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The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  12 April 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 3,049 users   Metascore: 38/100
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John Groberg, a farm kid from Idaho Falls, crosses an ocean to become a missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan islands during the 1950's.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Groberg
Feki (as Joseph Folau)
Nathaniel Lees ...
Alvin Fitisemanu ...
Peter Sa'ena-Brown ...
Whetu Fala ...
Apii McKinley ...
Paki Cherrington ...
Minister (as Te Paki Cherrington)
Ross Duncan ...
John's Father
Maggie Harper ...
John's Mother
Rick Leckinger ...
Brian Richards ...
Crowd Member #1


John H. Groberg, a middle class kid from Idaho Falls, crosses the Pacific to become a Mormon missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan island kingdom during the 1950's. He leaves behind a loving family and the true love of his life, Jean. Through letters and musings across the miles, John shares his humbling and sometimes hilarious adventures with "the girl back home", and her letters buoy up his spirits in difficult times. John must struggle to overcome language barriers, physical hardship and deep-rooted suspicion to earn the trust and love of the Tongan people he has come to serve. Throughout his adventure-filled three years on the islands, he discovers friends and wisdom in the most unlikely places. John H. Groberg's Tongan odyssey will change his life forever. Written by Mary Jane Jones

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

idaho | love | missionary | 1950s | mormon | See All (35) »


An Enduring Love. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and brief disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eye of the Storm  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$55,765 (USA) (14 December 2001)


$4,720,371 (USA) (27 November 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The real John H. Groberg as well as his wife Jean, one of his grandsons and one of his daughters with her husband can be seen at the very end during the wedding scene. As the camera pans from right to left, you can see his daughter, then her husband, then the grandson, then John is taking a picture of the couple, and his wife is next to him clapping. See more »


In the opening shot, the moon is shown in line with the Big Dipper, meaning it would be due north. The moon always appears in the zodiac. See more »


President Stone: The house of the Lord is a house of order. There are forms for these things.
See more »


Referenced in The Field Is White (2002) See more »


Rip it Up
Written by Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell and John Marascalco
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting Movie
19 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have yet to catch all of the movie on TMC but I have seen about 7/8ths of it. It's funny, sharp, very interesting and easy to watch. I found myself laughing and crying with the character. Being based on a true story makes it even more fun to watch. The movie sure does explain more about what a missionary goes through. What a life this man had! He was truly blessed. This movie was a great find. The main actor was magnificent in the role and his portrayal made the movie even greater. The locations were like heaven on earth. The main character had to overcome local prejudice against missionaries, his total removal from worldly possessions, his fears of becoming an elephant (see the movie he explains this) and his loneliness for his wife to be are just a few of his challenges. According to his church elders he must first finish his missionary role before he can marry his true love. This is one rule he is determined never to break. The fellowship and eventual closeness he enjoys with the natives proves to be a grand learning experience for both him and his new friends. "The Other Side of Heaven" is a must see for anybody.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
As a Christian, I still liked this movie.... ilovejesus2002
Is Annie Morman? Kajee2
rate this movie on a scale of 1 to 10 luvmonkey5
Not filmed in Tonga Luci_Mont
Black Mormons Dunstan
Will this ever be released on DVD?! ZoomIn1224
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