Home>>Films By 1978>>Heaven Can Wait film online free

  • Heaven Can Wait
    • Heaven Can Wait
    • Runtime:101 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-22 09:11:28
    • Director: Warren Beatty
    • Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Sport
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Heaven Can Wait


This is one of my all time favourite movies. Nothing beats it when it
comes to fun, light-hearted, feel-good humour and inspiration … it
was incredibly witty, superbly well-cast and perfectly executed, right
down to the musical score. Although it's difficult to select from this
cast of stellar performers, Jack Warden and James Grodin stand out in
their convincing portrayal of the unique characters they brought to
life. However, just like the Rams in the Super Bowl, this was a winning
effort by a championship team!

With its timeless concept unfolding in the setting (and feel) of the
late '70s, this movie goes down as a classic in the historical context
of movies in its genre(s). A well-made lighthearted film is, by its
very nature, easy to take for granted compared with heavier dramatic
fare, but it's arguably more difficult to pull off. 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.


"Heaven Can Wait" attempts to turn "It's A Wonderful Life" into a
football movie. The trouble is that the film doesn't feel like a sports
comedy; the sports element and the coming back from heaven and taking
someone else's body element are two distinctly different entities that
Warren Beatty's film tries to squeeze together. One does not
necessitate the other and as such the film takes forever to follow a
common thread and by the time the humor works and the film somewhat
gets itself together, it's too late.

How this film was nominated for nine Academy Awards absolutely baffles
me. Rarely do I hold contrarian opinions to the Academy, but "Heaven
Can Wait" is simply not worthy, especially the writing team of Beatty
and Elaine May, who while clever and funny fail structurally speaking.

Quickly into the film, Los Angeles Rams' quarterback Joe Pendleton
(Beatty) finds out he's going to be the starter for his Super-Bowl
bound team, but dies in a nasty accident — or does he? Turns out one
of heaven's "escorts," (not the definition you're thinking of) who was
responsible for pulling Joe out of his body when he died, did so too
early when it turns out Joe would've survived the accident.
Remorsefully, the escort and Mr. Jordan (some heavenly guy in charge
played by James Mason) agree to give Joe another body to make up for
it, a body Joe hopes to get into football shape and use to play
quarterback again.

But it's not that simple. The body Joe chooses (he can only select a
recently deceased and undiscovered body) belongs to corporate
billionaire and supposed scumbag Leo Farnsworth whose wife and personal
assistant are having an affair and tried to kill him. 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. We are given no reason to think Joe would actually care to use
Farnsworth's body to mess with Farnsworth's affairs, but he does and
football disappears from the story for a chunk of time.

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. Some of the writing is indeed humorous
and well-done, especially with Farnsworth's butlers as well as Charles
Grodin and Dyan Cannon playing the two people that just plotted to kill
him trying to rectify the situation now that he's alive. However, those
scenes are such a far turn from the initial football set up that the
humor is limited because the script is going off in a dissatisfying
direction. Perhaps I had the wrong set of expectations, but I think
most people will feel oddly deceived at the direction the story goes

"Heaven Can Wait" tries to do too much and the talents aren't strong
enough to make up for the elaborate script. Beatty's a likable actor,
but the story draws Joe up as unconvincing because his motivation is so
distorted. Creativity and originality, which "Heaven Can Wait"
certainly doesn't lack, are terrific qualities in films, especially in
a genre as cliché-ridden as sports comedy, but the execution is
everything and "Heaven Can Wait" from a writing standpoint was a
botched attempt.

~Steven C

Visit my site at http://moviemusereviews.com


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We don't hear a lot about Warren Beatty these days. He's been away from
from Hollywood for a decade now. But once upon a time he made and
starred in amazing movies – Reds, Bulworth, The Parallax View, Dick
Tracy. Heaven Can Wait is a landmark in his career because it marks the
first time he wrote, acted, directed and produced a movie. And it turns
out it's a fun, good movie.

Using the 1941 movie Here Comes Mr. Jordan as its basis, Beatty's movie
tells the story of Joe Pendleton (Beatty), a football player who is
taken to Heaven before his time. This bureaucratic mistake forces Mr.
Jordan (James Mason), the heavenly director in charge of sending each
soul to their final destination, to find a temporary body for Joe to
inhabit while he looks for one that Joe can spend the rest of his life
in. Things get more complicated because Joe died on the same day he
learned he was going to play for the L.A. Rams, his greatest dream, and
he wants a body that will be in shape for him to be in the finals.

The movie gets going when Joe is put in the body of Farnsworth, a
millionaire recently poisoned and drowned in the bathtub by his wife,
Julia (Dyan Cannon), and his secretary Tony (Charles Grodin). Nothing
beats Julia's reaction when she sees her husband placidly walk into the
living room as if nothing had happened. Trying to kill him again
becomes a running gag through the movie and Grodin and Cannon pull off
hilarious performances as a pair of greedy, scheming murderers,
paranoid about whether or not the millionaire knows they're trying to
kill him.

Putting a simple guy like Joe in the body of a millionaire also allows
the movie to make some jokes about the business world. In a memorable
scene, after inviting several reporters to a private meeting of
stockholders, Joe uses football as a metaphor to how business should be
run, leaving the stockholders completely baffled. Farnsworth's seedy
businesses also brings Joe close to Betty (Julie Christie), an
environmental activist. To the shock of his partners, he starts showing
a lot of concern about the harm his company may be doing to people.

All this strange behavior is usually chalked up to the eccentricities
of a rich man. And there's nothing more eccentric than buying the L.A.
Rams so Joe can play in the finals. After convincing his former
trainer, Max (Jack Warden), that he's back, Joe starts training until
fate intervenes again in a way he wasn't expecting.

There's almost nothing wrong with Heaven Can Wait; that's not to say
it's a great movie; but for what it tries to be – a lovely fantasy
comedy/romance – it's very good. There's nothing pretentious or overly
ambitious about it; Beatty and his crew and actors just want to make an
entertaining movie and that's what it is. The chemistry between the
actors never fails to be felt in each scene – whether it be between the
energetic Joe and the serene Mr. Jordan, between Julia and Tony in
their murder plots, in Max and Joe's friendship, or in Joe and Betty's
romance, the actors connect with and compliment each other instead of
just delivering their lines.

The movie has some storytelling problems towards the end: first events
start being rushed to the finale instead of being given some room to
develop, and then the finale contradicts the movie's premise. It makes
the movie end in a pretty downbeat way, not that I dislike downbeat
endings, but I prefer them when they come naturally. This imperfect
note, however, isn't enough to ruin what is otherwise a well-acted and
entertaining movie.

Watch Heaven Can Wait Online for Free

Comments for this Movie Reviews(1)

Leave a Comment:

  •   Name(Required)
Related Movies
  • Self Helpless

    Self Helpless

    Runtime: 127 min

    Release: 03-01-2010

    Director: unKnown

  • Krews


    Runtime: 105 min

    Release: 03-01-2010

    Director: unKnown

  • Desert Son

    Desert Son

    Runtime: 90 min

    Release: 03-01-2010

    Director: unKnown

  • Westbrick Murders

    Westbrick Murders

    Runtime: 90 min

    Release: 03-01-2010

    Director: Shaun Rana

  • Remember Me

    Remember Me

    Runtime: 113 min

    Release: 03-01-2010

    Director: Allen Coulter

  • Lebanon, Pa.

    Lebanon, Pa.

    Runtime: 100 min

    Release: 02-28-2010

    Director: unKnown

  • Legacy


    Runtime: 95 min

    Release: 02-28-2010

    Director: Thomas Ikimi

  • And Soon the Darkness

    And Soon the Darkness

    Runtime: 112 min

    Release: 02-28-2010

    Director: Marcos Efron

  • Photovps
  • Site Map | Browse Movies: #  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z