Heaven Can Wait (1978 film)

Heaven Can Wait (1978 film)

Infobox Film
name = Heaven Can Wait

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Warren Beatty
Buck Henry
producer = Warren Beatty
writer = Warren Beatty
Elaine May
starring = Warren Beatty
Julie Christie
James Mason
Jack Warden
Charles Grodin
Dyan Cannon
music = Dave Grusin
cinematography = William A. Fraker
editing = Robert C. Jones
Don Zimmerman
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = June 28, 1978
runtime = 101 min.
country = United States
awards = Academy 1978 (13)
Golden Globe 1978 (3)
Directors Guild of America 1978 (2)
language = English
preceded_by = "Here Comes Mr. Jordan"
followed_by = "Down to Earth"
amg_id = 1:21978
imdb_id = 0077663

"Heaven Can Wait" is a 1978 comedy film directed by Warren Beatty and Buck Henry. The screenplay was adapted by Elaine May, Warren Beatty and Robert Towne (uncredited) from the original stage play "Heaven Can Wait" by Harry Segall. The original music score was composed by Dave Grusin.

This movie is a remake of the 1941 film "Here Comes Mr. Jordan". The film was subsequently remade in 2001 as "Down to Earth". (The 1978 movie with Beatty should not be confused with the 1943 movie also called "Heaven Can Wait".)


Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty), a backup quarterback of the American football team Los Angeles Rams, is looking forward to leading his team to the Super Bowl when he is involved in a terrible collision with a truck. An over-anxious guardian angel on his first assignment (Buck Henry) plucks Joe out of his body early in the mistaken belief that his death is imminent, and Pendleton arrives in the afterlife.

Once there, he refuses to believe that his time was up, and upon investigation, the mysterious Mr. Jordan (James Mason) discovers that he is right. He is not destined to die until much later. Unfortunately, his body has been cremated, so a new body must be found. After rejecting several possibilities (men who are about to die), Joe is finally persuaded to accept the body of millionaire Leo Farnsworth. Farnsworth has just been drugged and drowned in his bathtub by his wife Julia (Dyan Cannon) and her lover, Farnsworth's personal secretary Tony Abbott (Charles Grodin).

Julia and Tony are naturally confused when Farnsworth appears, alive and well. Joe/Farnsworth buys the Los Angeles Rams in order to lead them to the Super Bowl as their quarterback. In order to succeed, he must first convince, then secure the aid of, long-time friend and trainer Max Corkle (Jack Warden) to get his new body into shape.

At the same time, he falls in love with an environmental protester, Betty Logan (Julie Christie), who disapproves of what the industrialist's company is doing. However, Julia and Abbott are not quite ready to give up on their murderous plans, and Abbott shoots Farnsworth dead. Joe then occupies another body, that of quarterback Thomas Jarrett, whose death is imminent. Joe leads the Rams to victory. However, Mr. Jordan then removes Joe's memory of his past life and departs. Joe becomes Thomas Jarrett and the cosmic balance is restored.

Los Angeles Rams

There were a number of former Los Angeles Rams players to have a cameo role in the film. Among those credited are Deacon Jones, Les Josephson, and Jack Snow.


The film won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Warren Beatty), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jack Warden), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dyan Cannon), Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Music, Original Score, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Elaine May and Warren Beatty).


*Warren Beatty as Joe Pendleton/Leo Farnsworth/Tom Jarrett
*Julie Christie as Betty Logan
*James Mason as Mr. Jordan
*Jack Warden as Max Corkle
*Charles Grodin as Tony Abbott
*Dyan Cannon as Julia Farnsworth
*Buck Henry as The Escort
*Vincent Gardenia as Detective Lieutenant Krim
*Joseph Maher as Sisk
*Hamilton Camp as Bentley
*Arthur Malet as Everett
*Stephanie Faracy as Corinne
*Jeannie Linero as Lavinia

External links


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