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Paradise Recovered (2010)

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A devout young woman learns about faith, living, and love from a surprising source.



4 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Heather Wallis ...
Esther (as Heather Del Rio)
Gabriel (as Dane Seth Hurlburt)
Oliver Luke ...
Austin Chittim ...
Phillip Sawyer
Mrs. Sawyer
Richard Dillard ...
Warren F. Vanderbilt
Jim Aabear ...
Marina Seitsinger ...
Leah Kirts ...
Anna Valerie Becker ...
Sarah Ivey-Lucas ...
Woman in Store
Craig Dalton ...
Bar Dude 1
Scott Drichel ...
Bar Dude 2
Trenadee Lafferty ...


Esther Harris, a young woman praised for her virtue and devotion to Warren F. Vanderbilt's Prophetic Watchman Ministries, has been given the opportunity of a lifetime - to attend Vanderbilt's Kingdom Bible College and to marry Phillip Sawyer, the son of a minister and a Kingdom student being groomed for the ministry. When the fundamentalist Christian sect falls on hard times, Esther looks for employment at a local health food store to supplement the group's income. At the store, Esther gets a chance to share her faith with her new manager, Gabriel, a devout skeptic and preacher's kid, and his roommate, Mark, a college drop-out who finds Christian television to be great entertainment. Shot entirely on location in Southern Indiana and Austin, Texas, Paradise Recovered attempts a modern-day retelling of the parable of the Good Samaritan while addressing the important topics of faith, tolerance, and spiritual abuse in modern culture. Written by Andie Redwine

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's about believing.





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Release Date:

October 2010 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$115,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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Did You Know?


David Sawyer: Esther Harris has come forward this morning to confess her sins. She has broken standards too numerous to mention. She is without excuse. She will need to prove that she is once again worthy of her baptism. The Bible does teach us that there is grace for those who are willing to ask the Lord for forgiveness. That will be all, Miss Harris.
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Crazy Credits

One animal was saved during the making of this film. Little Blue "Wildcat" Garcia. See more »


Features The Giant Gila Monster (1959) See more »


Pickled Frogs
Written by Michelle Marchessault
Performed by Michelle Marchessault, Marty Green, PJ Christie, LonPaul Ellrich, Kent Jolly
Produced by Ken Waagner and Sardina
Courtesy of Hitlt! Recordings
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User Reviews

Good movie for the regular joe ... and jean
2 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm not really sure on what side this movie fell, whether born-again or judgment-withheld ... as in trusting in one's opinion not avoiding God's judgment ... and therein lay part of its charm, I guess. Actually, the moral was probably fairly clear, in favor of individual choice, although I had to think as our hero railed against arranged marriages that they aren't all that bad. They have worked for centuries for many cultures. From the few I have seen up close, parents from that tradition seem pretty good at picking partners for their children, probably out of love. Even in the occidental culture, many marriages of convenience which could be viewed pretty much as the same thing except it's the spouses themselves who make the choice seem to work pretty well because they focus on the goal, not wild romance. I was shocked once when a boss I had who was getting his psychology degree nights said that of course once a couple fell out of love, that's when they should consider divorce; that to me is when the couple should really begin to work on the marriage with, if they put individual desires aside, sometimes wonderfully satisfying if not passionate results. About the same time another psychology grad admonished me that my toddler daughter should be allowed to embarrass herself in public. I won't go into detail here but, a psychology grad myself, hence the not very remunerative profession at this point, I had to wonder ... what are they teaching people in psychology school today?

But I digress on my soapbox. What struck me as I watched Paradise Recovered is that this is a movie to which that guy you know could relate, that is, if you can drag him to what could also be called a chick flick. You know that guy ... the one who doesn't go to church while his wife does. My stepfather was like that. Mom and us went to church on Sundays and Dad showed up for holidays and special events. Rest of the time he had other things to occupy his mind. It might not have been that he didn't have special spiritual ideals. He just preferred to honor them on his own, and I can see that spending his Sundays tinkering in a warm but briefly unoccupied house and allowing his mind to roam might have been a healing he needed before he began the rat race every week.

With this movie, I liked that there was a point at which I didn't know who would win, and if the filmmakers would come down on a particular side although I guess I should say I did have a clue; but there was a certain amount of suspense. You'll probably really like the buddies, and especially the comic half; I hope I'll get to see these guys, and the gals, too, again. I looked up the bio of the guy who played the minister and though his role was not flashy just an opportunity for solid even brilliant acting, boy, does he work; so these folks don't work just in Christian-type films, no, far from it. But it's also nice to see a film that really falls into the mainstream that nevertheless deals with Christian values and accurately. I haven't really encountered a church quite like the one our heroine seems trapped by, but I have visited cults and they do make no sense. Their appeal appears to emotional.

If you're kind of normal, you'll probably like this film ... maybe even if you aren't that normal. Some of the characters weren't ... and were, both. Kind of like real life :)

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