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Heavens Above! (1963)

 -  Comedy  -  23 May 1963 (UK)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 755 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)

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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
Edit

Storyline

A minister is accidentally appointed to a snobbish parish.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vicar | satire | naivety | gypsy | astronaut | See more »

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

From Here To Eternity
(uncredited)
Written by Fred Karger and Robert Wells
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of Sellers' best films is all but forgotten today
12 November 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This was a marvelous little comedy that in many ways is reminiscent of the great Alec Guinness film, THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT. Like this other film, the movie's main theme is unintended consequences that arise from some selfless and altruistic acts of the leads.

Peter Sellers plays a rather "straight" role as a well-meaning and decent Anglican minister. Unlike Inspector Clouseau and Dr. Strangelove, this character is much more subtle and believable. He didn't play the part strictly for laughs but was more of a characterization. Sellers was a truly gifted and amazing man in how he could seemingly become the people he was playing. His gentle manner and working-class accent worked perfectly to create one of the nicest and sincere priests in film history.

The movie is exceptional in that I think the movie can be enjoyed by religious and non-religious people alike. The film is very cynical and explores human nature in such a way that everyone can take something profound from the film. It is also unusual in that while technically a comedy, it is also serious social commentary. It had a lot to say about the teachings of Jesus and just how impossible it would be to truly implement them in a basically selfish world! Aside from a bad word used here or there, none of this should put off by the film. It isn't heavy-handed or preachy and isn't meant to offend organized religion.

The only reason the film only merits an 8 is because the ending is a bit of a let-down. It really didn't make much sense and was impossible to believe and because of this it really blunted the overall effect of the movie.


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