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Heaven Can Wait Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Opting for light entertainment after the critical satire of (1975), producer-director-writer-star Warren Beatty remade the 1941 comic fantasy Warren Beatty. 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 Charles Grodin. 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. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:June 28, 1978

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Paul Sylbert Best Art Direction 1978 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Warren Beatty Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1978 Winner
Directors Guild of America Warren Beatty Best Director 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Warren Beatty Best Actor 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Warren Beatty Best Director 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Warren Beatty Best Adapted Screenplay 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Warren Beatty Best Picture 1978 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Buck Henry Best Director 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Buck Henry Best Director 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dave Grusin Best Original Score 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jack Warden Best Supporting Actor 1978 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Dyan Cannon Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dyan Cannon Best Supporting Actress 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William A. Fraker Best Cinematography 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Edwin O'Donovan Best Art Direction 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Elaine May Best Adapted Screenplay 1978 Nominee

Cast

Warren Beatty
as Joe Pendleton
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 Lt. Krim
Joseph Maher
as Sisk
Dolph Sweet
as Head Coach
R.G. Armstrong
as General Manager
John Randolph
as Former Owner
William Sylvester
as Nuclear Reporter
Hamilton Camp
as Bentley
Jeannie Linero
as Lavinia
Arthur Malet
as Everett
Stephanie Faracy
as Corinne
Paul D'Amato
as Swimmer's Friend
Robert Fortier
as Wealthy Man in Restaurant
Curt Gowdy
as TV Commentator
Bryant Gumbel
as TV Sportscaster
Jim Healy
as TV Sportscaster
Elliott Reid
Byron Webster
as Waiter
Larry Block
as Peters
Jim Boeke
as Kowalsky
Roger Bowen
as Newspaperman
Frank Campanella
as Conway
Dick Enberg
as TV Interviewer
Morgan Farley
as Middleton
Will Hare
as Team Doctor
Deacon Jones
as Gorman
William Larsen
as Renfield
George J. Manos
as Security Guard
Joel Marston
as Board Member
Penelope Milford
Lisa Richards
as Reporter
Bill Sorrells
as Tomarken
Lee Weaver
as Way Station Attendant
William Bogert
as Lawson
William Bogart
as Lawson
Allison Caine
Frank Campanella
as Conway
Jim Boeke
as Kowalsky
William Bogart
as Lawson
Bryant Gumbel
as TV Sportscaster
William Larsen
as Renfield
Deacon Jones
as Gorman
Paul D'Amato
as Swimmer's Friend
Joel Marston
as Board Member
Roger Bowen
as Newspaperman
Dick Enberg
as TV Interviewer
Will Hare
as Team Doctor
Bill Sorrells
as Tomarken
Robert Fortier
as Wealthy Man in Restaurant
George J. Manos
as Security Guard
Lisa Richards
as Reporter
Lee Weaver
as Way Station Attendant
Curt Gowdy
as TV Commentator
Larry Block
as Peters
Jim Healy
as TV Sportscaster
Morgan Farley
as Middleton
Byron Webster
as Waiter

Crew

Buck Henry
Director
Warren Beatty
Director
Warren Beatty
Producer
Charles H. Maguire
Producer
Buck Henry
Producer
Warren Beatty
Screenwriter
Harry Segall
Play Author
Elaine May
Screenwriter
William A. Fraker
Cinematographer
Dave Grusin
Composer (Music Score)
Don Zimmerman
Editor
Paul Sylbert
Production Designer
Edwin O'Donovan
Art Director
Charles H. Maguire
Executive Producer
Howard W. Koch
Executive Producer
Arlene Encell
Costume Designer
Richard Bruno
Costume Designer
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