MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 40,140 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 452 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 32 titles
created 21 Nov 2013
 
a list of 54 titles
created 9 months ago
 
list image
a list of 29 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 6 days 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... 

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
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
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Driven by jealousy, the jilted leader of a female motorcycle gang instigates a sadistic reign of terror against her ex-lover and his new bride.

Director: Maury Dexter
Stars: Jeremy Slate, Diane McBain, Sherry Jackson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

In Las Vegas, Lucky and two of her girlfriends, Carol and Lisa, plan to steal half a million dollars from the sadistic manager of the Circus Circus Casino. A shadowy man is their contact ... See full summary »

Director: Noel Nosseck
Stars: Stella Stevens, Stuart Whitman, George DiCenzo
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  
Director: Richard MacLeod
Stars: Miriam Eliot, John Dunham, Tony Warren
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
Death Feud (1987)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 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
The Screaming Woman (TV Movie 1972)
Horror | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A wealthy former mental patient goes home to her estate to rest and recuperate. While walking the grounds one day she hears the screams of a woman coming from underneath the ground who has ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Ed Nelson, Laraine Stephens
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
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
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Since Yumurcak lives in a world of fantasy, nobody believes what he says. When one day their neighbor Kenan and wife murder someone, the same thing happens. He talks about the murder but no... See full summary »

Directors: Türker Inanoglu, Guido Zurli
Stars: Ilker Inanoglu, Filiz Akin, Ekrem Bora
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:

Becoming one of them is your Ticket to Heaven 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

Dr. Dwyer: Jesus was never meant to die. He failed.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
It should be titled HOW CULTS WORK FOR DUMMIES
25 January 2005 | by (Mad City, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Tho on the surface it seems a bit dated, A TICKET TO HEAVEN is an offbeat, thoughtfully produced, and deeply absorbing tale about the religious cults of the 1970s. It shows in detail just HOW they work, and explains to us in step by step fashion just how rational, intelligent people, often with absolutely no interest whatever in religion, could wind up being recruited and converted to the unthinking followers of philosophies which, to outsiders, seem absolutely ridiculous.

The film is unique in that it also shows us one possible path back OUT of that jungle of conflicting ideas, tho the path chosen here is the most controversial of the possible choices. Unspoken, but always hovering over the action, are the issues of civil liberties and religious freedom. There's a LOT of heavy stuff going on here.

This film is a deep sleeper... a Canadian made gem that deserved much more attention than it got from US audiences.

Nick Mancuso plays David Capelle, a Toronto schoolteacher whose life is currently at loose ends after a painful breakup with his long time lover. He needs SOMETHING... ANYTHING... that will give back to his life the direction and stability that was lost.

On a vacation to California an old friend introduces him to a New Age religious group. From then on (and in an amazingly short time, just one weekend) David literally vanishes from his old life and the rest of the world, his every thought and action now dictated by the needs of his newfound "family". He has willingly given up his entire personality to the group-think of the movement.

David's sole link to his old life and the outside world is his friend Larry (Saul Rubenek), a Toronto accountant who aspires to stand up comedy. Larry's suspicions about occasional cryptic phone calls from David lead him to go to California to find out for himself just exactly what the hell is going on with David. After the group makes an attempt to recruit him too, Larry returns home to Toronto and sounds the alarm with David's friends and family.

After seeing the situation for themselves, David's family resorts to the most drastic action possible... kidnapping him from the group and using psychological deprogramming. This is probably the ONLY film or TV production that deals with this emotionally charged and legally sensitive topic truthfully, and in detail. It's electrifying!

There are standout performances here from the entire cast. Meg Foster as "Sister Ingrid", the leader of the local group, is intense and FRIGHTENING. She's a cold, calculating package of almost maniacal devotion to the movement. She gives an outstanding performance which, for me at least, was TOO good; in my mind she'll ALWAYS be "Sister Ingrid", no matter what role I see her in. Meg Foster is now typecast for me.

For sheer intensity tho, the grand prize goes to the Canadian actor R. H. Thompson. His portrayal as Linc Strunk, the deprogrammer that David's friends engage, is POWERFUL. Strunk is the mirror image of Sister Ingrid; he's just as cold, calculating, intelligent and determined as she is, but his mission is to convince David that the group's concepts are patently absurd, and at their base they're essentially an evil con game. Strunk's "In Your Face" confrontations with David are tense intellectual, theological, and philosophical battles of will that are absolutely riveting. Mancuso and Thompson give each other as good as they get from beginning to end.

The finished product here is at the same time chilling, disturbing and inspiring... and it provides an unsettling cautionary message for us all.


14 of 14 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:
?