Heaven Can Wait Poster

Release Date: June 28th, 1978

DVD Release Date: July 27th, 1999

PG|1 hr 41 min

Plot Summary
Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty), quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, is killed in an auto accident. In the afterlife, Joe discovers that his guardian angel (Buck Henry) has taken him from his body prematurely, and he is due many more years on earth. Unable to return to his body, Joe assumes the form of greedy multimillionaire industrialist Leo Farnsworth. As Farnsworth, Joe attempts a return to football and falls in love with environmental activist Betty Logan (Julie Christie).

Cast: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Jack Warden, James Mason, Dyan Cannon, Charles Grodin, Buck Henry, Vincent Gardenia

Director: Warren Beatty, Buck Henry

Genres: Fantasy, Comedy

Production Co: Paramount Pictures

Distributors: Paramount Pictures

Keywords: Transformation, 1970s, Lighthearted, Death, Los Angeles, Touching, Love

Ratings & Reviews

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  • Beatty ambles nicely enough through the hero's part (remodeled as a quarterback), and Charles Grodin turns up trumps playing another of his chinless, spineless wonders. But Christie's comedy gifts are as minuscule as ever, and the film drags its feet uncertainly from beginning to end. show more

  • Paul Sylbert's production design is handsome, William A. Fraker's cinematography is beautiful and Dave Grusin's music winning. All in all, Heaven Can Wait is a fantastic fantasy. [28 June 1978]

  • Somehow manages to combine the sweetness and innocence of the original with a satirical bite all its own. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Cinematography
Winner Art Direction
Nominated Directing
Nominated Music (Original Score)
Winner Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Nominated Best Picture
Nominated Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)