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Heavenly Creatures (1994)

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Two teenage girls share a unique bond; their parents, concerned that the friendship is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

Director:

Peter Jackson

Writers:

Fran Walsh (screenplay) (as Frances Walsh), Peter Jackson (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,502 ( 124)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melanie Lynskey ... Pauline Parker
Kate Winslet ... Juliet Hulme
Sarah Peirse ... Honora Parker Rieper
Diana Kent Diana Kent ... Hilda Hulme
Clive Merrison ... Dr. Henry Hulme
Simon O'Connor Simon O'Connor ... Herbert Rieper
Jed Brophy ... John / Nicholas
Peter Elliott ... Bill Perry
Gilbert Goldie Gilbert Goldie ... Dr. Bennett
Geoffrey Heath Geoffrey Heath ... Rev. Norris
Kirsti Ferry Kirsti Ferry ... Wendy
Ben Skjellerup Ben Skjellerup ... Jonathan Hulme
Darien Takle Darien Takle ... Miss Stewart
Elizabeth Moody Elizabeth Moody ... Miss Waller
Liz Mullane ... Mrs. Collins
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Storyline

Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship. Written by Alexander Lum <aj_lum@postoffice.utas.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From a secret world no one could see...came a crime no one could believe. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a chilling murder and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

New Zealand | Germany

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

14 October 1994 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

Heavenly Creatures: The Uncut Version See more »

Filming Locations:

Canterbury, New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,049,135
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Melanie Lynskey was cast as Pauline Parker two weeks before filming began. Co-writer Fran Walsh discovered her at the last minute while scouring local high schools for Parker lookalikes. See more »

Goofs

Steve holds up a Doris Day album from the early 60s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Director Peter Jackson opens with the scene that should, logically, end the film: that is, the moments immediately following the murder. The girls Juliet and Pauline run screaming up the hill-path to the tea-house, sobbing and covered in blood. The scene is intercut with b&w visions of the two running across a ship deck to meet Dr. and Mrs. Hulme, whom they both refer to as their mother, as the first three exclamations of "Mummy!" demonstrate]
Juliet Hulme: Mummy!
Pauline Parker: Mummy!
Juliet Hulme: Mummmmy!
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Preceding the end credits: "In the hours following Honora's murder, a police search of the Rieper house unearthed Pauline's diaries. This resulted in her immediate arrest for the murder of her mother. Juliet was arrested and charged with murder the following day. After Pauline's arrest it was discovered that Honora and Herbert Rieper had never married. Pauline was therefore charged under her mother's maiden name of Parker. In August 1954, a plea of insanity was rejected by the jury in the Christchurch Supreme Court trial, and Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme were found guilty of murder. Too young for the death penalty, they were sent to separate prisons to be 'Detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure.' Juliet was released in November, 1959 and immediately left New Zealand to join her mother overseas. Pauline was released two weeks later but remained in New Zealand on parole until 1965. It was a condition of their release that they never meet again." See more »

Alternate Versions

The original ending included a final ship sequence in which Pauline, stranded on the dock, watches Juliet and her family sailing away. The camera cuts to Pauline, then pans back to reveal her alone on the dock with her mother's bludgeoned body at her feet. The screen fades to black and we hear Pauline scream "No!" before the epilogue appears. See more »


Soundtracks

Just a Closer Walk With Thee
(Trad. Arr. Rosemary Turnbull)
Performed by Choirs of Burnside High School, Cashmere High School, Hagley Community College,
Villa Maria College
Musical Director - Rosemary Turnbull
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Peter Jackson'a most successful early movie.
11 December 2010 | by lewiskendellSee all my reviews

"The next time I write in this diary, mother will be dead. How odd, yet how pleasing."

This early writing and directorial effort by Peter Jackson and starring a young Kate Winslet is an odd one to pin down. Especially odd, since it's based on a true story (which I didn't know until the film was over). It's about the intense friendship between two girls living in New Zealand. One is sullen and withdrawn, the other, a wealthy transplant from England, is outspoken and draws attention with her very presence. Both are intelligent, imaginative, and share a similar casual darkness in their personalities. 

As their friendship blooms and grows more and more intense, their parents (this being set in the 50's) begin to suspect an unwholesome aspect to their relationship. When the threat of separation arises, the girls swiftly and resolutely settle on a grisly solution to their forced division: murder.

The movie shifts in tone often, from a sort of coming of age story, to the fanciful world of the girls' imaginations, to their rage and heartbreak at their parents. Kate Winslet was pretty good, but you could tell that she was still finding her way and confidence as an actress. I found the plot to be rather dull at the start, but it grew more interesting as it continued on to a rather abrupt ending. 

Interesting is a good word to use describe Heavenly Creatures, as a whole. It held my attention, even during the parts where I was a little less than entertained. It's unflinchingly dark in some aspects, and innocent and childlike in others. I'd recommend it to most just based on the fact that it's something different, and there's merit in that. It's well-made, also, I just found my interest fluctuating too often to give the movie a higher score. 

And how does Kate Winslet look almost exactly the same today as she did in 1994? Now that's a topic that's interesting enough to make a movie about.


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