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Heavenly Creatures (1994)

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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 47,722 users  
Reviews: 260 user | 92 critic

Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.



(screenplay) (as Frances Walsh) , (screenplay)
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Title: Heavenly Creatures (1994)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Peirse ...
Honora Parker Rieper
Diana Kent ...
Clive Merrison ...
Dr. Henry Hulme
Simon O'Connor ...
Herbert Rieper
John / Nicholas
Bill Perry
Gilbert Goldie ...
Dr. Bennett
Geoffrey Heath ...
Rev. Norris
Kirsti Ferry ...
Ben Skjellerup ...
Jonathan Hulme
Darien Takle ...
Miss Stewart
Elizabeth Moody ...
Miss Waller
Liz Mullane ...
Mrs. Collins


Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship. Written by Alexander Lum <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not all angels are innocent. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a chilling murder and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:






Release Date:

14 October 1994 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Heavenly Creatures: The Uncut Version  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)


$3,049,135 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Doris Day LP record titled "Bright and Shiny" that the young lodger, Steve, has just bought and shows the family was recorded in 1961, several years after the events occurred. See more »


The Doris Day LP record titled "Bright and Shiny" that the young lodger, Steve, has just bought and shows the family was recorded in 1961. (Also, 33 1/3 rpm LPs were not released until 1948. In 1953 when the film is set, long playing records were 12 inch). See more »


[first lines]
[Director Peter Jackson opens with the scene that should, logically, end the film: that is, the moments immediately following the murder. The girls Juliet and Pauline run screaming up the hill-path to the tea-house, sobbing and covered in blood. The scene is intercut with b&w visions of the two running across a ship deck to meet Dr. and Mrs. Hulme, whom they both refer to as their mother, as the first three exclamations of "Mummy!" demonstrate]
Juliet Hulme: Mummy!
Pauline Parker: Mummy!
Juliet Hulme: Mummmmy!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Preceding the end credits: "In the hours following Honora's murder, a police search of the Rieper house unearthed Pauline's diaries. This resulted in her immediate arrest for the murder of her mother. Juliet was arrested and charged with murder the following day. After Pauline's arrest it was discovered that Honora and Herbert Rieper had never married. Pauline was therefore charged under her mother's maiden name of Parker. In August 1954, a plea of insanity was rejected by the jury in the Christchurch Supreme Court trial, and Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme were found guilty of murder. Too young for the death penalty, they were sent to separate prisons to be 'Detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure.' Juliet was released in November, 1959 and immediately left New Zealand to join her mother overseas. Pauline was released two weeks later but remained in New Zealand on parole until 1965. It was a condition of their release that they never meet again." See more »


Referenced in The Oscars (2013) See more »


Be My Love
Written by Nicholas Brodszky (as Brodsky) / Sammy Cahn (as Cahn)
By Permission of EMI Music Publishing
Performed by Mario Lanza
Courtesy of BMG/Arista/Ariola Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Shocking ... Riveting ... Unforgettable
22 October 2004 | by (Reno/Tahoe, Nevada) – See all my reviews

Heavenly Creatures, based on a true story, is written, directed and produced by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame. This film captivates, catching you off guard.

Jackson sets the audience up in the beginning by focusing on the tranquil, predictable world of 1950s Christchurch, New Zealand. Before long, the peaceful world is exposed for what it is, repressed.

Two teenage girls, Juliet and Pauline, befriend each other at a private girl's school. They find out they have a lot in common. Sharing a world of fantasy and make believe, leads to an insane reversal. Their fantasy world becomes their reality.

Once they cross that line, their otherwise superficial, conventional world is turned upside down. All the repressed dysfunction surfaces. Ironically, Juliet's mother is a psychotherapist who doesn't see her daughter's neurosis becoming a psychosis. Eventually, Pauline and Juliet go off the deep end, drowning in their make believe world. By the end of the film, they do the unthinkable.

Kate Winslet is superb as Juliet. The rest of the cast is outstanding. Peter Jackson does a masterful job of capturing the essence of 1950s religious repression in New Zealand. It could be England or American in the 1950s. Heavenly Creatures will appeal to anyone who enjoys psychological twists and turns.

65 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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