Heaven Can Wait (1978) - Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Hohum Score



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.

IMDB: 6.9
Director: Warren Beatty
Stars: Warren Beatty, James Mason
Length: 101 Minutes
PG Rating: PG
Reviews: 8 out of 106 found boring (7.54%)

One-line Reviews (40)

This is a somewhat slow paced adult comedy.

Charles Grodin does well in the part of the quietly murderous secretary, and Cannon plays nicely on the edge of hysteria.

Therefore let us change it all, with a lot of revolution and confusion.

Coming to the IMDb site to review this commercially successful movie, I was amazed at the Oscar recognition it garnered in 1978 for what is, to my eyes and ears a very unremarkable re-make of the enjoyable 1941 Claude Rains feature "Here Comes Mr Jordan", while surreptitiously grafting on the title of another "life after death" 40's classic starring Don Ameche.

Bottom line, Warren Beatty was involved with writing, directing, and acting in this very entertaining movie.

It was moving along at a good pace; I thought Warren Beatty was giving a good performance - and then the last twenty minutes threw in a plot twist that was totally unexpected (which would have been fine, except that it made no sense.

Thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy.

Enjoyable "It's a Wonderful Life"-styled remake of "Here Comes Mr. Jordan", a memorable and sometimes forgotten production from 1941.

On its own terms, "Heaven Can Wait" is moderately entertaining, but the screenplay is really muddled, and the ending is rushed and confusing.

I know, this is getting confusing.

I saw the earlier version quite by accident on TV one slow Saturday and was struck by how much the later one resembled the original.

The film's most fascinating aspects lie between this incertitude of what is life and death, what is determined and what is natural, and Beatty's tactful direction never takes its message about life and death in a too depressing tone, keeping more in the tradition of Lubitch and Capra's films, and the hero's child-like attitude is compensated by the domineering presence of James Mason as a suave and comprehensive Head Executive aware of the bureaucratic mistakes that accidentally took his life.

The script was hokey and predictable.

It's a little funny to see Beatty the quarterback being fawned over by his obsequious servants, which include a perfectly bland and unflappable butler played by Joseph Maher.

It just doesn't work out, as a clever idea develops into a completely boring and predictable story.

The film dawdles in the corporate affairs of Farnsworth for far too long, thinking the situation funny when the character's goal is to play football and our desire is to see him pull it off, not try and improve on Farnsworth's life.

) and cooking up yet another preposterous scheme for Joe and Betty to meet up again, and again, and again (ho-hum!

This film is entertaining.

That's when Julie Christie is introduced as Betty the love interest, which is poor because she's not attached to the football element, which is supposed to be the main part of the story, hence how disjointed and poorly composed the script is.

Very worth watching.

Though the second film adaptation of Harry Segall's stage-play of the same name, preceded by 'Here Comes Mr. Jordan', Beatty's 'Heaven Can Wait' yet comes across as entertaining & sweet.

Although this was a remake of the excellent 'Here Comes Mr. Jordan', I found that this version had its own originality -- it was uniquely entertaining, moving and memorable.

Entertaining & Sweet...

I remember watching this movie when it first came out and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

There are enough funny moments in "Heaven Can Wait" for it to pass as a comedy, some fairly suspenseful moments and possibly sad scenes as well, and if you ask me, the performances from all of the cast members are nothing less than reasonable.

I thought it was terrible when my cousins dragged me to see it back when I was 7 years old; I just saw it again at age 32, and it hasn't improved with age.

The story is silly, but even though it's moderately entertaining, it doesn't entertain as much as it should.

This movie is enjoyable although I don't think every guy who's about 20 (like I am) would enjoy it.

It just is too slow and dated in places for my tastes.

On the whole, An Entertaining Film from the Late 1970's.

It's a mildly enjoyable film, that tries to combine comedy and depth, and does a decent job of both.

Old movies can be quite awe inspiring, especially when we remember how limited facilities were in those days.

Anyway, the movie is entertaining in spite of those plot problems.

Beatty made an engaging lead of a totally different sort than Robert Montgomery and being teamed with Julie Christie again was the icing on the cake.

Screenplay by Beatty, Elaine May, Robert Towne & Buck Henry, is engaging and packs in memorable moments.

Still, fun, solid and though dated, still enjoyable.

Now, I can't wait to see the original version by Ernst Lubitsch, with its evocative title : "Here Comes Mr. Jordan".

However, if you like any of those things, and can at least handle the others, then "Heaven Can Wait" might be worth watching.

James Mason, Jack Warden, Buck Henry, and Vincent Gardenia all expertly add to the riveting plot, while wide-eyed Julie Christie is romantically mesmerized against her better judgment by Beatty's surprising little boy openness as he puts his own spirit into a Scrooge-like mega-rich villain.

A fairly engaging fantasy comedy .