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Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,242 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 30 critic

A Marine and a Nun, both shipwrecked on a Pacific Island, find solace in one another as the two wait out the war.

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Title: Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

In 1944, in South Pacific, the castaway Marine Corporal Allison drifts in a raft to the Tuasiva Island, where he meets Sister Angela. She tells him that she is the only person in the island and was left behind by the runaway boat to Fiji Island while seeking the local priest. Stranded in the island, but with water, fish and fruits, their paradisiacal life ends when the Japanese arrive to build a base, forcing Allison and the nun to hide in a cave. The crude marine provides the necessary supply for their survival and falls in love for the nun. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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.

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 March 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Seemann und die Nonne  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mitchum was very enthusiastic about playing the role of the marooned corporal until he learned that director John Huston had first tried to interest Marlon Brando in the role. See more »

Goofs

When Allison approaches the island and crawls ashore, the camera shot from the raft shows him at the water's edge. However, when the camera angle changes to a view from the island, he suddenly is much further up the beach and away from the water. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 3 March 1957 (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It Might Be Paradise If It Wasn't For The Japanese
10 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the great injustices of Hollywood history is the fact that Deborah Kerr was nominated for Best Actress while Robert Mitchum got nary a mention for Best Actor in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison. Kerr had several nominations, but never came up a winner. Mitchum was nominated once at the beginning of his career in the Best Supporting Actor category in The Story of GI Joe and then never again.

In Mitchum's case I think that some of his irreverent comments offended a few people. Sometimes Bob was a bit too candid about what he thought of the film industry and his chosen profession. Otherwise he might well have gotten nominations for this, Night of the Hunter, Cape Fear, Ryan's Daughter, The Sundowners, The Friends of Eddie Coyle and a few others.

This film is always and rightly compared to The African Queen with a female in the religious missionary profession and a hell-raising outsider thrown together in war time. The African Queen was in World War I and this film is set on a backwater Pacific island in World War II.

Corporal Allison, USMC arrives on a rubber raft after the Japanese opened fire on a submarine he was on. The only other person on the island is a nun who has seen all the others die or flee the island. It's a small island, but apparently strategically located.

The film is about these two mismatched people thrown together and what they have to do to survive. Deborah Kerr is a nun who hasn't yet taken her final vows and being alone on the island with Mitchum is a temptation no doubt.

Mitchum though has his own code. He's a foundling kid who took the name of Allison because that was the street in Milwaukee he was dropped off on. He was a juvenile delinquent until he joined the Marines and they gave his life a meaning. The Marine Corps manual is his Bible as much as the Scripture is Kerr's.

I can identify with that because in fact I had a cousin who was in the Marines who did in fact straighten him out. He was a hell raising kid in his youth and he became if not a solid citizen after his service, at least a respectable one.

John Huston got unforgettable performances out of his credited cast of two. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison has not dated one single bit since its release.

We all need something to believe in to get us through in this world.


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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