MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,530 this week

Ticket to Heaven (1981)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  9 October 1981 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 470 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

David is a young man seduced by a religious cult that uses starvation, exhaustion, and brainwashing to mold recruits into money hustling disciples of a messiah-like leader. Chronicles ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

, (novel), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

Related News

Faults | Review
| ioncinema
Clip joint: Cults
| The Guardian - Film News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 16 Mar 2013
 
a list of 27 titles
created 27 Feb 2014
 
list image
a list of 29 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 2 months ago
 
list image
a list of 27 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Ticket to Heaven" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Ticket to Heaven (1981)

Ticket to Heaven (1981) on IMDb 7.2/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ticket to Heaven.
7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A group of adventurers sneak into Cuba to try to recover $1 million in cash that when hidden when Fidel Castro took over in 1959. They find themselves trying to avoid detection by Cuban ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Holzberg
Stars: Faye Dunaway, Daniel J. Travanti, Kim Cattrall
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two couples vacationing together in an R.V. from Texas to Colorado are terrorized after they witness a murder during a Satanic ritual.

Director: Jack Starrett
Stars: Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two documentary filmmakers attempt to penetrate a cult who worships a woman who claims to be from the future.

Director: Zal Batmanglij
Stars: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling
Tribute (1980)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A shallow Broadway press agent learns he is dying just as his son by his ex-wife arrives for a visit.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Robby Benson, Lee Remick
Hold-Up (1985)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Dressed as a clown, the clever rascal Grimm holds up the most secure bank of Montreal and takes 30 hostages. While confusing and ridiculing the police with his strange behavior, he calmly ... See full summary »

Director: Alexandre Arcady
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Kim Cattrall, Guy Marchand
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Based on real-life events in Canada in the late 1980's, social worker Paula Jackson investigated a commune run by a messiah-like figure who referred to himself as Moses. Jackson's findings ... See full summary »

Director: Mario Azzopardi
Stars: Polly Walker, Luc Picard, Isabelle Blais
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A married jewel trader is seduced by a beautiful woman while on a business trip. Upon returning home, he receives a video tape in the mail of his tryst and a threat to ruin his marriage if ... See full summary »

Director: David Winning
Stars: Sean Young, Kim Cattrall, Eric McCormack
Smokescreen (1988)
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An ad-agency bookkeeper (Matt Craven) follows his billboard dream-girl (Kim Cattrall) to a shady nightclub in 1950s Toronto.

Director: Martin Lavut
Stars: Kim Cattrall, Matt Craven, Kim Coates
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Carlo Liconti
Stars: Clare Barclay, Briar Boake, Peter Boretski
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Michael Travesser says he's the Messiah and that God has told him the world will end with an apocalyptic event at midnight on 31 October 2007. As leader of a cult in a remote corner of New ... See full summary »

Director: Ben Anthony
Stars: Michael Travesser
City Limits (1984)
Sci-Fi | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.1/10 X  

A series of teenage gangs struggle against each other in a not-so-distant future. Eventually they united against an evil corporation, as represented by evil CEO Robby Benson who wants to control everything.

Director: Aaron Lipstadt
Stars: John Stockwell, Darrell Larson, Rae Dawn Chong
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
David
...
Larry
...
Ingrid
...
Ruthie
...
Linc Strunc
...
Lisa
...
Eric
Dixie Seatle ...
Sarah
Paul Soles ...
Morley
...
Mr. Stone
...
Patrick
Stephen Markle ...
Karl
Timothy Webber ...
Greg
Patrick Brymer ...
Dr. Dwyer
Marcia Diamond ...
Esther
Edit

Storyline

David is a young man seduced by a religious cult that uses starvation, exhaustion, and brainwashing to mold recruits into money hustling disciples of a messiah-like leader. Chronicles David's chilling transformation into a gaunt, mindless shadow of his former self...and his ultimate salvation when friends and family launch a plan to kidnap and deprogram him. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Too frightening to be true ... Too true to be ignored. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bilet do nieba  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 4,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

[after several days of sleep deprivation, intense activity, and brainwashing]
David: I can't take it anymore! I got- ah- I gotta get outta here- I can't-
[sobs]
Karl: I *told* you it would be an incredible experience!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Clever, scary and important
6 January 2007 | by (Newbury, England) – See all my reviews

This film should be required viewing for anyone who believes in Free Will, or that Individual Liberties are all that matters.

The most profound lesson for me is the clear message that NO-ONE, no matter how cynical and initially unsympathetic, would be able to resist the methods this group employs to suck in new inductees - provided only that they are unaware in advance of what is going on. The process is brilliant, diabolical and irresistible. The sleep deprivation, constant presence of others, constant barrage of reinforcing messages, powerful peer pressure and not a moment available to think - I don't believe anyone could resist. They simply wouldn't have the time to realise that they *want* to resist.

Of all these influences I find the character of Ruthie perhaps the most frightening and effective: cute as a button, shining with enthusiasm and energy, playful, flirtatious, controlling, prettily wheedling - and totally dedicated to bringing in new freshly-emptied heads for 'Father'. I fear for my gender, because for a certain age group of men, a smiling, cajoling Ruthie can get almost anything. Various fundamentalist groups have employed such 'flirty fishing' techniques with terrible effect.

This film blends its didactic message into a tense storyline with huge skill. It's helped, perhaps, by the fact that we want to see and understand the raw documentary details as much as we want the story to play out. I still think it's well done: we see the induction process operating successfully on a typical unarmed and unresisting victim in the form of David; and on a more resistant but still unarmed Larry. Only Larry's well-prepared rescuer (Eric?) is equipped to break free of the web.

The film benefited enormously from having a set of fine actors who have gone on to great things in the industry. I'll leave it to others better versed to explore the individual performances, but to me all the parts are handled skilfully and thoughtfully by competent actors. I was particularly affected by the frequent use of what I like to call 'face acting': flashes of CU and ECU in which an actor can reveal internal thoughts and struggles without clunky words. A tiny grin on the face of Linc Strunc when he sees a point hit home in David; the final darted glance by the rescued David at the Heavenly Children standing at their car - not fear, not triumph, but not conviction either. And Meg Foster, of course, whose mutant eyes make actual acting unnecessary.

Interestingly odd note: the scene in which an exhausted David falls asleep at the wheel of the van taking his companions home, and swerves off the highway into a ditch. In his mixed terror and relief at surviving the accident, the other members gather round, laughing and hugging him, without a hint of blame for having nearly killed them all. This was genuine and touching, but the open and loving camaraderie is also one of the chains that bind David to the group. Clever, I thought.

Perhaps the most significant question of the film - unstated and perhaps unintentional - is this: the Heavenly Children are a cult, and defined as such, so we may ignore their teachings and beliefs as mere fantasies with no basis. But what distinguishes a cult from other faith-based belief systems whose primary symbols are a deity, a messiah, and a Satan? Their wider acceptance? Whatever one's opinion about religion in all its forms, it certainly creates the mind-set and iconography in which cults have flourished throughout the centuries - sometimes going on to become the standard in their part of the world.

CD


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I was in a LA cult nottesigana
Does anyone remember the film this was based on? Sparrowhawk
Saul Rubinek's Eyebrows are... summerbrights
Widescreen DVD? currychip
Discuss Ticket to Heaven (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?