7.5/10
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26 user 56 critic

Gates of Heaven (1978)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Comedy, Drama | October 1978 (USA)
A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.

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Cast

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

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Not Rated

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October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A mennyország kapui  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was one of the first to be included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Quotes

Pet cemetery investor: Death is for the living and not for the dead.
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Connections

Featured in Life Itself (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Who's Afraid of Roger Ebert?
15 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

Ebert put this film on his top 10 films of all time list. Now for this film to be up there with Citizen Kane and The Third Man, I was expecting to be thrown from my seat... that didn't happen.

I don't know how to rate this film. All throughout the doc, I didn't know what to make of it. The people were strangely saying very, very profound things, but I had to try hard to discard their appearance and mannerisms. I have a fear that the antics of Christopher Guest among others mocking simple people puts this film as a disadvantage. Halfway though I asked myself "Is this a comedy that I'm just not getting?" It had a Guffman air to it, which is to simply let the people talk and expect you to laugh. But is wasn't. I listened extra hard and started to see that it clearly did not show any comedic elements, but I still didn't know what to make of it. This film requires multiple viewings, but I don't really wanna see it again.

Ebert is right, this film is about much, much, much more than a Pet Cemetary. However, it is no where near one of the 10 greatest films of all time. Ebert must have lost a lot or pets or have a fixation on that movie theater in the sky.


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