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Manna from Heaven
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Reviews & Ratings for
Manna from Heaven More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

It stays with you...

Author: Staylor111 from Buffalo, NY
15 November 2003

When I first saw the movie, I thought it was sweet - a family movie. For the rest of the night and over the next couple of days, though, clever moments and funny lines kept creeping back into my thoughts and our conversation... There's a lot going on, classic elements of farce, good character acting, and Wendie Malick's story line is just hysterical. Labelling it a "feel-good movie" belies the wit and fun - it's smarter than it seems, just like "It's a Wonderful Life" is.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Not your typical Hollywood movie

Author: ljcjpjlj from Western New York
9 March 2003

This film is not your typical Hollywood fare, though the pickings are so bad I often tend to stay away from movies rather than be disappointed. However, this little low-budget gem is thoroughly loveable and enjoyable and definitely a keeper. The actors are as varied as the characters they portray, the Buffalo setting is charming (what a pretty city), and the story sparkles. The lack of gratuitous violence, sex and the "f" word doesn't detract in the least! Take the kids, take grandma, take a break from Hollywood! I give it an 11 out of 10!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: achilli from Lewiston, NY
9 March 2003

Charming, well-written movie with good character development. Off the beaten path, and I agree with many posters here who say that they found themselves thinking about the film long after seeing it.

The usual major-development-per-minute mainstream mindset for people with no attention span is nowhere in evidence here. A very interesting story - It's not built to a formula. I just had no recollection of having seen this all before when I was watching it, and that's so rare now in the movie-as-formula age.

Wonderful performances by some really wonderful actors - Frank Gorshin especially was so good, as were Jill Eikenberry and the hilarious Cloris Leachman.

It's good to see this movie doing well, and being picked up by distributors.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: BDAVIGNON2002 from New York City
27 January 2003

In the wasteland that Hollywood Productions have become of late, this movie - in and of itself - is truly "MANNA FROM HEAVEN"!!!

In what could best be described as a "cute" movie, approximately 350 years of movie acting experience (allright - give or take 100 years!) joyously lights up the screen to tell a tale of deceit, remorse, and redemption about a Catholic Family in Buffalo, NY.

Truly well-positioned to take its place in the "feel-good" movie genre, this quiet little independent film by the Burton Sisters' FIVE SISTERS PRODUCTIONS COMPANY will leave a smile on your face and joy in your heart, all while renewing your faith in mankind.

From the spectacular opening scene shots of Buffalo, NY to the final credits, the film manages to tell a tale that could have been told of any family, anywhere. Yet, somehow this particular gathering of family and "family by association" in a small, non-descript house in Buffalo more than fits the bill. If you've never been to Buffalo, you'll leave the theater with thoughts of "shuffling off" for a visit! Shots of the city landmarks and surroundings help to bring a quaint, down to earth tone to the film - which suits it just fine. The quiet beauty of the "Queen City of the Great Lakes" compliments, rather than detracts from the tale that is being told. If only more movies would take advantage of the natural beauty of this country's "second cities" instead of running off to a soundstage somewhere, the end results would be so much more believable.

Great performances by Shirley Jones, Frank Gorshin, Wendy Malick, Jill Eickenberry, and the rest of the ensemble cast prove again that true talent outlasts Hollywood's "flavor of the week" any time!


You've wandered in Hollywood's desert for too long!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Thoroughly enjoyed this movie

Author: ravmeltt from Cayman Islands
29 March 2009

Although this was a low budget movie, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn't great, but it made you, from the beginning, want to sit down and watch until the end. I liked all the characters, especially Jill Eikenberry who played such a subdued character, Cloris Leachman, Wendy Malick and Frank Gorshin, and even though I tend to agree with one poster who said that Shirley Jones was miscast, I think it's because we expect her to be sweet all the time and didn't want her to be "bad". But I loved her turnaround. I even stopped to look at the special features on the DVD, because I wanted to see how the show was made, and I felt a part of the process while watching it. I also learned that one of the elderly couples in the dance scene are the parents of the Burton sisters! Interesting info, I really liked the "feel-good" feelings of this movie.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: miocuore23
4 February 2003

I would recommend this film to anyone who is searching for a relaxing, fun-filled, thought-provoking movie. The absence of sex, vulgarities and violence made for a most pleasant evening. I especially enjoyed the Buffalo scene, but that's probably because I live a short distance from there. Even so, this film could have been produced in any city; it's the theme that's so important here. I'm just grateful that Manna From Heaven dropped down on us. Try'll like it!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

an enjoyable evening out

Author: kandy23kp from lancaster, ny
3 February 2003

We went to see Manna from Heaven, my husband, two friends, and I and we all enjoyed the film. The characters are funny, the story is amusing and so much like real life. I think that is what I liked most, just seeing something believable, no murders, no sci-fi, just good, clean fun. It is something you could take your children or elderly parents to and not worry. How many of those are around anymore!!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A lot of fun, and imperfectly perfect!

Author: zippogeek from Buffalo, NY
18 February 2003

It's not a perfect movie in the conventional sense, but then again so few are. I enjoyed it quite a bit in spite of the implausible plot - after all, what's a feel-good satirical comedy without some hyperbole? The casting and performances were generally delightful. The cinematography was very good in spite of what a few other uninformed reviewers have said. To capture the feel of Buffalo NY - old, out of touch, quietly desperate but always hopeful - the Sisters put together a montage of sights and sounds reminiscent of the social and cultural hodge-podge that is the Buffalo area. It's a state of mind, not a geographical place!

The plot will, in its own way, lead you to the conclusion that the most common people can have redemption with a little effort and divine intervention. This was a great effort from a bunch of girls from Buffalo who have no money to compete against the digitized, schmoltzified crap dealers of Hollywood! A refreshing change of pace -go see it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the Best Films I've Seen in Years!

Author: Conrad Toepfer ( from Getzville, NY 14068-1349
26 January 2003

`Manna From Heaven' is a delightfully compelling film.

Within the shifting paradox of values in middle-class Americans from 40 years ago to the present day, the plot tweaks the concerns and hopes of an interesting range of `Damon Runyonesque' characters.

Their struggles with moral dilemmas, dotting on `what might have been,' hopes to yet fulfill youthful dreams, romantic yearnings, and `hit it big' combine to make a most entertaining film. Rather than relying upon `in-your- face' sexual explicitness, the burgeoning relationship between Inez and Mac/Bake is classically subtle but clear. His untying the knot in her shoelace at the Art Gallery and their heat in their poker game is outstanding

The script's crisp writing is skillfully interpreted by an outstanding star and supporting cast. One of the few films I have ever fone to see twice in its opening run, `Manna From Heaven' definitely warrants national distribution.

Conrad F. Toepfer

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Funny, feel-good film filled with fine acting.

Author: bevsleph from Fairfax County, Virginia
12 November 2002

Manna from Heaven is heavenly. This is a movie for the family -- teens and grandparents can enjoy it together. But it isn't syrupy sweet or silly. The characters really are "characters". The plot is somewhat complex and you have to pay attention, but it's like putting a puzzle together as it all falls into place bit by bit. The period beginning is like watching an old photo album, or remembering back when. It's extremely well done with very accurate hairstyles and costumes. The story moves along quickly with twists, turns and lots of fun.

A special treat is to watch the large cast of familiar faces, many of whom we haven't seen in much too long a time. Part of the fun is to recognize and name them mentally as they appear, though this can be distracting. Cloris Leachman by the end of the film looks as if she's had a make-over on "Oprah". I had never seen Faye Grant in a movie -- only knew her as Grace's mother in the TV series "Saving Grace". She was great, even minus the southern accent. And I didn't even recognize Shelly Duvall. The five sisters who created this very lovely film are a very talented quintet and Sister Theresa is a heavenly treasure.

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