Made in Heaven (1987)

Made in Heaven (1987)

Taglines: 12,000 babies will be born in the United States today. Two will already have fallen in love.

In 1952 while driving to California to start his life anew, twenty-something Mike Shea accidentally dies while doing a heroic act. Despite floundering in his life – he was having troubles holding a steady job and his supposed girlfriend was about to marry someone else – he was not ready to leave the living.

In heaven, he learns that despite it being a fantastical other world existence, he still has human emotions, such as romantic love, which he feels for a “new” soul he meets named Annie Packert (i.e. she has never been among the living on Earth), who in turn loves him. He also learns that one’s next life is somewhat predetermined by their stay in heaven.

So when Annie is sent to Earth for her first go around as a human, Mike pleads with the man in charge at heaven, Emmett Humbird, to locate him in his next human life at least in the same country so that he can find Annie. Emmett reluctantly agrees, but only gives Mike thirty years in his next life to find her.

Made in Heaven is a 1987 feature film directed by Alan Rudolph, script from Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon, and produced by Lorimar Productions. The film stars Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis and has cameos by Tom Petty, Ric Ocasek, Ellen Barkin and Neil Young. An additional character known only as “Emmett” in the film was played by Debra Winger (Hutton’s then wife), who acted as a chain-smoking male angel.

Made in Heaven (1987)

About the Story

In a small Pennsylvania town in 1957, Mike Shea (Hutton) dreams of escaping small town life and moving to California with his girlfriend Brenda Carlucci. But Brenda leaves him with his motor running and Mike takes off alone. Along the way, he rescues a woman and her children from a river but perishes himself. He finds himself in Heaven, where his Aunt Lisa greets him, and explains the rules and regulations. Once in the ethereal realm, Mike falls in love with a heavenly guide named Annie Packert (Kelly McGillis).

Their love is abruptly interrupted because Annie has not yet earned her wings on Earth; she must leave on a tour of duty and put in time inhabiting a human body. Mike is beside himself with despair, but the heavenly powers, in the form of Emmett Humbird, chain-smoking and sporting an orange crew-cut, offer him a deal. Mike can return to Earth, with the stipulation neither he nor Annie will remember each other. He then has thirty years in which they must find each other again.


Made In Heaven: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released through Elektra Records on LP and cassette, but not on CD.


Martha Davis (of The Motels) – “We Never Danced” (Neil Young) (also available on The Motels’ 2001 compilation album Anthologyland)
R.E.M. – “Romance” (Bill Berry/Peter Buck/Mike Mills/Michael Stipe) (also available on the 1988 compilation album Eponymous)
Ric Ocasek – “I Still Want You” (Ric Ocasek)
Luther Vandross – “There’s Only You” (Luther Vandross) (an early demo version is available on the 2007 compilation album Love, Luther)
The Nylons – “Up the Ladder to the Roof” (Frank Wilson/Vincent DiMirco) (from the 1982 album One Size Fits All)
Buffalo Springfield – “Mr. Soul” (Neil Young) (from the 1967 album Buffalo Springfield Again)
Buffalo Springfield – “I Am A Child” (Neil Young) (from the 1968 album Last Time Around)
Mark Isham – “Same Time, Another Place”
Mark Isham – “Beyond The Frames”
Mark Isham – “Instead Of Floating”

Made in Heaven Movie Poster (1987)

Made in Heaven (1987)

Directed by: Alan Rudolph
Starring: Timothy Hutton, Kelly McGillis, Maureen Stapleton, Ann Wedgeworth, James Gammon, Mare Winningham, Don Murray, Tim Daly, Amanda Plummer, Ric Ocasek
Screenplay by: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon
Production Design by: Paul Peters
Cinematography by: Jan Kiesser
Film Editing by: Tom Walls
Costume Design by: April Ferry
Art Direction by: Steven Legler
Music by: Mark Isham
Distributed by: Lorimar Productions
Release Date: November 6, 1987