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Heaven Can Wait (1978)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance  |  28 June 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 13,480 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 28 critic

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.


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Title: Heaven Can Wait (1978)

Heaven Can Wait (1978) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hamilton Camp ...
Jeannie Linero ...
Harry D.K. Wong ...
George J. Manos ...
Security Guard


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 June 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cielo puede esperar  »

Box Office


SEK 3,864,734 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Deacon Jones:  The former Los Angeles Rams football player as Gorman. See more »


Early in the film, a sportswriter asks Joe Pendleton about Tom Jarrett being his competition, and Joe says his competition is the 25 other teams. By the time the movie was released before the 1978 season there were 28 NFL teams as Tampa Bay and Seattle were added in 1976. See more »


Head Coach: [watching Joe Pendleton during football practice] He's lookin' awful good.
See more »


Entry of the Gladiators
By Julius Fucík (as Julius Fucik)
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User Reviews

6.8 User Rating? Huh?
28 September 1999 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

I just about fell out of my chair when I saw that this film only got a 6.8. This is a light entertainment classic and Beatty has never been better suited for a role. The dream supporting cast includes Dyan Cannon, Jack Warden, James Mason, Buck Henry, Charles Grodin, Vincent Gardenia ... and all are at the top of their game. Julie Christie's character (as the love interest) seems, at first glance, to be a bit underwritten, but her scenes with Beatty linger in the memory - especially the ending where Beatty, in a new body with his memory wiped out, sees this beautiful woman in the bowels of a deserted football stadium and struggles to remember what she meant to him.

Growing up, I seem to recall that CBS or some major network used to show this once every year and it was hyped as a big event (this was just before the explosion of cable). I never got tired of watching it each year and it still holds up remarkably well.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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