35 user 6 critic

One Foot in Heaven (1941)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 1 November 1941 (USA)
Episodic look at the life of a minister and his family as they move from one parish to another.



(screen play), (from the book by)


Airs Tue. Mar. 27, 9:00 AM on TCM

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hope Morris Spence
Mrs. Lydia Sandow
Preston Thurston
Eileen Spence
Elias Samson
Mrs. Preston Thurston
Clayton Potter
Dr. John Romer
Hartzell Spence
Dr. Horrigan
John E. Morris
Mrs. Morris
Carlotta Jelm ...
Eileen Spence
Peter Caldwell ...
Hartzell Spence


In the early twentieth century, William Spence and Hope Morris Spence are a Methodist minister and his wife. From Central Canada, William forwent his medical school education in Toronto to become a minister, much to the chagrin of Hope's well off parents of Stratford, Ontario. Regardless of the unknowns of their first posting in rural Iowa, the only posting available, Hope married William in 1904. The adjustment to their new life was initially more difficult for Hope, especially their new poor economic standing and having their life not wholly being their own but rather that of their congregation, as William had the focus of this decision on which to drive his purpose. Their life over the next twenty years or so is presented, which eventually includes three children and they being constantly on the move as William gets assigned from one parish to another across the United States. That life is largely characterized by William having a strong mindset, but who will admittedly change his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Folks, meet a grand FATHER! He's the affable, laffable head of the most delightful family that ever stepped out of America's screens...into America's hearts!


Biography | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 November 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Con un pie en el cielo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Elisabeth Fraser. See more »


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 »


William Spence: [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.
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Referenced in Whistling in Dixie (1942) See more »


Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet
Music by Percy Wenrich
Played when Hope's hat is saved from the fire
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User Reviews

Methodist family story
30 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

Witty film that chronicles the career of a Methodist minister and his family over several decades. It was up for Best Picture against "Citizen Kane" and some other well known films, but is less known than the others. You don't have to be Methodist to get the point.

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