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Heavens Above! (1963)

 -  Comedy  -  23 May 1963 (UK)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 775 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 8 critic

A minister is accidentally appointed to a snobbish parish.

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(screenplay), (story), 3 more credits »
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Title: Heavens Above! (1963)

Heavens Above! (1963) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Rev. John Smallwood
Cecil Parker ...
Archdeacon Aspinall
...
Lady Despard
Ian Carmichael ...
The Other Smallwood
...
Simpson
...
Matthew Robinson
...
Harry Smith
Irene Handl ...
Rene Smith
Miriam Karlin ...
Winnie Smith
Joan Miller ...
Mrs. Smith-Gould
Miles Malleson ...
Rockeby
Eric Barker ...
Bank Manager
...
Major Fowler
...
Fred Smith
Joan Hickson ...
Housewife
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Storyline

A minister is accidentally appointed to a snobbish parish.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vicar | satire | naivety | gypsy | astronaut | See All (9) »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 May 1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

For himlens skyld  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point when Rev. Smallwood (Sellers) is preaching from the pulpit, a young boy is seen in the foreground reading a copy of Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita". Sellers played Quilty in Stanley Kubrick's film version of that book. See more »

Goofs

The hand sound of the organ heard at Rev Smallwood's church is too loud and rich for the small, hand-pumped console we see. See more »

Quotes

Simpson: Anytime you hear someone quoting from the bible - better watch out - it's probably the devil himself!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Calling All Workers
(uncredited)
Music by Eric Coates
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User Reviews

 
476th Review: Boulting Bros, Peter Sellers, Early 60s Class Comedy - Heaven indeed!
9 January 2012 | by (the big screen) – See all my reviews

Heavens Above! has so much going for it - a wonderful and very gentle performance by Sellers, a who's who of British comedy from the late 1950s, and the Boulting Brothers at the helm. This is a film that stands the test of time and remains both fun and interesting and a fascinating take on Anglicanism. In Britain, children of a certain class went to privileged school with the eldest son being shipped off to serve as an officer, or join the Foreign Office for the larger good of the Empire, and the second son would go to the City or the Church.

Anglican vicars aren't meant to be like Peter Seller's John Smallwood - who really does hold to the Gospel rather than doctrine, and is appointed vicar, by mistake, of a decidedly complacent and snooty town. What follows gently pokes fun at the double standards.

All in all, this remains one of Seller's gentlest, truest, and straightest characterisations. Like Alec Guinness he really does become the character he's playing - from the hair to the accent to the smallest gestures, but more than that, here, is the heart. He captures something ethereal that we would all recognise as sincerity and good intentions.

When he introduces true gospel values everything, of course, starts to fall apart. Historically, this is interesting in that Billy Graham has come to Britain and there is something of that spirit about this; but it is no way heavy handed or blunt.

Heavens Above! resorts to a weak ending - wish he'd been sent to the East End of London or Liverpool - but it remains a wonderful film well worth the time to catch when it comes around.


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