MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,615 this week

Gates of Heaven (1978)

7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,285 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 43 critic

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

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 18 Apr 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 26 Oct 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 23 Jun 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 29 May 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Gates of Heaven" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Gates of Heaven (1978)

Gates of Heaven (1978) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Gates of Heaven.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

28 Up (TV Movie 1984)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born adults after a 7 year wait. The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the last ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Symon Basterfield
Tabloid (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Fred A. Leuchter Jr., Robert Jan Van Pelt, David Irving
Documentary | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Randall Adams, David Harris, Gus Rose
Documentary | Crime | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Errol Morris examines the incidents of abuse and torture of suspected terrorists at the hands of U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Megan Ambuhl Graner, Javal Davis, Ken Davis
First Person (TV Series 2000)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Amazing series primarily using Errol Morris' invention the Interrotron for unusual people to tell their outré stories directly into the camera to the viewer. Almost every half-hour ... See full summary »

Stars: Errol Morris, Michael Stone, Charles Butler
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The head of a Japanese theatre troupe returns to a small coastal town where he left a son who thinks he is his uncle, and tries to make up for the lost time, but his current mistress grows jealous.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Ganjirô Nakamura, Machiko Kyô, Haruko Sugimura
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A film about the life and work of the cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, who despite his near total paralysis, is one of the great minds of all time.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Stephen Hawking, Isobel Hawking, Janet Humphrey
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Werner Herzog, Tom Luddy, Michael Goodwin
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Homer Ahr, Fred Brooks, Gregory Chaitin
Documentary | Short | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Short film documentary about the mysterious umbrella man that appears in the Zapruder film during the assassination of president John F Kennedy in Dallas, Texas in 1963, November 22.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Josiah Thompson
Edit

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
Edit

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A mennyország kapui  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

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

Mrs. Harberts: Surely at the gates of heaven an all-compassionate God is not going to say, "Well, you're walking in on two legs, you can go in. You're walking in four legs, we can't take you."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Winners That Were Losers (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pet Peeve Greives
7 October 2006 | by (Palo Alto, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

Early Errol Morris documentary, pitting the true believers versus the salesmen of the world. Both trying to fill a need, I got the vibe that when Floyd McClure talked about that specifically, he was really talking about the emotional hole left in people's lives by a departed pet. Rather than a hole in one's wallet, or just the hole in the ground.

Evidently the first part of this took place darn close to where I live these days: Los Altos, CA! Indeed there is a "Gates of Heaven" cemetery up by Rancho San Antonio, but I think that's just for us two-legged critters.

While this definitely had some clever editing (a couple of times, he turned on a word beautifully from one interviewee to the next), there was a lot of strange miscellany left in the film. I call to the witness stand the lady who loaned her son $400 for a car, but never sees him any more. Additionally the two squabbling ladies of Los Altos. Fascinating to watch, and more of a precursor to Morris' "First Person" show (worth catching if you can!) He just kind of sets the camera down and let's folks go awhile...like a confessional/diary as much as his latter day interregatron.

Somehow, whether by coaxing them with a Coors, or just quietly sitting and filming, Morris gets people to really expound on whatever details of their life seem to really matter to them. A couple of the pet couples are placed before tall images of flora? Not sure of the significance.

The most touching moment is the filming of the little tombstones for a variety of pets, all with some heartfelt little sententia or sweet goodbye. Putting it on film in a way makes these even more immortal.

Not sure how people who don't have any pets at all will react to this. I watched this with our 11-year old Wire Fox Terrier, but he zonked out (tends to prefer Bollywwod?). But I'm sitting there thinking of his mortality and the proposed $3K charge for cataract surgery and being a bit torn between loving my pet deeply, versus calculating the cost of him.

I guess the rendering man is important; he did all he could to wipe the smirk off his face having clearly jumped the shark on the pet v. food debate. And I mean putting food on his table...as much as quasi-food like bonemeal and by-products. For him, it was just a job *clearly* and he seemed perplexed how anybody could see it otherwise.

But bottom line, all of these people were making their living (including Morris as the filmmaker) off the death of pets. We want our lives to be filled with more than making our rent and paying our bills, and one way we try to do that is through our relationships with pets.

This film's alright, not up there with some of Morris' other work. Oddly comic at times. Like jeez, the pet cemetery called "Bubbling Well", that sounds like a code phrase for a rendering plant. Ick. "Gates of Heaven" felt at times like a strange good-guy/bad-guy dramatic film rather than a documentary. By the way, where are the trophy (Caine?) and guitar (Abel?) brothers today?? Looks like they're still in business

http://www.bubbling-well.com/

Bottom line, I'd say see this, but only *after* taking the dog out for a nice walk or a run along the beach.

6/10

PS My dog wants to add

"A cemetery for cats, come on you've got to be kidding!"


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Rorschach test roncerabona
Rendering plant owner sticks114
Dan Haberts' music tep24
Documentary? willcwhite
Discuss Gates of Heaven (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page