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Made in Heaven (1987)

After being dumped by his girlfriend, a boy runs away to California. But he ends up in heaven because he dies after trying to help a family from drowning in a river. In heaven he'll meet a beautiful girl, who has never reincarnated before.



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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Aunt Lisa
Annette Shea
Steve Shea
Brenda Carlucci
Ben Chandler
Tom Donnelly (as Timothy Daly)
Donald Sumner
Wiley Foxx
Guy Blanchard / Brian Dutton (as Willard Pugh)
Lyman McCray
Truck Driver


In 1952 while driving to California to start his life anew, twenty-something Mike Shea accidentally dies while doing a heroic act. Despite floundering in his life - he was having troubles holding a steady job and his supposed girlfriend was about to marry someone else - he was not ready to leave the living. In heaven, he learns that despite it being a fantastical other world existence, he still has human emotions, such as romantic love, which he feels for a "new" soul he meets named Annie Packert (i.e. she has never been among the living on Earth), who in turn loves him. He also learns that one's next life is somewhat predetermined by their stay in heaven. So when Annie is sent to Earth for her first go around as a human, Mike pleads with the man in charge at heaven, Emmett Humbird, to locate him in his next human life at least in the same country so that he can find Annie. Emmett reluctantly agrees, but only gives Mike thirty years in his next life to find her. Those next lives of ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How in Heaven did they meet? How on Earth will they find each other? See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hecho en el cielo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,572,845 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


Neil Young has a cameo as a truck driver. In the scene where Mike/Elmo is sitting on the side of the road, Neil pulls up in a large truck, asks him where he's going, and then says, "Well, you don't know where you're going, it don't matter what road you take". A slightly different version of those words appear in the song "We Never Danced" which plays near the end of the movie and is sung by Martha Davis of The Motels. The song was written by Neil Young and his own version appears on his 1987 album "Life". See more »


When Ally is being picked up from jail by her father, a sign on the wall reads "SEARCH YOUR PRISONER THOROUHGLY" See more »


Mike: Annie... I'd like to marry you.
Annie: According to heaven, we already are.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Coincidentally or not Emmett in the Hebrew language means 'Truth'. Seems very appropriate for the lead Angel of the movie to be thus named. See more »


Same Time, Another Place
Written by Mark Isham
Performed by Mark Isham
See more »

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User Reviews

"What Dreams May Come" Meets "Defending Your Life"...
10 March 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

Alan Rudolph's MADE IN HEAVEN is a pleasant, sweet-natured romantic comedy with a twist; the lovers meet in Heaven, after our hero (Timothy Hutton) dies, rescuing a family from a car that plunges into a river. It may seem familiar territory to viewers of Robin Williams' drama, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, in it's depiction of the afterlife and reincarnation, and the Albert Brooks' fantasy, DEFENDING YOUR LIFE, which also involves a romance in Heaven (in Brooks' case, with Meryl Streep). Without the budget of the Williams' film (which won an Oscar for it's visual effects), or Brooks' occasionally caustic humor about Divine Judgment, MADE IN HEAVEN is a simpler tale, weaving in a theme of predestination between lovers 'meant' to be together, which makes it a perfect 'date' movie.

Hutton, dealing with being dead and in 'Paradise', appreciates the support of his Aunt Lisa (Maureen Stapleton), a long-dead budding painter in a heavenly Paris, but finds that he is lonely, and feels out of place. Then he meets heavenly guide Annie (Kelly McGillis), a new 'soul', who had never 'lived' on earth before, and the pair soon fall for each other, filling both his need for love and companionship, and her's, for an understanding of life, and passion. They marry, after being granted permission by 'The Boss', Emmett (an unbilled Debra Winger, who plays the male role very convincingly!)

Everything seems perfectly heavenly...until Anne's number is called to be born on Earth. Despite Hutton's pleas that the pair were 'meant' to be together, Anne's destiny cannot be changed...but he does convince Emmett to allow him to be 'reborn' on Earth, insisting that the pair's love would bring them together. With the understanding that his new life may not return him to Heaven, Emmett grants him 30 years to connect with Annie...or else.

In true soap opera fashion, the pair live wildly different lives, and have unfulfilling relationships with other partners, while each experiences flashbacks of the true love they had experienced in Heaven. Time is running out, however, and Hutton's 30th birthday is rapidly approaching, without meeting his soulmate...

A modest film, with a great supporting cast (including Tim Daly, Don Murray, Mare Winningham, and Amanda Plummer), MADE IN HEAVEN's theme, that Love truly DOES conquer all, is irresistible.

Grab YOUR soulmate, and enjoy it!

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