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USA 1978
Directed by
Warren Beatty / Buck Henry
100 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Heaven Can Wait (1978)

This pleasantly old school romantic comedy scripted by Beatty and Elaine May, is a remake of the 1941 popular hit Here Comes Mr Jordan not Ernst Lubitsch's 1943 film, Heaven Can Wait.  Beatty plays a pro-football player, Joe Pendleton, who goes to heaven after a supposedly fatal accident only to return in another man's bod after it turns out that the after-life administrators jump the gun.

Sticking quite close to the 1941 original but neatly updating it to the modern day the film is an amusing charmer with Beatty, who was also the producer, winning plenty of smiles in the lead role, his '70s bouffant hairdo, carried over from Shampoo (1975) virtually deserving it own credit. The support cast are solid with James Mason taking over the Claude Rains role of Mr Jordan, Charles Grodin and Dyan Cannon as a conniving couple, Jack Warden as Joe’s coach, Buck Henry as his over-eager “guide” and Julie Christie, Beatty’s co-star from Shampoo, looking surprisingly drab but recognisably Julie Christie nevertheless, as the love interest.

In essence a romantic comedy it is a lively and engaging posting in a genre category that often delivers much less that only drags in its intermittent forays onto the football team,




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