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As noted above, Harry Segall's unproduced play was first copyrighted under the title It Was Like That in November 1938. In 1943, the play's title was changed to Halfway to Heaven and was also listed in copyright records as Heaven Can Wait. This film was a follow-up to the 1941 Columbia picture Here Comes Mr. Jordan (see below), which also featured actor Edward Everett Horton in the role of "Messenger 7013" and James Gleason as "Max Corkle." The character of "Mr. Jordan," played by Roland Culver in Down to Earth, was played by Claude Rains in the 1941 film. An August 1946 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that former model Georgette Windsor was to make her film debut in this picture, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Contemporary news items in Hollywood Reporter note that the filming of the "heaven" sequences took place at the Westwood Ice Palace, and that a second unit was assigned to shoot an outdoor sequence in downtown Los Angeles. According to a July 1946 Hollywood Reporter news item, New York City's Gramercy Park, the setting of the musical finale, was reconsctructed on two sound stages at the Columbia lot.
According to information contained in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Breen Office, after viewing the completed film in January 1947, deemed the picture "unacceptable" under the Production Code. Specifically, the office objected to three skimpy costumes worn by Rita Hayworth and some "offensively suggestive dance movements in the early part of the picture." According to the memo, Columbia executive Harry Cohn took "violent exception" to Joseph Breen's viewpoint and refused to make any changes in the film. The memo further noted that Cohn complained that the PCA had approved pictures, such as the 1946 Selznick film Duel in the Sun, that, in his judgment, were "unacceptable." Subsequent memos indicate that Breen approved Down to Earth after Columbia ordered minor cuts and changes in the film, including the use of longer shots to replace close-ups of Hayworth's dresses.