6.9/10
17,206
106 user 41 critic

Heaven Can Wait (1978)

A Los Angeles Rams quarterback, accidentally taken away from his body by an overanxious angel before he was meant to die, returns to life in the body of a recently murdered millionaire.

Writers:

Elaine May (screenplay), Warren Beatty (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Beatty ... Joe Pendleton
Julie Christie ... Betty Logan
James Mason ... Mr. Jordan
Jack Warden ... Max Corkle
Charles Grodin ... Tony Abbott
Dyan Cannon ... Julia Farnsworth
Buck Henry ... The Escort
Vincent Gardenia ... Krim
Joseph Maher ... Sisk
Hamilton Camp ... Bentley
Arthur Malet ... Everett
Stephanie Faracy ... Corinne
Jeannie Linero Jeannie Linero ... Lavinia
Harry D.K. Wong Harry D.K. Wong ... Gardener
George J. Manos George J. Manos ... Security Guard
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Storyline

Joe Pendleton is a football quarterback preparing to lead his team to the Superbowl when he is almost killed in an accident. An overanxious angel plucks him to heaven only to discover that he was not ready to die, and that his body has been cremated. Another body must be found without his death being discovered, and that of a recently murdered millionaire is chosen. His wife and accountant, the murderers, are confused by this development, as he buys the Los Angeles Rams in order to once again quarterback them into the Superbowl. At the same time, he falls in love with an English environmental activist who disapproves of his policies and actions. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 June 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cielo puede esperar See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,652,486, 2 July 1978

Gross USA:

$81,640,278

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$81,640,278
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Here Comes Mr. Jordan" is reportedly based on the play "Heaven Can Wait" (1938). However, there are two films with that title. The first film Heaven Can Wait (1943), staring Don Ameche and Gene Tierney, is based on the stage play "Birthday" (1935), written by Leslie Bush-Fekete. In the play and film, the central character is an older man who has lived a full life and is confronted by the devil, who has to decide if he qualifies to enter "Hades". It is a different storyline than the one for "Here Comes Mr. Jordan". The second film titled Heaven Can Wait (1978), staring Warren Beatty, based on a play with the same title, written by Harry Segall, is practically a word for word rewrite of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941). The one exception being that a football player replaces a ring boxer as the central character. See more »

Goofs

During the long scene at the wishing well, the wellhead alternates between being in sunshine and being in the shade. See more »

Quotes

Julia Farnsworth: You locked me in a closet!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata No 3
By George Frideric Handel (as G.F. Handel)
Performed by Paul Brodie and Antonin Kubalek
Courtesy of Golden Crest Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Los Angeles: The City of Angels...And at One Time Rams.
24 September 2003 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

Enjoyable "It's a Wonderful Life"-styled remake of "Here Comes Mr. Jordan", a memorable and sometimes forgotten production from 1941. An over-zealous angel (Buck Henry) takes the quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams (Oscar-nominee Warren Beatty) before his time. Naturally the body is cremated and Henry has to find Beatty another one. Beatty is then re-incarnated as a recently murdered billionaire. This development confuses the billionaire's two-timing wife (Oscar-nominee Dyan Cannon) and accountant (Charles Grodin, also Cannon's lover). Beatty promptly purchases his former team and makes himself the quarterback with aspirations of leading his club to the Super Bowl and winning it. Also along for the ride is the love interest (the always excellent Julie Christie) and the hard-nosed head trainer (priceless Oscar-nominee Jack Warden). "Heaven Can Wait" is a film that teaches about love, compassion, friendship and good moral values. Co-writer/co-director Beatty (nominated in both categories) is the primary catalyst here. His ability as a film-maker raises the movie to a near classic level. Admittedly the production never does quite reach the greatness of films of the type from the 1940s, but still ends up being one of the major winners from the 1970s. Co-star Henry shared a directing nomination with Beatty. Is it just me or do you miss having the Rams in Los Angeles? 4.5 out of 5 stars.


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