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Gates of Heaven (1978)

7.5
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A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.

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Title: Gates of Heaven (1978)

Gates of Heaven (1978) on IMDb 7.5/10

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A short documentary in which directors Werner Herzog and Erol Morris make a bet which results in Herzog being forced to eat his own shoe.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lucille Billingsley ...
Herself
Zella Graham ...
Herself
Cal Harberts ...
Himself
Dan Harberts ...
Himself
Phil Harberts ...
Himself
Scottie Harberts ...
Himself
Mike Koewler ...
Himself
Floyd McClure ...
Himself
Ed Quye ...
Himself
Florence Rasmussen ...
Herself
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Storyline

The men who run a pet cemetery, and the men and women who bury their pets, become the subject of this documentary. We first meet Floyd McClure, a paraplegic with a dream to create a pet cemetery. One inspiration is the death of his collie years before; and the other is the local rendering plant, which turns animals into glue. He realizes his dream, only to see it fail. Then we visit a successful pet cemetery, run by a father and his two sons. One is a frustrated musician, nursing a broken heart. The other is joining the family business after selling insurance in Salt Lake City. Throughout, we also meet the people who have buried their pets. Written by J. Spurlin

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Documentary

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Release Date:

October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A mennyország kapui  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

German film director Werner Herzog had made a bet with fledgling director (and current film student) Errol Morris that if Morris made a film about pet cemeteries, Herzog would eat his shoe. Morris went on to make this film, so Herzog kept his promise. The meal is documented in the film Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980). See more »

Quotes

Pet cemetery investor: Death is for the living and not for the dead.
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Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

can't stop watching it
22 October 2001 | by (NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

I saw this film for the first time about 2 years ago on IFC and thankfully I videotaped it. Since then, I've watched it 10 or 11 times and it always fascinates me. I especially like the last third of the film in which we meet the harberts family who own the Bubbling Well Pet Cemetary in Nappa Valley. They all seem so sincere and at the same time they crack me up. Errol Morris just has a way of letting real life people go on and on about a subject without it ever becoming boring...


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