The Lathe of Heaven (1980)

TV Movie  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  9 January 1980 (USA)
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George Orr, a man whose dreams can change waking reality, tries to suppress this unpredictable gift with drugs. Dr. Haber, an assigned psychiatrist, discovers the gift to be real and ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peyton E. Park ...
Mannie Ahrens (as Peyton Park)
Niki Flacks ...
Penny Crouch
Dr. William Haber
Vandi Clark ...
Aunt Ethel
Bernedette Whitehead ...
George's Mother (as Bernadette Whitehead)
Jo Livingston ...
George's Father
Jane Roberts ...
Tom Matts ...
Frank Miller ...
Parole Officer
Joye Nash ...
Woman on Subway
Gena Sleete ...
Woman on Subway
Heather LeLache
Ben McKinley III ...


George Orr, a man whose dreams can change waking reality, tries to suppress this unpredictable gift with drugs. Dr. Haber, an assigned psychiatrist, discovers the gift to be real and hypnotically induces Mr. Orr to change reality for the benefit of mankind --- with bizarre and frightening results. Written by Will Briggs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 January 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La rueda celeste  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Unseen for twenty years because of a copyright issue: in one scene, George Orr plays a record of The Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends." The film was finally allowed to be rebroadcast when The Beatles' version of the song was replaced with one sung by a different vocalist. See more »


Dr. Haber: Welcome to Dr. Haber's Palace of Dreams. Congratulations, George. You are the man of the hour. How do you feel today?
George Orr: I haven't felt anything for days.
Dr. Haber: [to his henchmen:] You may go.
[They leave]
Dr. Haber: Take it easy, George, take it easy! I know I've been working you very hard, but I think you'll agree it's been well worth the effort. Besides, today is a momentous occasion.
George Orr: Well, I don't think I can take another big day.
Dr. Haber: George, today I've cured you.
Dr. Haber: Don't you have anything to say?
George Orr: Words fail me.
See more »


Referenced in Free Enterprise (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

One of a kind...
4 February 2005 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I remember when this one aired on PBS and the euphoria we the faithful felt at the time. We thought that science fiction had finally really arrived. No more rip-offs of rip-offs of old movie serials: we were finally going to see "real" science fiction on television again (for the first time since the '60's); not the compromise of commercial television but the kind of SF that could only come from Public Television. And what a wonder it was. To see a book like THE LATHE OF HEAVEN, by none other than Ursula K. LeGuin, as fully realized as was humanly possible at that time... yes, it was a wonder to behold. Nor was it going to end there. We were told that wonder would follow on wonder, that an entire series of these thought-provoking programs were in the works. The road ahead looked smooth, the future bright.

Sigh. 20/20 hindsight, and all that; but it was a great idea then and it's still a great idea. If not PBS, then some other producing entity. The material is still out there(if you'll pardon the play on words), and the market is arguably stronger than ever. All the genre needs right now is somebody willing to mine all that gold.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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