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HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1978)
Directors Warren Beatty and Buck Henry, with "Heaven Can Wait," deliver a nearly perfect fantasy/comedy fable for which they received a best directing nomination.
HEAVEN CAN WAIT was nominated for the Best Picture award.
"A wonderfully heartfelt film, that stands the test of time."
"A touching film that stays with you."
The basic story involves a professional football
player, Joe Pendleton, who's seriously injured in an accident,
while bicycling through a tunnel, trying to reach his goal of
being in perfect shape. An over eager, novice angel, Buck Henry,
takes his soul from his body to spare him pain, before this quarterback
is supposed to die. Because his body is cremated, his soul is
sent back down to reside temporarily into an out of shape wealthy
businessman's body, Leo Farnsworth, who was just murdered. He
then buys The Rams, with the plans to again be their quarterback,
and lead them to the Super Bowl. Will he be able to before his
wife and her lover try again?
The original Leo Farnsworth was a "Scrooge-like mega-rich villain." Imagine the surprise when Joe, a good-natured, kind soul takes over, who has cocoa with the servants, and listens patiently to the complaints of Betty Logan (Julie Christie), and tries to undo the harm caused by the real Leo Farnsworth.
Jack Warden is delightful as Beatty's football coach, Max Corkle. My favorite scene is where Beatty, in the rich guy's body, tries to convince Warden that he's really the dead Rams' quarterback. Warden's range of responses from total denial, to anger, to gradually dawning belief, is a delight to behold. Max then starts to work with Beatty to get the body in shape.
Don't miss the ending! It is a real tear-jerker, so don't be without your Kleenex.
If you enjoyed HEAVEN CAN WAIT, you may like GHOST, DOWN TO EARTH, HEARTS AND SOULS, ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD, CITY OF ANGLES, and/or HERE COMES MR. JORDAN.