Heaven Can Wait (1978)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance  |  28 June 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 13,580 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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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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

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?


The movie was announced in Hollywood trade magazines on 4th March 1977. 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 »


Former owner: He got my team. The son of a bitch got my team.
Advisor to former owner: What kind of pressure did he use, Milt?
Former owner: Well, I asked for sixty-seven million, and he said "okay."
Advisor to former owner: Ruthless bastard.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Buck Henry/Sun Ra (1978) See more »


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

A very classy movie
5 December 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I couldn't think of any other way to describe it in the summary - so I used the word "classy". That's right, classy. It probably stems from the fact that the movie is done in such good taste - very appealing and witty humor.

The entire cast does an absolutely perfect job in this movie. From Warren Beatty, to James Mason (is James Mason physically capable of putting in a bad performance ? ), to Buck Henry, to Jack Warden.

Perhaps the two best performances are Charles Grodin (the slimy personal assistant to Leo Farnsworth),and Dyan Cannon as the psycho Julia Farnsworth. They are both brilliant in their roles.

Very worth watching. Also worth more than its IMDB 6.9 rating.

25 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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