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Heaven Help Us (1985)

A new transfer student to St. Basil's Boys' Prep School tries to fit in while romantically pursuing a troubled young girl.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Boo (as Jennie Dundas)
Father Abruzzi
George Anders ...
Brother Augustus
John Bentley ...
First Man
Imogene Bliss ...
Brother Paul


Sixteen-year-old Michael Dunn arrives at St. Basil's Catholic Boys School in Brooklyn circa 1965. There, he befriends all of the misfits in his class as they collide with the repressive faculty and discover the opposite sex as they come of age. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Brothers preached against vice, lust and disrespect. But that never stopped these guys. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Catholic Boys  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actor John Heard has said of this movie in a 2015 interview with 'The A.V. Club': "I got in trouble on Heaven Help Us (1985) because of one afternoon when I was sitting there talking to another actor. I think it was Jay Patterson or somebody. I'm a Catholic, and I still hang around with guys I went to high school with [at Gonzaga College High School]. But I leaned over and I said, "I don't understand: Why in the world would they get a Jew to direct a Catholic boys movie?" And the director-Michael Dinner I think was his name-was sitting right behind me. [Laughing]. And then it turned out that I'm part Jewish! My grandfather was Jewish. I mean, it may have sounded like I was being anti-Semitic, but I was really just sort of being . . . Catholic boys are kind of vain. They think of themselves of being unique, so why would we want to be directed by a Jewish person? But I probably didn't work again after that for two years or something". See more »


Though set in 1965, a 1967 Pontiac is visible on the street outside the schoolyard. See more »


[watching Blue Hawaii at a movie theater]
Rooney: Jesus, what'd they do to Elvis? Cut his balls off, or something?
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Blue Velvet
Written by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris
Performed by Bobby Vinton
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User Reviews

Saw it a week ago and still laughing!
2 April 2009 | by (Omaha, NE USA) – See all my reviews

Goodness, how many years had it been since I'd seen this film? At least 20, I'd guess. And after recently seeing it again, it more than exceeded expectations. Many of the lines were still memorable, and there were some big laughs at things I'd forgotten. Anyone who's seen this will never forget the immortal line, "Caesar, you fat fagot! You always wear gum on your nose?". No matter how many years its been. But the biggest howler I saw was when the boys are all watching an Elvis Presley movie (Blue Hawaii?) and Kevin Dillon asking, "What'd they do to Elvis, cut his balls off or something?". So many funny lines in this film about some rowdy boys attending a Catholic high school in 1965. The film offers an exceptional cast, a thoughtful script, and many, many laughs.

Kevin Dillon as the most ornery student doesn't just walk away with this movie. He grabs it and runs away, making one foul-mouthed comment after another. But those around him shine as well. Donald Sutherland as the dean of the school got top billing, but he likely didn't work long on the project as he's only in a few scenes. The always undervalued Andrew McCarthy is pretty much the main character playing the shy new kid in school who has a tough time adjusting to the rougher atmosphere and physical discipline. He's good, but always overshadowed by Dillon. Mary Stuart Masterson is sweet, yet worldly as the girl who runs the drugstore across the street. She's pretty, smart, and has had to grow up rather quickly. Malcolm Danare is hilarious as Caesar, the overweight nerdy intellectual who is constantly feeling the wrath of both teachers and fellow students. Jay Patterson is frightening as Brother Constance who seems to enjoy beating the crap out of any student who even slightly misbehaves. John Heard adds a human touch to the school as a new less-strict member of the faculty. Look out for future gay porn star Stephen Geophreys as a student who cannot stop touching himself. And hell, how did I forget to mention this was Patrick Dempsy's debut, too? The film moves quickly between scenes of comedy and painful punishment of the students. About every negative stereotype about Catholic schools is on display, but since I've never been to one I'll reserve judgment regarding authenticity. Kudos to McCarthy and the other boys for taking their punishment. It really looked like McCarthy was taking those shots by both fist and paddle from Jay Patterson. Ouch! The constant profanity has kept this film off many cable channels for years, but by all means try and catch it on DVD! 9 of 10 stars.

The Hound.

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