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Heaven Knows Mr. Allison
Heaven Knows Mr Allison
Actors: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr
Director: John Huston
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
NR     2003     1hr 48min

While hiding from a Japanese military offensive on a desolate Pacific Island, a marine sergeant (Mitchum) and his only fellow survivor, an Irish Roman Catholic novitiate on a humanitarian mission (Kerr), search for food, e...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr
Director: John Huston
Creators: Oswald Morris, John Huston, Russell Lloyd, Buddy Adler, Eugene Frenke, Charles Shaw, John Lee Mahin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Classics, Military & War
Studio: FOX Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2003
Original Release Date: 11/07/1957
Theatrical Release Date: 11/07/1957
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

20th Century FOX WAR CLASSIC now on WideScreen DVD!
forrie | Nashua, NH United States | 06/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"20th Century Fox has done an OUTSTANDING job remastering & digital transferring to DVD many of their World War II movies under the heading of FOX WAR CLASSICS!"Heaven Knows Mr. Allison" is the best of this series thus far. This 1957 film is presented beautifully in Delux Color & Anamorphic WideScreen (automatically adjusts to your tv size including 16:9 HDTV) format.Summary: John Huston directs this outstanding story about two of the dearest, most delightful & wonderful people who must survive together in the Southern Pacific during World War II. Sister Angelia (Deborah Kerr - absolutely fantastic (Oscar Nominated for Best Actress)) as a missionary nun and U.S. Marine Corporal Allison (Robert Mitchum - perfectly casted truly) who are stranded on an island in Japanese occupied territory. Their 2 faiths (hers in God & his in the Corps)bring them together and provide each other the strength to overcome over whelming odds."Heaven Knows Mr. Allison" is a great family picture. Is so delightful & entertaining (the story line is a pleasant surprise). Kerr & Mitchum are magical together. Don't miss this one. I guarantee you will be watching this one more than once. This is a great movie to buy!! Get out the popcorn & see a Great WideScreen DVD movie today. Find out why "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison"? Enjoy.Special Features include: 1957 Movietone News (including Heaven Knows Mr.Allison clip), Theatrical Trailer & Fox War Classic Trailers."
From Heaven
Mr. Fisher | Nevada | 06/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Very few war films have a script with just two characters and all the lines in the movie are spoken by those two characters only. One wouldn't think this would be a war film, but it is. This classic WWII war film focuses on the pinacole of opposite human beings, thrust together and forced to survive on each other's individual strengths. Mr. Allison (R. Mitchum) is the marine who beaches on an island after being cast a drift in the Pacific Ocean for several days. There he searches the island and finds only one living person: a nun. Sister Angela (D. Kerr) is a dedicated nun who accompanied a priest to the island but got marooned there instead, and the priest dying a day or so later. Mr. Allison and Sister Angela work as a team on the island in order to sustain themselves. They do everything together: they gather island fruit, fish for turtles, build a sail, and have deep conversations about each other's contrary occupations and past.
The character of Mr. Allison is brilliantly developed and is easily likeable among viewers. He is portrayed as a big dumb guy, with a soft heart and top marine skills. He's clumsy with words and he's very open about his feelings, which at times puts Sister Angela in uncomfortable positions. Equally developed is Sister Angela, who is greatly sympathized by the many stresses she is forced to endure. She rarely speaks unless spoken to by Mr. Allison, as she is obviously uncomfortable around him half the time. But as the picture progresses, she becomes more and more accustomed with having him around and a mutual fondness for each other develops.
The film is highly original and thorougly entertaining. Although it's a movie about a man and woman, it is not a romance. Even though they are alone on an island together, there's no hint of carnal pleasure for each other. Instead, the movie shows how a man and woman can form a relationship of trust, not just in order to survive, but because they are alone together. It is a movie of friends, not lovers, which is very unusual of Hollywood. The results are phenominally entertaining and realistic.
Since it is a war film, there are explosions and guns and some action sequences, but most of it is toned down. Set in the Pacific Theatre during WWII, there are Japanese marines depicted in the film, but no characters are established amongst them. If any criticism is due for this film it is the need for a more satisfactory ending. There is quite a bit of silence throughout the movie, a lot of sounds from the ocean and exotic birds chirping. It's as relaxing as it is entertaining.
The film is rated G, there is no language (certainly not from Sister Angela!) and no indecency of any kind. Some blood, but it's not worth hiding a kid's eyes over. Only if one is offended by Catholicism or someone getting drunk on Japanese liquor would this film have any form of warnings at all.
To summarize, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison is an original kind of war movie with highly developed characters. It's an uncommon film in today's market of entertainment in regards to what a man and woman can do together. This film shows the sexes not at odds or in lust with each other, but shows them as a team working toward a common goal. It's easily a family film and a movie worth watching time and again."
2 legendary stars...and a Japanese Army!
Dave | Tennessee United States | 11/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This John Huston classic is one of my favorite war movies. The beautiful island scenery is breathtaking, and Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr are flawless. The chemistry between these two, despite Kerr playing the role of a nun, is awesome. Mitchum, playing a tough-as-nails Marine sergeant, is perfectly cast, and gives one of his finest performances. Kerr is also perfectly cast and was nominated for best actress (she didn't win). This movie doesn't have epic battle scenes like other war films, but it perfectly captures the spirit of the U.S. soldiers in WW2. One of the film's best scenes is when Mitchum gets drunk and almost forgets Kerr is a nun! The dvd version has a great picture quality and the special features include a newsreel from WW2 showing battle scenes in the Pacific, and there are a few trailers. If you want to see a different kind of war movie, I highly recommend this classic."
Beautiful story of love between two opposites
Simon Davis | 12/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Perfection is about the only way to describe this beautiful film about the trails of an Irish nun and a marine who are stranded on an island in Japanese infested waters during World War Two. "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison", is based on the simple premise of two totally opposite characters from two different worlds being forced by circumstances to work together for a mutual need and in the process learning not only to appreciate the other's qualities but also learning abit about themselves in the process.What works so wonderfully in this film are the beautifully drawn characters who are so realistic and honest in their composition and in their reactions to each other. The film is basically a two character study and it is to the great credit of Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum that never once does the interest in these two individuals drop off, so believable are their interpretations. One can believe totally that Robert Mitchum is a tough, no frills marine Corporal Allison and that Deborah Kerr is the sweet, pious but also gutsy Irish nun Sister Angela."Heaven Knows Mr. Allison" tells the story of Corporal Allison who after a Japanese attack on his vessel, finds himself washed up onto a desert island somewhere in the South Pacific. Thinking the island has been deserted he is amazed to discover that the only occupant is an Irish nun Sister Angela who is also stranded there after the death of a fellow priest. The story follows their trials and tribulations on the island, finding food, hiding out in a cave together when the Japanese take over the island and avoiding bombing when finally the marines drive the Japanese off with heavy bombing and gun fire. It is an inspirational story as the gruff marine and placid nun get to know each other, begin to develop firstly affection and then real love for each other before realising how life has taken them on different paths but made them better people for having known each other. Never once is the story done in bad taste or does it resort to crudity or sensationalism. I doubt if so delicate and tender a topic could be done today where such a story would have its sexual elements played up to the detriment of the story.Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum both deliver stunning performances and Kerr in particular in her portrayal of Sister Angela (for which she quite rightly received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress) became the proto-type so to speak, of all nun portrayals in the years to come. She is in turn beautifully mannered, pious, brave and considerate and capable of great love.In short a wonderfully well rounded character. The vision of her in her beautiful white nun's habit carrying the charred crucifix down the hill from the island's bombed church is an image I will always carry with me. Robert Mitchum is a perfect choice as Corporal Allison, the wayward orphan who joined the marines to become someone and who hides under his gruff unpolished totally masculine demeanour an essentially kind personality that resurfaces when he encounters Sister Angela. These two performers who appeared together in a number of films, notably "The Sundowners", have a beautiful chemistry when working together and their verbal exchanges and interaction is a delight to view.Directed with many subtle layers of meaning and emotion by veteran director John Huston he manages to combine what is essentially a sensitive love story with an exciting and serious war time drama. These layers combine excellently here and make the film a viewing experience to cherish. There are many exciting moments in "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison" such as the turtle capture where Sister Angela rows the boat to try and save Mr. Allison from drowning, the landing of the Japanese on the Island and the couples retreating into the cave to avoid capture, Sister Angela's attack of malaria, and Mr. Allison's frantic trips to steal food from right under the noses of the Japanese are some of the best. Filmed on location on a beautifully unspoiled atoll in the South Pacific, the filming was not an easy experience for anyone involved but that does not show itself on screen. What resulted was an almost two hour film that never drags or lacks interest through its many changes in approach. Being a Catholic I guess I can see alot that I can identify with in the theme of the film but really it's a wonderful story that can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates good writing and great character development. It's the type of film that wouldn't be made today given the extremes to which our current cinema feels it has to go to deliver "acceptable" entertainment, more's the pity. "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison" is a particular favourite of mine and I feel it contains Deborah Kerr's finest performance so enjoy this great story of love, adventure, and human understanding set in wartime."