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Heavens Above! (1963)

A minister is accidentally appointed to a snobbish parish.


(original story), (original story) | 3 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Reverend John Smallwood
Cecil Parker ...
Archdeacon Aspinall
Lady Despard
The Other Smallwood
Harry Smith
Rene Smith
Miriam Karlin ...
Winnie Smith
Joan Miller ...
Mrs. Smith-Gould
Miles Malleson ...
Eric Barker ...
Bank Manager
Major Fowler
Fred Smith
Joan Hickson ...


A minister is accidentally appointed to a snobbish parish.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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




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Release Date:

23 May 1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cielos arriba  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


When on the train at the 1:34:30 mark, the Godminster Gazette newspaper headline mentioning Orbiston Parva has left the R out of Parva spelling it Pava. See more »


[Smallwood is giving his first sermon to his new congregation]
The Reverend John Smallwood: This town is full of people who *call* themselves Christians. But from what I've seen of it, I wouldn't mind taking a bet there aren't enough *real* Christians about to feed one decent lion.
See more »


References From Here to Eternity (1953) See more »


Lead Kindly Light
Music by John B. Dykes
Arranged by Richard Rodney Bennett
See more »

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User Reviews

wonderful satire
9 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Peter Sellers plays a minister with a new assignment in "Heavens Above!" a 1963 film written by John Boulting and directed by John and Roy Boulting. Sellers is the Rev. John Smallwood, and he's assigned to a new parish from his current prison ministry by mistake when he's confused with another Rev. Smallwood. He gets to the parish and really shakes things up, so much so that he practically brings down the entire British economy. He's well-meaning, but not very practical. He convinces the wealthy woman in town, Lady Despard (Isabeal Jeans) to give away food. Naturally the grocers are upset. Then he trashes the product the big factory in town produces, and their stock crashes. While he's at it, he takes in a huge family that was forced off of their property.

The film makes fun of religion with a straight face. Smallwood tells Lady Despard that she won't go to heaven because she hasn't given up her earthly belongings and followed Christ. He preaches God to such an extent that when the Despard butler tells him off, he does it with two different Bible quotes - for me, that was the funniest scene in the movie.

The British economy suffered greatly after World War II, and there are many films about it. This is but one, taking its place with "The Man in the White Suit," "I'm All Right, Jack," and others.

Peter Sellers is amazing as Smallwood, modeling the character on a former teacher of his. He's a gentle man, not given to temper outbursts, who stands by his principles, even though he's a complete airhead.

Very good.

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