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The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,688 users   Metascore: 38/100
Reviews: 83 user | 26 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

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

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

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 | missionary | love | 1950s | mormon | See more »

Taglines:

An Epic Journey. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eye of the Storm  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The BYU scene was actually shot in New Zealand. Film-makers hired almost every swing club in the country to appear as extras. Anne Hathaway and Christopher Gorham do almost all of their own dancing. Anne was kicked in the head during one sequence. She was nearly knocked out. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

John Groberg: You know how far that light had to travel to shine on you?
Jean Sabin: I guess I don't.
John Groberg: 92,300,000 miles, give or take. You know what else?
Jean Sabin: What?
John Groberg: I think it was worth the trip.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Singles 2nd Ward (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Review by a Polynesian viewer
16 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I loved this movie!!! My father is Tongan and my mother is Samoan (the first island Elder Groberg landed at the beginning of his journey). Even though I was born and raised here in the US, I have been exposed to my Polynesian roots and love and embrace both cultures of who I am (Polynesian side and American side).

I have to say that my family and I LOVED this movie. It is refreshing to watch a beautiful movie without all the sex, violence and vulgar material that permeates our society today. This movie is about True Love on so many levels - the love between Elder Groberg and his future bride Jean, the love between the Tongan people and Elder Groberg and the love between Our Lord and his children. No, I'm not Mormon, I'm actually an Assembly of God Christian, however that does not overshadow my appreciation for this movie.

The depiction of the people of Tonga is accurate. They are a lighthearted and loving group of people who love to laugh and find joy in the simple things of life. They are all about respect and honoring one's family. The scene of the first funeral brought back memories for me as it illustrated exactly how these kind people handle the departing of a loved one. When my dear Grandmother Siu passed away in 1994, my family and I traveled back to Vava'u (an island within the Kingdom of Tonga) to lay her to rest. The unmasked grief and crying as depicted in the movie was exactly how my grandmother's funeral was. The crying and grieving took place for 1 full day (24 hours - day and night) while different groups of people from all the villages on the island, came to pay their last respects.

Hats off to Disney for going out on a limb to bring the story of one young man's journey of faith and trials and tribulations of his mission to the big screen! Well done!


25 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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
Will this ever be released on DVD?! ZoomIn1224
Name of song? k-mcdaniel
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