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Heavens Above!
Heavens Above
Actors: Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Isabel Jeans, Ian Carmichael, Bernard Miles
Directors: John Boulting, Roy Boulting
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
UR     2003     1hr 45min

British cinema in the late 1950s and early 1960s turned out a series of gently satirical films that mocked established institutions, and Heavens Above! is the member of the group that turned its attention to religion. P...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Isabel Jeans, Ian Carmichael, Bernard Miles
Directors: John Boulting, Roy Boulting
Creators: Mutz Greenbaum, John Boulting, Roy Boulting, Frank Harvey, Malcolm Muggeridge
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Classic Comedies, Peter Sellers, Drama
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/21/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1963
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1963
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Metaphor, satire and a brilliant critique
Joseph Johnson | ELLENSBURG, WA United States | 06/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Heavens Above" immediately preceded "Dr. Strangelove" and "The Pink Panther" with Sellers at the top of his form. He blends into the role of Rev. Smallwood with such completeness that he seemingly went through catechism and seminary - perhaps even journeyed back in time to the Sermon on the Mount.
Smallwood is mistakenly placed as the priest of small town, which is profoundly in need of a priest. Unfortunately, what the town needs and what they want are entirely opposite. Without agenda and in full conviction of the Christian gospel, Smallwood takes every utterance of Jesus as the standard by which society should operate. Smallwood's attempt in the twentieth-century works about as well as his first-century counterpart's.
A truly thoughtful, humorous, and insightful film, "Heaven's Above" is as near to an original clergy film as any in the last century. It is a step beyond satire - more of a hypothetical exercise. The difference between loving and absolutely loving the film depends completely on how the ending is received: (Should it have ended earlier? Is it a departure from the character? Too much farce?) Cinematography is splendid and witty, acting is thoroughly successful and the DVD transfer is crisp and rich. The biographical text on Sellers is interesting. If only there were more extras...."
A classic film indeed..go buy it now!!!
alkens | 01/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film is in a class of it's own. A classic 1960's black and white movie from the UK that is better, much better than you might think. Set in a typical parish in rural England, Peter Sellers plays a kind, honest and loyal vicar that battles church, the locals and goverment to do what is right for a family of gypsies.
It's the kind of film that makes you feel good, and that is what counts."
Very funny social/religious satire with Sellers. Say n'more!
K. Swanson | Austin, TX United States | 10/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"What a brilliant script and movie.

Sellers inhabits his role perfectly, the supporting players are all spot on, and the endless barbs and accompanying subtle visual gags are often laugh out loud funny.

And boy oh boy, no mercy is shown to organized religion and big business (if there is any real difference). Razor sharp satire hits home again and again, as in, "Try Tranquilax! It stimulates! It sedates! It's a laxative!" And when the priest turns down a donation because the givers aren't true Christians...well, this is fiction, after all.

At moments Heavens Above feels like the logical precursor to Monty Python, in many ways. A higher compliment would be hard to find.

Beautifully shot with lots of natural light as well.
This film has aged perfectly; its only fault is a rather weak ending.

I'm glad there are so many truly intelligent old movies like this out there; they sure ain't making many these daze!

Very worth watching."
Thank Heaven for Heavens Above
Paula H. Sutcliffe | saranac lake,ny | 03/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a wonderful film-Peter Sellers is an Anglican prison chaplain mistakenly chosen to be the new Vicar of a staid,sterile and joylous church in a staid,joylous and sterile English town.
Both town and church are in for a surprise,however, for their new Vicar actually takes the Gospels SERIOUSLY! How this modern day parable (with screenplay by author journalist malcom muggeridge, atheist turned Christian believer late in his life) plays out is at once
a funny and scathing critique of both Church and State. People of any or no religious persuasion will enjoy watching Sellers at his deadpan best. A must see film.