Heaven Can Wait | Chicago Reader

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100 minutes · 1978

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Not the sublime Ernst Lubitsch masterpiece, but a 1978 comedy that had the brass to steal its title. Warren Beatty's first flight out as a director was codirected by Buck Henry, but Beatty's also around as producer, cowriter (with Elaine May), and star, so you can't exactly accuse him of lacking confidence. A charming but not very profound comedy about a football player (Beatty) accidentally killed before his “appointed time” who gets fixed up with a new body formerly owned by an eccentric millionaire, this is actually a remake of Alexander Hall's Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), with football substituting for prizefighting. It's certainly likable enough and was a big hit when it came out, but one could hardly call it an auspicious artistic debut—a crafty commercial entertainment with a certain amount of intelligence is more like it. With Julie Christie, Jack Warden, James Mason (as the archangel Mr. Jordan), Dyan Cannon, Charles Grodin, Buck Henry, and Vincent Gardenia.

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