MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 11 this week

Ticket to Heaven (1981)

 -  Drama  -  9 October 1981 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 462 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 titles
created 21 Jan 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 16 Mar 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 7 months ago
 
list image
a list of 29 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 1 month 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 7.3/10

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... 

Cave In! (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A group of strangers become entrapped in a cave after it collapses. A fugitive among them claims a hostage as leverage for means of escape.

Director: Georg Fenady
Stars: Dennis Cole, Susan Sullivan, Leslie Nielsen
Mystery | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Duke Duquesne, is a very eccentric magician and due to his lifestyle his two-year-old daughter is sent away to live with an aunt (living there for the next twenty years). News of her ... See full summary »

Director: William Conrad
Stars: Connie Stevens, Dean Jones, Cesar Romero
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1.6/10 X  

A psychic researcher attempts to solve a murder by using a radio that enables him to speak with the dead.

Director: Merle S. Gould
Stars: Aldo Farnese, Scott Douglas, Laura Brock
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Dorothy and Bob DeBolt's tale of the struggles and joys involved in their 19 adopted children, many of who are physically disabled war orphans.

Director: John Korty
Stars: Kim Atwood, Marty Atwood, Mike Atwood
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Gregory Lind is the junior priest at Our Lady of the Assumption, a Catholic parish in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Life at the parish is not perfect for Greg, as he is beginning to have ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Haller
Stars: Robert Forster, Lauren Hutton, Will Geer
The Magician (1973)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A beautiful young woman marries a blind old man for his money. She carries on an affair with her husband's valet, but soon finds herself in the middle of a murder-for-money plot involving the household servants.

Director: José María Forqué
Stars: Sue Lyon, Fernando Rey, Gloria Grahame
Bitter Sugar (1996)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Gustavo is a young Havana Communist who believes in the revolution; he hopes for a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering in Prague. But his faith in the new Cuba is tested: his ... See full summary »

Director: Leon Ichaso
Stars: René Lavan, Mayte Vilán, Miguel Gutiérrez
Bonditis (1968)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Karl Suter
Stars: Gerd Baltus, Marion Jacob, Christiane Rücker
Split Image (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Young man is sucked into an unnamed religious cult by beautiful girl and gets increasingly under the mind control of the cult leader. After his parents fail in their efforts to talk him out... See full summary »

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Michael O'Keefe, Karen Allen, Peter Fonda
Horror | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Angela is a young hairdresser thrown out of home by her puritantical mother after too many nights out. She quickly falls in with the modeling crowd and does some modeling work herself, ... See full summary »

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Chantal Contouri, Robert Bruning, Sigrid Thornton
Death Feud (1987)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

While in town on shore leave, Joe meets, falls in love with and proposes to Anne, a beautiful woman he rescues from an attacker. Anne, however, has a past: she's a prostitute and a former ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Monson
Stars: Frank Stallone, Christopher Mitchum, Karen Mayo-Chandler
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

Larry: Listen to me OK, please? I love you David, and I love Sarah, but *individually*. David, together, I think you're a mess.
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
Discuss Ticket to Heaven (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?