The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  12 April 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 3,086 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) »


A True Story. 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?


Deseret Book, the publisher of the biography on which the movie is based, never previously sold film rights to any of their books. Deseret Book is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and John Groberg was one of the presiding elders of the Church at the time of the sale. There was, therefore, a great concern as to how the Church would be portrayed which had to be satisfied before the rights were sold. The deal was completed, in large measure, because several key members of the production team were active members of the Church. 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 »


[an island girl tries to seduce John]
John Groberg: This would never happen in Idaho!
See more »


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


The Lone Ranger
Courtesy of Golden Books Family Entertainment
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User Reviews

Exceptionally well made independent film.
14 March 2003 | by (Orlando, FL) – See all my reviews

This exceptionally well made, independently produced film is a heart warming tribute to the human spirit. The production team of Mitch Davis, John Corbett, and Gerry Molen(the Oscar winning producer of Schindler's list) are to be commended for the excellent job of presenting this story. It's refreshing to see economic success come for a family centered movie.

The special effects in the hurricane scenes were as good as any big budget movie production, yet maintained their focus on the central characters in the film. I hope to see more from this talented production team in the future.

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

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As a Christian, I still liked this movie.... ilovejesus2002
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rate this movie on a scale of 1 to 10 luvmonkey5
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Will this ever be released on DVD?! ZoomIn1224
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