Heaven Can Wait (1978)

heaven-can-wait“The likelihood of one individual being right increases in direct proportion to the intensity with which others are trying to prove him wrong.” – Mr. Jordan

Number of Times Seen – 2 (Cable in the 90’s and 6 Jan 2017)

Brief Synopsis – After a mishap in Heaven, a star football quarterback is brought to Heaven years before his intended death and is therefore sent back in the body of a recently murdered millionaire.

My Take on it – I’m usually not a fan of remakes, but this is one that was modernized and in some ways better than the original (which was also a great film).

Elaine May and Warren Beatty  did a wonderful job writing this film because they know how to balance the comedic and dramatic aspects of this story.

As great as Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) is, the comic timing hre works better and the message also is presented more poignantly.

The cast do a wonderful job keeping the story interesting but also constantly deliver the jokes and punchlines perfectly.

Beatty and Julie Christie have great chemistry together but the best chemistry is actually between Beatty and Jack Warden who are truly perfect together.

The premise is amazingly fun and they do wonders with it here because they get it nearly perfect!

Bottom Line – Beatty and Henry wrote a superb modern adaptation of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) that is funnier and even more poignant than the original.  Excellent cast keeps this funny yet interesting. Loved the chemistry between Beatty and Christie but the best relationship actually is between Beattty and Warden.  Such a fun premise gets done right here.  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – 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. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy


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6 thoughts on “Heaven Can Wait (1978)

  1. Saw both films, but this one is a gem. The comic timing in this movie is much better. Everything works, and I agree, there is a real poignancy to this film. Loved it and was in attendance at the ceremonies when Warrens sister, Shirley, said how proud she was of her little brother. We all knew it was in reference to how his film was getting overlooked at the show. And Debbie Reynolds opening number was so fantastic. 50 Golden years, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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