Oh, God! [1977]

Carl Reiner directed this sweet comedy about the Man Upstairs visiting Earth in the form of a funny little guy (George Burns). John Denver is the good man chosen to be God's contact in the modern age--and like an Old Testament prophet, Denver's character pays the price by being ridiculed and faced with criminal charges. Denver is a warm presence, but the film is entirely in Burns's court. Reiner feeds him lines that come out of Burns' mouth like stage patter, and it's no wonder he got a huge career boost from this film in the winter of his life. Except for some courtroom stuff in the third act--where Reiner inadvertently cheapens the movie with editing tricks to suggest "miracles"--Oh, God! is just fine. (It's certainly better than its two perfunctory sequels, Oh God! Book II and Oh God! You Devil.) --Tom Keogh

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