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)
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Popularity
2,640 ( 125)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 14 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 ... Hilda Hulme
Clive Merrison ... Dr. Henry Hulme
Simon O'Connor ... Herbert Rieper
Jed Brophy ... John / Nicholas
Peter Elliott ... Bill Perry
Gilbert Goldie ... Dr. Bennett
Geoffrey Heath ... Rev. Norris
Kirsti Ferry ... Wendy
Ben Skjellerup Ben Skjellerup ... Jonathan Hulme
Darien Takle ... Miss Stewart
Elizabeth Moody ... Miss Waller
Liz Mullane ... Mrs. Collins
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Storyline

Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme met in school during the 1950s. Instant best friends, they proceeded to spend every minute possible together, often writing about a fantasy land of their own invention. More and more estranged from their respective families, the two girls realise that they are extremely different from most other people, and agree to take any steps necessary to ensure that they are not seperated. The two families are increasingly concerned about the girls' friendship in a strictly moralistic era. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles' photograph in the stream is a reference to a similar shot in The Third Man (1949). See more »

Goofs

Pauline's diary shows January 1st, 1954 as a Thursday, when it was really a Friday. Earlier in the film, a similar shot of the same diary clearly shows the previous year and date (Thursday, January 1st, 1953.) 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!
[...]
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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 New Zealand version ran 108 min. Peter Jackson then cut 9 minutes from the film for the international release. (he has mentioned that the 99 min. cut is the one he prefers.) See more »

Connections

References The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Sono Andati
from "La Boheme"
Written by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Kate Winslet
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User Reviews

 
Not just for teens, this is...well...awesome...
16 January 1999 | by pgreyySee all my reviews

I understand why teenage girls would like this movie--the thrilling rush of new found deep friendship tied together with nascent sexuality and all that comes with it...the defying of the confines of the world around them...the incredible power of unfettered creativity and self-delusional belief...

What's amazing is that a jaded thirty-something man like myself would consider it to be his favorite film of all time. Peter Jackson shows a deftness in handling interpersonal characterizations and blending in amazing special effects in a way that seems so natural...so fluid...that you while you're awed by what you see, you're not so aware of the process that you're distracted. The oh-so-1993 effect of "morphing" is used better here than any other film (save, perhaps, Terminator 2--but in that movie, the morphing WAS the film...when here, it is merely one element.)

The direction is exemplary. The cinematography is awe inspiring. The script is sharp. The acting...down the line...is superb. Melanie Lynskey delivers a brave performance--giddy, childish, frightening, sexual, clouded... She's everything Christina Ricci pretends to be. Kate Winslet--hyper-bright and wonderful...her performance here reminds you that her "Titanic" performance was "sunk" (sorry!) by the extremely poor dialogue she was given. Her character's overly cheerful demeanor is a mask that covers her disappointment in her parents--but it's extended so far that it no longer seems like a mask...it seems to be a force of nature that drags Lynskey's Pauline along for a dangerous ride...a ride that Winslet's Juliet is in no position to control. There are crisp performances from all of the supporting cast as well.

Jackson should be listed with Gilliam and even Lynch when it comes to directors who can achieve a glorious, if dark, vision. The fact that Jackson's movies (save for "Meet the Feebles") are mainstream accessible--in ways that Lynch, especially, could barely consider (although "The Frighteners" was painfully overlooked by the US market)--makes me wish that he'd try his hand at more mainstream material.

Imagine what a Peter Jackson "Titanic" would have been like...and compare that to what a James Cameron "Heavenly Creatures" would have been like and you get my point.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

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:

New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,592, 20 November 1994

Gross USA:

$3,049,135

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,049,135
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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