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Heaven Can Wait

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Overview

Opting for light entertainment after the critical satire of Shampoo 1975, producer-director-writer-star Warren Beatty remade the 1941 comic fantasy Here Comes Mr. Jordan. Dimly amiable L.A. Rams quarterback Joe Pendleton Beatty is prematurely called to Heaven by an over-eager escort Buck Henry, who co-directed after a traffic accident. When archangel Mr. Jordan James Mason discovers the error, he offers to return Joe to his body, only to find that it has been cremated. On the verge of playing in the Super Bowl, ...
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Overview

Opting for light entertainment after the critical satire of Shampoo 1975, producer-director-writer-star Warren Beatty remade the 1941 comic fantasy Here Comes Mr. Jordan. Dimly amiable L.A. Rams quarterback Joe Pendleton Beatty is prematurely called to Heaven by an over-eager escort Buck Henry, who co-directed after a traffic accident. When archangel Mr. Jordan James Mason discovers the error, he offers to return Joe to his body, only to find that it has been cremated. On the verge of playing in the Super Bowl, Joe demands a fit body rather than the old about-to-be-murdered industrialist Farnsworth he has been offered, but he reconsiders when he sees environmentalist Betty Logan Julie Christie in Farnsworth's house. Assuming Farnsworth's body while keeping his sweet self, Joe hires his beloved coach Max Corkle Jack Warden to get him in shape after convincing Max who he really is, sets Farnsworth's business on an eco-friendly path, and romances Betty. Farnsworth's homicidal wife Dyan Cannon and secretary Charles Grodin, however, are still determined to succeed in their plan to kill him. When Mr. Jordan finally finds the Super Bowl body Joe wanted, Joe has to trade his old self for the new life -- but will he remember his love for Betty? Heaven Can Wait offered contemporary yet old-fashioned escapism and tapped into the late-1970s vogue for nostalgic fun, becoming one of 1978's most popular summer movies after Grease. Updating the original while following its blueprint, Beatty and co-writer Elaine May switched Joe's sport and turned Joe into a man of his '70s moment, adoring Betty for her convictions and favoring "green" policies over corporate greed. Gently breathing life into a classic form, Heaven Can Wait found romantic innocence in a jaded time, and it went on to receive nine Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
It might be named after Ernst Lubitsch's 1943 masterpiece, Heaven Can Wait, but this 1978 Warren Beatty vehicle was actually a remake of the 1941 classic Here Comes Mr. Jordan. Not bad company for co-director, co-writer and star Beatty to keep. He may have set out to fill some pretty big shoes, but he chose his collaborators well, recruiting co-director Buck Henry and screenwriter Elaine May to help re-create an intelligent, old-fashioned story. The snappy, amiable fun remained intact, making it one of the biggest hits of the year. It took much convincing for Beatty to get his ex-girlfriend, Julie Christie, in the role as his leading lady. When she finally agreed, she wasn't happy to be doing it and the resulting performance isn't her best. Legend has it that during the filming of an actual scene -- one where the voices weren't being recorded -- she told Beatty that she couldn't believe that he was still making such vapid films as this one.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2013
  • UPC: 883929302598
  • Original Release: 1978
  • Source: Paramount Catalog
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 4,278

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Warren Beatty Joe Pendleton
Julie Christie Betty Logan
James Mason Mr. Jordan
Jack Warden Max Corkle
Charles Grodin Tony Abbott
Dyan Cannon Julia Farnsworth
Buck Henry The Escort
Vincent Gardenia Lt. Krim
Joseph Maher Sisk
Dolph Sweet Head Coach
R.G. Armstrong General Manager
John Randolph Former Owner
William Sylvester Nuclear Reporter
Keene Curtis Oppenheim
Hamilton Camp Bentley
Jeannie Linero Lavinia
Arthur Malet Everett
Stephanie Faracy Corinne
Paul D'Amato Swimmer's Friend
Robert Fortier Wealthy Man in Restaurant
Curt Gowdy TV Commentator
Bryant Gumbel TV Sportscaster
Jim Healy TV Sportscaster
Bennie Massa Coliseum Security Guard
Earl Montgomery Jr.
Richard O'Brien Former Owner's Adviser
Elliott Reid
Byron Webster Waiter
Garrett Craig Swimmer
Larry Block Peters
Jim Boeke Kowalsky
Roger Bowen Newspaperman
Frank Campanella Conway
Dick Enberg TV Interviewer
Morgan Farley Middleton
Will Hare Team Doctor
Deacon Jones Gorman
William Larsen Renfield
George J. Manos Security Guard
Joel Marston Board Member
Penelope Milford
Ed Peck Trainer
Lisa Richards Reporter
Bill Sorrells Tomarken
Lee Weaver Way Station Attendant
Harry D.K. Wong Gardener
William Bogart Lawson
William Bogert Lawson
Allison Caine Voice Only
Technical Credits
Warren Beatty Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Buck Henry Director, Producer
Richard Bruno Costumes/Costume Designer
Arlene Encell Costumes/Costume Designer
William A. Fraker Cinematographer
George P. Gaines Art Director, Set Decoration/Design
Dave Grusin Score Composer
Lee C. Harman Makeup
Michael W. Hoffman Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Jones Editor
Howard W. Koch Executive Producer
Robert MacDonald Special Effects
Charles H. Maguire Executive Producer, Producer
Elaine May Screenwriter
Edwin O'Donovan Art Director
Tom Overton Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Sylbert Production Designer
Theadora Van Runkle Costumes/Costume Designer
John K. Wilkinson Sound/Sound Designer
Don Zimmerman Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A CHARMER

    Joe Pendleton is Warrn Beatty's best on screen character and one of the most likeable in screen history. The film is a first class project avoiding any over indulgence in the sacharine department and offering up a touching story of the human soul. If James Mason is waiting to meet me in the afterlife, it may not be all that bad.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews