IMDb > Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison
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Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) More at IMDbPro »

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Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison -- Trailer for this classic comedy


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Up 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Lee Mahin (screenplay) and
John Huston (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
13 March 1957 (USA) See more »
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.
A Marine and a Nun, both shipwrecked on a Pacific Island, find solace in one another as the two wait out the war. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations See more »
(2 articles)
'King and I' star Deborah Kerr dies
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 19 October 2007)

Actress Deborah Kerr Dies at 86
 (From IMDb News. 18 October 2007)

User Reviews:
Extremely impressive John Huston movie which - criminally - has been largely overlooked in recent times. See more (60 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
John Huston 
Writing credits
John Lee Mahin (screenplay) and
John Huston (screenplay)

Charles Shaw (novel)

Produced by
Buddy Adler .... producer
Eugene Frenke .... producer
Original Music by
Georges Auric 
Cinematography by
Oswald Morris (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Russell Lloyd 
Art Direction by
Stephen B. Grimes  (as Stephen Grimes)
Costume Design by
Elizabeth Haffenden 
Makeup Department
George Frost .... makeup artist
Production Management
Leigh Aman .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Adrian Pryce-Jones .... assistant director
Sound Department
Malcolm Cooke .... sound editor
Basil Fenton-Smith .... sound
Leslie Hodgson .... sound editor
Visual Effects by
Ray Kellogg .... special effects
Arnim Tardieu .... stunt double: Robert Mitchum (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Arthur Ibbetson .... camera operator
Derek V. Browne .... focus puller (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Elizabeth Haffenden .... costumes
Laura Nightingale .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Music Department
Lambert Williamson .... conductor
Other crew
Angela Allen .... continuity
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
108 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) | 4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:G | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:U (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (2004) | USA:Approved (PCA #18380) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:12 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

After spending so much time in Trinidad/Tobago, Robert Mitchum became enamored with Calypso music, so much so that he recorded an album of the stuff. It was called Calypso - Is Like So, and was released on Capitol Records. It features him doing spot on imitations of the style and is still available on CD.See more »
Continuity: At the beginning of the film, it shows Allison approaching the island in the raft. His hair is dry. A moment later his hair is wet.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 »
Movie Connections:


What is the animal that crawls over Alllison when he is hiding from the two Japanese soldiers drinking saki?
How does the movie end?
Is ' Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison' based on a book?
See more »
47 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
Extremely impressive John Huston movie which - criminally - has been largely overlooked in recent times., 4 November 2005
Author: Jonathon Dabell ( from Todmorden, England

It's always interesting to hear what movie directors think of their own work, and John Huston once made a very insightful comment about this 1957 film which he made for 20th Century Fox:- "Allison is seldom referred to. But I think it was one of the best things I ever made". Huston has hit the nail squarely on the head with this comment. It is - just as he states - a film that has faded into obscurity as the years have passed. It is also paradoxically one of his great works. Perhaps The African Queen, The Red Badge Of Courage, The Asphalt Jungle and Treasure Of The Sierra Madre rank in the director's very top tier of work, but Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is definitely among the front-runners in the second tier.

The story is extremely simple, but absorbing. American marine Allison (Robert Mitchum) is washed ashore on a Pacific island during WWII. The only other person on the island is a nun named Sister Angela (Deborah Kerr). Although they are totally different types of people - and in other circumstances might well have looked down their noses at each other - they find that their mutual plight draws them together and creates a very close friendship. Their situations worsens, however, when a Japanese force arrives and stations a garrison on the island. Allison and Sister Angela find themselves in genuinely grave danger now. Initially, they were merely shipwrecked.... but the arrival of the Japanese soldiers places them in the very midst of the enemy, with nowhere to run and almost nowhere to hide.

As it was made in 1957, the filming was fraught with difficulties, because at that time the Catholic church imposed strict censorship laws on films dealing with religious situations or characters. In the original Charles Shaw book which provided the inspiration for the film, the marine and the nun fell in love.... but it would have been deemed offensive if that were to happen in a 1957 film, so Huston had to create a revised resolution in which the marine and nun gain strength, hope and determination from each other without ever physically consummating their relationship. The performances are meticulous, with Mitchum showing what depth and sensitivity he could bring to a part when asked to do more than his usual man-of-action thing. Kerr is, if anything, even better and earned a thoroughly worthy Oscar nomination (she was eventually beaten - probably undeservedly - by Joanne Woodward). Oswald Morris shoots the film splendidly, ensuring that it is always pleasing to the eye, while Huston expertly juggles the suspense and the sensitivity. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is a really first-rate film and how sad it is that such a likable motion picture has become virtually forgotten.

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Why was John Huston 'not fond' of this movie? - minor spoilers- SteveH2002
Mitchum Favorite!
did anyone notice his hair...? edzevin
Which celebrity would beatleguy64-429-364588
just imagine ... luv_imdb
R.I.P. Deborah Kerr johnboystrong
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