This Is Heaven
Fritzi Ridgeway and Vilma Banky 1919.jpg
Still with Fritzi Ridgeway and Vilma Banky
Directed byAlfred Santell
Written byHope Loring (screenplay)
George Marion (dialogue)
Arthur Mantell
Produced bySamuel Goldwyn
StarringVilma Bánky
CinematographyGeorge Barnes
Gregg Toland
Edited byViola Lawrence
Music byHugo Riesenfeld
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • June 22, 1929 (1929-06-22)
Running time
90 min. (sound)
7950 ft. (silent)
CountryUnited States

This Is Heaven is a 1929 American pre-Code romantic comedy film directed by Alfred Santell and starring Vilma Bánky. It was produced by Samuel Goldwyn and released through United Artists.

The film concerns a newly arrived Hungarian immigrant learns to accustom herself to the new and strange life she finds in New York City.


At Ellis Island in New York City, Eva Petrie (Vilma Bánky), a newly arrived Hungarian immigrant meets her uncle, Frank Chase, a subway motorman, and his daughter, Mamie, with whom she will reside in the Bronx, Mamie gains Eva a job as a cook and waitress at Child's Restaurant on Fifth Avenue, and tries unsuccessfully, to interest her in wealthy men. Eva spots Jimmy on the subway one morning, he is wearing a chauffeur's cap, though he is actually a millionaire. Later, she is sent to preside over a griddle at a charity bazaar, where she becomes reacquainted Jimmy —while pretending to be an exiled Russian princess. He realizes the deception and pretends to be a chauffeur. Eva and Jimmy following a romantic courtship, are married, and she insists he go into the taxi business. Uncle Frank, however, gambles their last payment on a taxi, and Eva is forced to borrow money from Mamie's wealthy lover. Jimmy then drops the pretense, revealing his true position in life, and Eva realizes "this ees Heaven" [1]


Production background

Originally titled "Fifth Avenue Childs" and then "Fifth Avenue", Childs Restaurant management would not give Goldwyn permission to use their name, eventually he landed on This is Heaven.[2]

Some scenes were filmed on location in New York City.[3]

The film was released in both silent and sound versions.[4] Uncertain about the future of sound films, believing that his product should either be all-talking or all-silent, and with Vilma Bánky less than diligent about her vocal lessons, Goldwyn inserted three talking sequences into this silent picture then sat on the film for several months. His instincts proved correct: it was not a success at the box-office.[5] Bánky would make only three more films.


In a review in the St. Louis Star, published July 1, 1929, it was declared that "Vilma's voice pleases, though it is less lovely than her blonde profile. Vilma's heaven is the tiny apartment the immigrant girl is getting in marrying James Hall, supposed chauffeur. The chauffeur is a millionaire....Best shots are the Ellis Island episodes.


  1. ^ Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960, P.1029. By America Film Institute Staff & Alan Gevinson
  2. ^ The New York Times, January 27, 1929, Section A, Page 7,
  3. ^ Los Angeles Evening Express (Los Angeles, California) · January 4, 1929, Fri · Page 8
  4. ^ SilentEra entry
  5. ^ Goldwyn: A Biography, A. Scott Berg