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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.

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(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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hamilton Camp ...
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Jeannie Linero ...
Harry D.K. Wong ...
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 »

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Release Date:

28 June 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cielo puede esperar  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of two collaborations of Elaine May and Warren Beatty who would work together later on Ishtar (1987), where May wrote and directed and Beatty starred and produced, and whose release year was the digit reverse of Heaven Can Wait (1978)'s release year. The screenplay for Heaven Can Wait (1978), which May and Beatty wrote, is credited in the billing for its later remake Down to Earth (2001). See more »

Goofs

When Max carries in Joe's birthday cake, the candle is lit, but the flame slowly goes out. In the next shot, the candle is lit again. See more »

Quotes

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

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.6 (2011) 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
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User Reviews

Los Angeles: The City of Angels...And at One Time Rams.
24 September 2003 | by (United States) – See 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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