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The Five People You Meet in Heaven
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Actors: Jon Voight, Ellen Burstyn, Jeff Daniels, Dagmara Dominczyk, Steven Grayhm
Director: Lloyd Kramer
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
UR     2005     2hr 13min

On his 83rd birthday eddie a war vet & a maintenance worker at the ruby pier amusement park dies while trying to save a girl who is sitting under a falling ride. When he awakens in the afterlife he encounters 5 people with...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Jon Voight, Ellen Burstyn, Jeff Daniels, Dagmara Dominczyk, Steven Grayhm
Director: Lloyd Kramer
Creators: Kramer Morgenthau, Howard Ellis, Lisa Towers, Mitch Albom, Robert Halmi Jr., Robert Halmi Sr.
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Fantasy, All Made-for-TV Movies
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/08/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 13min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Laurali G. from HARTSVILLE, SC
Reviewed on 9/10/2014...
thank you
0 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL
Reviewed on 4/11/2014...
This is a good movie. I really loved the ending. Very thought provoking.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sharon C. (Sierrastar) from BLYTHEWOOD, SC
Reviewed on 9/26/2012...
I loved this movie and it made me stop and think about a few events that have happened in my life. It is worth the watch
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Marta C. from JOPLIN, MO
Reviewed on 7/9/2012...
Very well done and thought provoking....follows the book well.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

No Life Is Meaningless
Janet Boyer | Pennsylvania | 06/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""This is a story of a man named Eddie who was shown the secret of heaven: that each life affects the other, and the other affects the next. The world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - The Five People You Meet In Heaven DVD

A critical, abusive, alcoholic father. The nightmares--and a physical wound--courtesy of war. Infertility. A beloved wife struck down with a neurological disease. Evaporating dreams of being an engineer, replaced with a life-long job as a theme park maintenance man.

Eddie feels like a loser. He was a nobody-his alcoholic father made sure of that. Working at the theme park Ruby's Pier, like his father before him, is how Eddie died and went to heaven.

Author Mitch Albom wrote the script for the made-for-TV movie The Five People You Meet In Heaven, which is based on his bestselling book. The theme of this story is that no life is a waste, no matter how seemingly insignificant-and that there are no random acts, because all are connected.

The profound but simple truths in this poignant story by Albom reflect the themes that all is one, there are no random acts, and that peace, learning and growth face us on the Other Side.

On a sunny day at Ruby's Pier, a cable system breaks down on an amusement ride, and Eddie, played by veteran actor Jon Voight, tries to save a girl from death. He feels small hands in his as he tries to pull her to safety.

"When Eddie died, he felt no pain. He experienced calm-as if every pain he experienced on Earth was washed away."

In heaven, Eddie is first met by a man who used to be a part of Ruby Pier's freak show-a man tinted blue by a chemical tincture he drank as a child. The man of blue (brilliantly played by Jeff Daniels) tells Eddie that he will meet five people in heaven, and each will share things which will be a lesson for Eddie. The part that the Blue Man played in Eddie's life was unknown until Eddie arrives in heaven: as a small boy, Eddie was playing ball in the street, and the Blue Man, driving down the same street, swerved to miss him. The Blue Man ended up dying of a heart attack, and Eddie was unaware of his part in the story.

When the Blue Man shared what happen, Eddie felt badly-that the accident wasn't fair, and that it should have been him that died. The blue man replies: "There is no fair in life and death. If it were, no good men would die young." Eddie assumes that he will now pay for his "sin" and be judged. The Blue Man dismisses this idea, almost with amusement: "No, no, no.", he says, shaking his head. In heaven, there is no judgment, but rather an opportunity to examine our lives-who we touched, the choices we made, and the consequences of those choices.

Eddie is then visited by four more people, in their own unique heaven. Forgiveness is another theme of the story, and the character of Ruby tells Eddie: "Hatred is a curved blade. The harm we do to others is harm we do to one is born with anger. It builds up over time, with the things we don't say and the things we bury. When we die, the soul is freed of it-free to see the truth."

The process that Eddie goes through when he dies is consistent with the case studies featured in the books Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls by hypnotherapist Dr. Michael Newton. No angry God awaits us at the gates of death, but instead, we are met with kind, loving guides and souls-eventually being ushered into a personally designed `curriculum' for our soul's growth and edification. When Eddie meets his former military captain in his personal heaven the captain says to him: "Time isn't what you think it is, kid. Neither is dying." Also consistent with between-life regression case histories is the ability for souls to change shape (like Eddie's wife did when he asked her to become "old" again), as well as the ability to "choose" your heaven.

The Five People You Meet In Heaven is a story of redemption and personal meaning, as Eddie finally realizes that everything- even difficulties, disappointments, and deaths-happen for a reason. We're also reminded that "all endings are beginnings. We just don't know it at the time..."

Throughout the story, Eddie calls himself a loser, feeling that he did not accomplish anything with his life (like going to engineering school as he planned). He felt alone, and without anything to show for his life. However, at the end of meeting the five people from his life on the Other Side, Eddie is shown the results of his everyday, "mundane" work as an amusement park maintenance man: a sea of people of every age, race, and walk of life that were kept safe over the years by his diligence:

"All the accidents he prevented, all the people he kept safe-their children, and their children's children-are because of the things he did day after day."

The human search for a sense of meaning and purpose to life is a deep one. Perhaps the first thoughts of the first human were "Who am I? Why am I here?" We're still asking these questions--and desperately looking for the answer.

Living in an increasingly complex and stressful era, it's tempting to think that the mundane is meaningless and that life is a random crapshoot. I was deeply moved by this story, reminded that no interpersonal interaction is by chance, and that every cruel, painful, or disappointing situation serves a higher purpose that will someday be explained. The Five People You Meet In Heaven shows that, truly, no life is a "waste", and no life is insignificant. My story is a part of your story, because all of us are connected in the web of life.
The Higher Road
Victoria C. Wood | Tremonton, UT United States | 12/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Once in awhile, a movie goes beyond entertainment to make us better for having witnessed it. This is one of those.

Eddie's life has been one of misery, regret, and failure. Then he dies, and is forced to face his demons. A touching work of such love and beauty that it may well leave you sobbing."
The Visual Albom
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

""..each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." These words are uttered by Ellen Burstyn at the end of this Hallmark movie version of that persistent little best seller by Mitch Albom THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN. And that about sums up the content of this simplistic story of how all of us are connected, that each of our lives is significant even if not apparent while being lived.

Mitch Albom serves a purpose as a writer. He produces small short stories as books that are quick reads, have a dollop of 'feel good' philosophy, and provides an entry to folks who may not ordinarily read books as part of their pastimes. And there is considerable merit to that. From the legions who have read his 'Tuesdays with Morrie' and 'Five People You Meet in Heaven' it is fairly obvious that there is a public out there who is hungry for some homespun faith: the atmosphere around the globe is threatening enough to our psyches that we do need some spiritual nurturing. And if Albom provides that, I think that is a step in the right direction.

Great writing here? No. The screenplay is by Albom and as worked by director Lloyd Kramer we are given almost two and a half hours of this story that doesn't take that long to read in book form. But in many ways this drawn out presentation helps make a better story rather than the quick preach of the book. Eddie (John Voight + Callahan Brebner + Steven Grayhm) is a maintenance man for a seaside boardwalk Ruby's Pier where he has spent his entire life (with the exception of a tour of duty in the battlefields of WW II) feeling like he is trapped into a thankless life, filled with mistakes and regrets. His sole concern is for the safety of the rides in the amusement park: the story begins with his death due to a faulty ride in which he attempts to intervene at the 13th hour to save a young girl's life.

Being dead, he enters 'heaven' which just happens to be a cleaned up Ruby's Pier. He meets five folk who each teach him lessons about his life - lessons that are accompanied by flashbacks to significant moments, events, and memories. These five people are enacted by Jeff Daniels, Michael Imperioli, Ellen Burstyn, Dagmara Dominczyk and Nicaela & Shelbie Weigel and it is through their graces that Albom's secrets are transmitted to Eddie.

Not a complex plot, not a complex movie, but one done with enough color and skill to warrant its Hallmark seal of approval. And that is really OK. Just don't expect depth. Grady Harp, March 05"