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The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

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John Groberg, a farm kid from Idaho Falls, crosses an ocean to become a missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan islands during the 1950s.

Director:

Mitch Davis

Writers:

Mitch Davis, John H. Groberg (book)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Gorham ... John Groberg
Anne Hathaway ... Jean Sabin
Joe Folau ... Feki (as Joseph Folau)
Nathaniel Lees ... Kelepi
Miriama Smith ... Lavania
Alvin Fitisemanu Alvin Fitisemanu ... Tomasi
Peter Sa'ena-Brown ... Kuli
Whetu Fala ... Asi
Apii McKinley Apii McKinley ... Noli
Paki Cherrington Paki Cherrington ... Minister (as Te Paki Cherrington)
Jeremy Birchall Jeremy Birchall ... Edward
Ross Duncan Ross Duncan ... John's Father
Maggie Harper Maggie Harper ... John's Mother
Rick Leckinger ... Photographer
Brian Richards Brian Richards ... Crowd Member #1
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Storyline

John H. Groberg, a middle class kid from Idaho Falls, crosses the Pacific to become a Mormon missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan island kingdom during the 1950's. He leaves behind a loving family and the true love of his life, Jean. Through letters and musings across the miles, John shares his humbling and sometimes hilarious adventures with "the girl back home", and her letters buoy up his spirits in difficult times. John must struggle to overcome language barriers, physical hardship and deep-rooted suspicion to earn the trust and love of the Tongan people he has come to serve. Throughout his adventure-filled three years on the islands, he discovers friends and wisdom in the most unlikely places. John H. Groberg's Tongan odyssey will change his life forever. Written by Mary Jane Jones

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

idaho | love | missionary | 1950s | mormon | See All (37) »

Taglines:

There is a connection between heaven and earth. Finding that connection makes everything meaningful, including death. Missing it makes everything meaningless, including life. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and brief disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Tonga

Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eye of the Storm See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,765, 16 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,720,371

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,760,014, 12 March 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cast member John Paekau (The Governor) died of a heart attack a couple of hours after wrapping production on the film. A dedication is made to him in the closing credits. See more »

Goofs

The film starts with a dance at Brigham Young University in 1953. A couple sing the song "Rip it Up". That song was first recorded by Little Richard in 1956. See more »

Quotes

John Groberg: You know how far that light had to travel to shine on you?
Jean Sabin: I guess I don't.
John Groberg: 92,300,000 miles, give or take. You know what else?
Jean Sabin: What?
John Groberg: I think it was worth the trip.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The R.M. (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lone Ranger
Courtesy of Golden Books Family Entertainment
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User Reviews

Powerfully moving story
14 August 2004 | by deandrakeSee all my reviews

First of all I wanted to say that if you watched the movie and walked away from it without feeling emotionally moved (in a positive way) you might be emotionally dead. Even if you don't believe in the miracles that occurred in the film, you can appreciate the poignant message behind the story of a young man and his struggles to help the people he fell in love with. I sense that there are a number of "Mormon-phobics" that ended up "getting lured into" seeing this movie somehow and end up screaming "Propaganda!" It's actually quite amusing that these people are so afraid of this religion that they make such unreasonably absurd efforts to avoid anything to do with the religion or people who are members of it. The religious doctrine in this movie was portrayed in such a benign manner that it is nearly indiscernible.

It's kind of like saying that "The Sound of Music" was Catholic propaganda (although some antagonists will probably feel that way anyway).

This movie was deeply moving and it was one of the few movies that had the effect of permanently affecting me in a positive way. If you're looking for the usual Hollywood style of over-embellishing a story to the point of making it unbelievable, or trying to concentrate on some spectacular story line or special effects you'd probably best move on to the fiction section and leave this one alone. This is a real story about real people with real feelings - written and produced for real people.


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