape everything about me. If I lose those I've lost everything. I'd rather be dead.

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I think most of the posters here should take a course on metaphysics. It all is really very simple. HINT - Your Spirit and Soul lives forever. Your body dies.

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The flaw is that you haven't an ounce of poetry or fantasy in your entire body.

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I'd suggest not worrying about flaws in a movie that is based on the quaint concept that we don't die when we die. Yes, I know that many tens of millions of people believe the concept is true, but that doesn't alter the reality that no one has ever produced a shred of credible evidence to support it. Fun movie though, if you can briefly set aside rational disbelief and critical thinking skills.

I have seen enough to know I have seen too much. -- ALOTO

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There is no justification for being so condescending (albeit politely) towards the theme of this movie.

People are discussing the plot/story line in a thoughtful manner, and you come in and announce that it's a waste of time because it's based on a "quaint concept" that you obviously don't believe in, and that the only way to enjoy the movie is to enter a mindless state. Frankly, that's rather insulting and adds nothing to the conversation.

There are also millions of people all over the World who believe in such things as vampires, zombies, aliens, witchcraft, etc. I'm sure you don't go to the comment boards of movies with such story lines and chide people there because the concepts are not based on reality and backed by credible evidence.

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I love the movie but I must admit it always bothered me that Joe has to lose his memory of being Joe. It does make the ending more poignant for both Joe and Max but it seems like Joe is getting screwed over big time after already getting screwed big time.

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Aww come on. Use your imagination a little. Sure he has total memory loss....but only at first. As he starts interacting with people, especially the girl, etc., his memories will come back.

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His personality and soul are all there, he just has the other guy's body and memories instead of his own.

In the Warren Beatty version, he tells Julie Christie, 'You'd recognize that look in someone else right, he might even be a quarterback.' And near the end when he asks her to go for coffee she says, 'You're the quarterback?' It's really about two souls meant to be with each other, which is how they end up in the end.


Who's the guy that first spelled Phonetics?

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If you have no memory of who you are, then you don't exist. Joe Pendleton got screwed.

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It is after all, just a movie. I think the point of it all was that no matter what you look like, no matter who people think you are, the real person comes through. Sure, he didn't have his body or his memories any more, but moving forward he was (inside) going to be the soul (if you will) of Joe Pendleton.



Whispered the sound...............of silence

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