6.4/10
3,828
83 user 27 critic

The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

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)

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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

Official Sites:

Official site

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

Gross USA:

$4,720,371

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,760,014
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

The hut is an authentic replica of the one that John and Feki actually lived in. It was re-created from photographs. See more »

Goofs

The majority of Tongan characters speak with New Zealand accents throughout the film, although the only white people they have supposedly been in contact with are the American missionaries. This is due to the fact that most of the actors portraying Tongans are actually from New Zealand or the Cook Islands. A lot of the Tongan dialogue is also mis-pronounced throughout the film. See more »

Quotes

[an island girl tries to seduce John]
John Groberg: This would never happen in Idaho!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Singles 2nd Ward (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Rip it Up
Written by Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell and John Marascalco
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice story, limited audience
22 June 2003 | by blaircamSee all my reviews

I really did enjoy this film, although it is certainly no cinematic masterpiece, however I do think it would be of fairly limited appeal to a non-Mormon audience. It is a fairly slow and simple story, done fairly simplistically, but not without its charms. To really appreciate it I suspect one would need to have some background knowledge of the key elements of the movie. I was certainly surprised to see it as a Disney movie and was mortified to see other posters suggesting that the advertising for the film was less than forthcoming on the true nature of the storyline. For what it is, its very entertaining and uplifting, but I would strongly suspect that this film will not appeal to a wide audience. My Vote 7/10 (although I unashamedly admit my own bias)


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