7.5/10
4,813
26 user 57 critic

Gates of Heaven (1978)

A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.

Director:

Errol Morris
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Cast

Credited cast:
Lucille Billingsley Lucille Billingsley ... Herself
Zella Graham Zella Graham ... Herself
Cal Harberts Cal Harberts ... Himself
Dan Harberts Dan Harberts ... Himself
Phil Harberts Phil Harberts ... Himself
Scottie Harberts Scottie Harberts ... Himself
Mike Koewler Mike Koewler ... Himself
Floyd McClure Floyd McClure ... Himself
Ed Quye Ed Quye ... Himself
Florence Rasmussen Florence Rasmussen ... Herself
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Storyline

The men who run a pet cemetery, and the men and women who bury their pets, become the subject of this documentary. We first meet Floyd McClure, a paraplegic with a dream to create a pet cemetery. One inspiration is the death of his collie years before; and the other is the local rendering plant, which turns animals into glue. He realizes his dream, only to see it fail. Then we visit a successful pet cemetery, run by a father and his two sons. One is a frustrated musician, nursing a broken heart. The other is joining the family business after selling insurance in Salt Lake City. Throughout, we also meet the people who have buried their pets. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A mennyország kapui See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gates of Heaven See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

German film director Werner Herzog had made a bet with fledgling director (and current film student) Errol Morris that if Morris made a film about pet cemeteries, Herzog would eat his shoe. Morris went on to make this film, so Herzog kept his promise. The meal is documented in the film Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980). See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Harberts: Surely at the gates of heaven an all-compassionate God is not going to say, "Well, you're walking in on two legs, you can go in. You're walking in four legs, we can't take you."
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Connections

Featured in A Brief History of Errol Morris (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Too turgid for me
7 July 2003 | by dynamanSee all my reviews

This video has me half- crazed in trying to ascertain just what was the point of the whole thing. Does anyone need a movie to learn that humans have strong and sometimes bizarre pet relationships? Why mix a man"s dedication to building the best pet cemetary in the world with the tiresome motivation theory of his one son and the aimless meanderings of the other? What is the message here and why does this lame documentary deserve a cult following? Errol Morris is a favorite of mine, but this amateurish attempt of explaining death ia hardly a harbinger of his later,much greater efforts. Sorry, Ebert.


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