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Heaven's Prisoners (1996)

 -  Drama | Mystery | Thriller  -  17 May 1996 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 3,998 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 29 critic

A hardened New Orleans cop, Dave Robicheaux, finally tosses in the badge and settles into life on the bayou with his wife. But a bizarre plane crash draws him back into the fray when his family is viciously threatened.

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Title: Heaven's Prisoners (1996)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bubba Rocque
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Minos P. Dautrieve (as Vondie Curtis Hall)
Badja Djola ...
Samantha Lagpacan ...
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Didi Giancano
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Jerry Falgout
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Eddie Keats
Carl A. McGee ...
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Det. Magelli
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Priest (as Chris Krisea)
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Storyline

Ex-detective Dave Robicheaux has made a new life for himself and his wife Annie running a bait shop in the outskirts of New Orleans. When they save a little girl, the sole survivor of a plane crash, their lives become forever changed. They take the orphan child into their home and prepare to raise her. However, a visit from DEA agent Dautrieve brings out the detective instincts in Robicheaux and he begins to ask about the rest of the passengers. This brings trouble to Robicheaux and he turns to drug lord Bubba Rocque, a childhood friend. But the friendship becomes estranged when an assault on the Robicheaux home leaves one victim...Annie. Written by P. Wong <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For an ex-cop obsessed with an unsolved murder, trusting the wrong woman could be a deadly choice.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language, and for some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

17 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mississippi Delta  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

AUD 170,610 (Australia) (1 November 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally slated for release in the fall of 1994 when Savoy Pictures (who originally produced and financed the film to it's competition) delayed it. The film was then slated for a 1995 release by the studio, but was finally shelved again because Savoy Pictures had folded in Bankruptcy. Last of the Dogmen (1995) was the final film released under the Savoy Pictures banner. Heaven's Prisoners and a few of the remaining titles that had been delayed for release by Savoy, were picked up by other studios. New Line Cinema finally released the film in the Spring of 1996. See more »

Goofs

When Robin Gaddis sits at the bar answering Robicheaux's questions she has a drink with spear of fruit. In some of the shots, the spear has an orange slice and two cherries, in other shots, an orange slice and one cherry (and no, she doesn't eat one of the cherries). See more »

Quotes

Dave Robicheaux: If I were you, I'd find another ZIP code.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rules of Engagement: Atlantic City (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Answer The Door, Parts One And Two
Performed by B.B. King
Written by James Johnson
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Solid noir - a bit long but Baldwin makes it work
21 March 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ex-cop and ex-drunk Dave Robicheaux has got his life back and makes a living selling bait outside New Orleans with his wife Annie. When they witness a plane crash into the river, Dave saves a little girl and they decide to keep her since she has been orphaned. However, when they then get a visit from the DEA and some local heavies it is apparent that the plane was doing more than just carrying a few illegals and soon Dave finds his new life rapidly crumbling around him.

Opening with a stylish and atmospheric semi to-camera confession, this film immediately caught my interest and managed to hold throughout despite not actually being that good. The film is set in the Deep South and is full or rather annoying mannerisms and clichés from that area that put me off a bit. Despite this, I still quite enjoyed it; the plot meanders out of control a bit and involves too many characters to really keep a tight emotional grip on the audience but it still have enough grit and tension to it to keep you watching. Some elements are better than others though - when the film focuses on Dave and his tough investigation it is great; but when it tries to expand (eg with Robin) it just comes across as baggy.

The film hasn't got massive action scenes but it does have some good chases and moments of thrills - most notably a roof top chase across New Orleans. These are fine but the film does too much talking in slow southern drawls for my liking - also making the film feel a lot longer than it probably was! The talking is fine, but it does more than enough to set the tone and action - and then it keeps talking! Combine this with the characters and you have a film that can't help but feel baggy and slightly disjointed.

The one thread that holds it all together though is Baldwin. He gives a great performance across the whole film; dealing well with the various emotions that it throws at him. Roberts is OK, certainly better than some other rubbish I've seen him in. Lynch is given little to do but look good in a bikini; Masterson is not cast well and doesn't fit into the trashy stripper role; Hatcher gets naked and looks good but her character is not dealt with that well by the script. The support cast includes Hall and Guilfoyle but this is Baldwin's film and, for it's other faults, he carries it with him. The direction is also good; using some very good shots to up the tension and the pace of the film at key moments - if only the editor had been a bit more persistent though.

Overall this is a tough noir-ish thriller that works well for the majority despite feeling bogged down by dialogue and characters at times. If you can put up with the heavy Southern drawls and the iced-tea clichés then it is worth a look.


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