Heaven Can Wait (1978)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance  |  28 June 1978 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 13,582 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.


(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shampoo (1975)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Lovers undo a hairdresser from Beverly Hills around Election Eve in 1968.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn
Reds (1981)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.

Director: Warren Beatty
Stars: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann
Bugsy (1991)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of how Bugsy Siegel started Las Vegas.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel
Bulworth (1998)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture.

Director: Warren Beatty
Stars: Warren Beatty, Halle Berry, Kimberly Deauna Adams
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A sadistic warden asks a former pro quarterback, now serving time in his prison, to put together a team of inmates to take on (and get pummeled by) the guards.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter
Fantasy | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Boxer Joe Pendleton dies 50 years too soon due to a heavenly mistake, and is given a new life as a millionaire playboy.

Director: Alexander Hall
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A somewhat romanticized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard
Dick Tracy (1990)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The comic strip detective finds his life vastly complicated when Breathless Mahoney makes advances towards him while he is trying to battle Big Boy Caprice's united mob.

Director: Warren Beatty
Stars: Warren Beatty, Madonna, Al Pacino
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn
Coming Home (1978)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman whose husband is fighting in Vietnam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern
Arthur (1981)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Arthur is a happy drunk with no pretensions at any ambition. He is also the heir to a vast fortune which he is told will only be his if he marries Susan. He does not love Susan, but she ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Gordon
Stars: Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, John Gielgud
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois


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
See  »

Did You Know?


Only four times in Academy Award history have director-collaborators been nominated for Best Directing Oscars: Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for West Side Story (1961); Buck Henry and Warren Beatty for Heaven Can Wait (1978); and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for both True Grit (2010) and No Country for Old Men (2007). Of the four director Oscar nominated pairings, West Side Story (1961) and No Country for Old Men (2007) both won whilst True Grit (2010) and Heaven Can Wait (1978) both did not win. Joel Coen was also Oscar nominated for direction for Fargo (1996) where Ethan Coen also directed but was uncredited. See more »


In overtime of the Super Bowl, Pendleton is sacked near his own 45 yard line. On the next play, he completes a pass well downfield. However, on the next play, the Rams are back at their own 45 yard line. See more »


Joe Pendleton: I'm not supposed to be here.
See more »


Referenced in Who Is Cletis Tout? (2001) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Come on guys!
19 January 1999 | by (Las Vegas) – 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.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Super Bowl gjoy44
Funniest part of the movie? yankee_dant
Nine Oscar nominations? spearsdw
I'm confused heykincaid
Anyone know a the name of a similar movie? evilandy3000
In the end it doesn't matter ssm117
Discuss Heaven Can Wait (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: