Movie of the Day: Heaven Can Wait (1978)
Why Watch It Now?
Any Other Reasons?
As a rule, 30 year old remakes (that were later remade again) don't tend to age well. Yet this film centers on the Los Angeles Rams playing in the Super Bowl, which is in fact the case this year (thanks to some questionable officiating that we don't need to link a story to because you've already seen the play in question). Beyond the sports book accuracy of its prediction -- not to mention the fact that, like fictional quarterback Joe Pendleton, the LA Rams have literally and figuratively come back from the dead -- the film addresses environmentalist politics and corporate corruption, as well as asking philosophical questions about the nature of identity and the meaningful existence of the soul. Again, not too shabby for a Hollywood remake, though it was the 1970's and director/co-writer/star Warren Beatty was steeped in the provocative politics of the time. Moreover, co-writer Elaine May is one of the brilliant comedic voices in American film, and co-star Julie Christie shared the political views of her activist character.
Bonus Trivia, Sports Edition: In the original film and stage play, Joe Pendleton was a boxer. Beatty initially wanted to cast Muhammad Ali in the role, but Ali's actual boxing career prevented him from taking it.
Double Bonus Trivia, Sports Edition: The movie's Super Bowl prediction of a Rams-Steelers contest came true a few years later. However, this wasn't as surprising as it may seem; the Rams were a team on the rise, and the Steelers were the most dominant team of the decade. In case you didn't open the link, the Rams lost that game.
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