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An abortion clinic worker with a special heritage is called upon to save the existence of humanity from being negated by two renegade angels trying to exploit a loop-hole and reenter Heaven.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stygian Triplet (as Barrett Hackney)
Jared Pfennigwerth ...
Stygian Triplet
Stygian Triplet
Grant Hicks (as Brian Christopher O'Halloran)
Dan Etheridge ...
Priest at St. Stephen's
Derek Milosavljevic ...
Kissing Couple
Lesley Braden ...
Kissing Couple
Clinic Girl (scenes deleted) (as MarieElena O'Brien)


An abortion clinic worker with a special heritage is enlisted to prevent two angels from reentering Heaven and thus undoing the fabric of the universe. Along the way, she is aided by two prophets, Jay and Silent Bob. With the help of Rufus, the 13th Apostle, they must stop those who stand in their way and prevent the angels from entering Heaven. Written by Jerel Parenton <J.W.Parenton@student.tcu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It Can Be Hell Getting Into Heaven See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language including sex-related dialogue, violence, crude humor and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

12 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bearclaw  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,669,945 (USA) (12 November 1999)


$30,651,422 (USA) (24 March 2000)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While in production the project's name was Bearclaw. See more »


The seam in Bartleby's sweatshirt where it's supposed to tear apart is visible. It also appears to be held together by Velcro after he pulls the halves apart. See more »


[first lines]
Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, the driving force behind Catholicism WOW, Cardinal Glick.
Cardinal Glick: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now we all know how the majority and the media in this country view the Catholic church. They think of us as a passe, archaic institution. People find the Bible obtuse... even hokey. Now in an effort to disprove all that the church has appointed this year as a time of renewal... both of faith and of style. For example, the crucifix. While it has been a time honored ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

A good number of the credits are not the typical label-and-name, but are instead complete sentences (although without a period). One example is 'The Visual Effects Supervisor was Richard "Dickie" Payne' . See more »


References George Carlin: You Are All Diseased (1999) See more »


The High Cost of Low Living
Written by: Scott Nickoley and Jamie Dunlap
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Chesterton lives!
15 June 2000 | by (Berkeley, CA) – See all my reviews

Another vote from a cradle Catholic who was not remotely offended by this movie. Not that some of the negatives mentioned by other posters here aren't true -- yes, a lot of the humor is gross, yes, the F-word is overused, yes, its criticism of organized religion is less stinging that you'd expect (though that in itself is a slightly foolish expectation, given that the writer/director is himself an active member of an organized religion). And yes, if you're not Catholic, much of the movie is a little foggy, under-explained, and not very engaging. That last one I definitely agree with; I seriously doubt whether I'd recommend the film to a non-Catholic at all.

But, oh, God, I LOVED it, serious flaws and all! It's a huge chaotic mess with about sixty different trains of thought and philosophy, from the ecstatic to the scatological, slugging it out for dominance, and in its very sloppiness there's a sense of anarchic, exultant wonder I've never seen in a movie before. The only two things like it that I can think of are Thornton Wilder's play "Skin of Our Teeth" and G.K. Chesterton's amazing joyous fever dream of a novel "The Man Who Was Thursday", both of which are works by people who may or may not have faith but who definitely have a good idea. Or several dozen of them, and who just run with them wherever they go. These works are big chaotic messes, but in that way they are mirrors of Creation, the mother of all big chaotic messes. In all these works, just as in the real world, love and joy and beauty and filth and cruelty and despair are constantly tumbling over and bleeding into each other; the one universal rule is that everything is absurd, that the human race is the most absurd thing of all, and that this absurdity can be the catalyst to either suffocating grief or a kind of hilarious wonder.

If you go into "Dogma" expecting a trim and tidy theological comedy of manners, you'll be sorely disappointed. If you're looking for something with the same filthy gorgeous lunacy of existence itself, this is it.

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