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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.


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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


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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Escort
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

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,192,799, 2 July 1978, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bruce Kimmel has clarified confusion regarding the film's source stage play and the various cinema movies associated with it in some way: "Once upon a time there was a play by Harry Segall called 'Heaven Can Wait', written in 1938 and not produced on Broadway. Nevertheless, the film rights were bought and the resulting 1941 film, retitled Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), was a hit. This was followed by a 1943 Ernst Lubitsch film called Heaven Can Wait (1943) that had nothing to do with Mr. Segall, his play or Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941). Then came Down to Earth (1947), starring Rita Hayworth, which was a sort of sequel to Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), bringing back the characters played by Edward Everett Horton and James Gleason, but not the central characters. That same year [actually late 1946], the Segall play finally made it to Broadway but under a different title, 'Wonderful Journey' - a production that ran only nine performances. Flash forward to 1978 - Paramount Pictures and Warren Beatty remake Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) but change the title back to Segall's original title, 'Heaven Can Wait'. Two years later comes Xanadu (1980), starring Olivia Newton-John, which was a sort of remake of Down to Earth (1947), the sequel to Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941). Now jump to 2001 when Segall's 'Heaven Can Wait' is remade again, this time as Down to Earth (2001) starring Chris Rock - and having nothing to do with Down to Earth (1947), the sort of sequel to Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)". See more »


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Referenced in Superman II (1980) See more »


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User Reviews

Come on guys!
19 January 1999 | by See all my reviews

6.9 is not a terrible score on here, but for a movie of this quality it is a shame. I very rarely have given a film a 9 and it is very unusual for me to give a higher than average score. This was my favorite movie when I was a kid and when I saw it again recently I was just as impressed as an adult. The cast was excellent and they managed to evoke much emotion out of a fairy tale like story. One of the few remakes worthy of discussion. I would consider this a must see for anyone who has any kind of feelings whatsoever.

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