MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 5,262 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 468 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...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

Related News

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

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 32 titles
created 21 Nov 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 27 Feb 2014
 
list image
a list of 29 titles
created 6 months 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... 

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 | 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
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
Holy Smoke (1999)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Kate Winslet, Harvey Keitel, Julie Hamilton
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
God Willing (2006)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Immigrant Juan meets Finnish tango singer Juli in the summer of 1975 in Stockholm, and romance blooms.

Directors: Amir Chamdin, Erik Eger
Stars: Nina Persson, Amir Chamdin, Julia Alenius
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
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
God Willing (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The film examines the modern-day phenomenon of religious "intentional communities," or as they are often called, "cults." It takes as its focus "The Church," also known as "The Brotherhood,... See full summary »

Director: Evangeline Griego
Stars: Anna Flowers, Daniel Garcia, Marcy
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:

In 1979, David joined a cult. 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

 
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
Widescreen DVD? currychip
Discuss Ticket to Heaven (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?