Edna marries Texan Sam Gladney, operator of a wheat mill. Edna discovers by chance how the law treats children who are without parents and decides to do something about it. She opens a home... See full summary »
Study of interracial marriage in the 1960's. A white divorcée falls in love with and marries an African-American man. When her ex-husband sues for custody of her child, arguing that a mixed... See full summary »
A charming and very daring thief known as Arsene Lupin is terrorizing the wealthy of Paris, he even goes so far as to threaten the Mona Lisa. But the police, led by the great Guerchard, ... See full summary »
Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Orestaia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamem--er, Ezra Mannon comes home to his unhappy wife (Christine) and loving ... See full summary »
Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »
Norman Z. McLeod
At the beginning of the movie, William Spence (Fredric March) announces he has been "called" to the church and will become a pastor in the Methodist Church. His soon-to-be mother-in-law, Mrs. Norris (Nana Bryant)), replies that she would have preferred that he'd joined the Episcopal Church. At that time, in Canada, the dominant church was the Church of England, not the Episcopal Church. That is predominantly a US institution born out of the American Revolution. See more »
[to his son, Hartzell]
A pastor's family are in a special category. We are uh... Well, It's as if we walked a sort of tightrope. Balancing with one foot on earth and one foot already in heaven.
See more »
For those who are cynical about the religious life, here's a movie which ought to put some of that cynicism to rest. "One Foot in Heaven" is the true story of a Methodist preacher and his family, and it rings true, not just for the humanity Frederic March brings to his role as the preacher, but for the situations and characters that many of us, regardless of creed, will easily relate to. My dad used to say, A church is its people. I think One Foot in Heaven is a perfect illustration of this truth. Though this is a story about a preacher, we aren't preached at. There's a wonderful scene, with the preacher gently urging his agnostic doctor to start coming to church. He doesn't beat him over the head with a Bible but tries a more "humanist" approach.
Someone else has compared One Foot in Heaven with It's a Wonderful Life. Another film to compare is Going My Way. In fact, One Foot in Heaven and Going My Way were released just a year apart. There are story similarities, like the building of new churches (The Bishop's Wife is another example), but it's interesting to see how religion in the community is seen respectively through Protestant and Catholic lenses.
Then, there's the final scene. In some ways it's corny, but it still moves me. It hearkens to a time when religion wasn't sectarian but seamlessly interwoven in community life, unselfconsciously and unostentatiously. It was before the battle lines between religionists and secularists were drawn, when America had a "civil" religion. Alas, a time past.
27 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?