Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  13 March 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,815 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 41 critic

A marine and a nun form an unlikely friendship. The marine is shipwrecked on a Pacific island and the nun has been left behind there; they find comfort in one another as the two wait out the war.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:


In 1944, the castaway Corporal Allison drifts in a raft to Tuasiva Island, where he meets Sister Angela. She tells him that she is the only person on the island, having been left behind when seeking out a priest. The nun and the marine are stranded, but the island offers a bountiful supply of food. However, their paradisiacal life ends when the Japanese arrive to build a base, forcing "Mr." Allison and the nun to hide in a cave. The marine's expertise in such conditions proves to be vital to their survival, and the two grow ever closer. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; jonathanroberts

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They were alone on this Pacific Island... trapped behind enemy lines... the marine who had been thru Hell and Sister Angela with her supreme faith in God.


Action | Adventure | Drama | War


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 March 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Seemann und die Nonne  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)| (Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


After Eugene Frenke lost his rights to the novel 1953, John Wayne and Robert Fellows tried to buy the rights, but didn't succeed. Wayne was looking to star in the film. See more »


At the beginning of the movie, Cpl. Allison's raft nears the island. He slowly looks over the edge of the raft and sees the island, his hair quite disheveled. The next shot (and a few subsequent others in the same scene) show his hair much shorter. The remainder of the movie shows his hair at the longer length. See more »


[first lines]
Cpl. Allison, USMC: Let's just keep it quiet, ma'am. You speak English?
Sister Angela: Yes.
Cpl. Allison, USMC: Are there any Japs around?
Sister Angela: You're... You're an American.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1944 SOMEWHERE IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC See more »


Featured in The Sopranos: For All Debts Public and Private (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

underrated Huston classic
6 February 2005 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

This film shows the depth of feeling that John Huston was capable of as a director. It also shows how wonderfully he handled actors, eliciting great performances from both Mitchum and Kerr. Though it doesn't have the humor of The African Queen, it shows a similar since of dignity to the characters. It also shows respect for the audience in that it doesn't feel the need to resort to romantic over-indulgences or tear-jerking death scenes to win us over. Both characters remain intact physically and spiritually at the end. Also worth mentioning is Oswald Morris's beautiful location photography on the island of Tobago. Fox did a wonderful job on the DVD transfer.

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