6.5/10
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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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Missionary John H. Groberg returns to Tonga in the 1960s with his wife and their five young daughters. When their sixth child is born with a serious illness, the Grobergs face their ... See full summary »

Director: Mitch Davis
Stars: Christopher Gorham, Natalie Medlock, Russell Dixon
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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:

An Enduring Love. 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

When the film crew arrived on the Island of Rarotonga (capital of the Cook Islands), the Prime Minister welcomed them by gathering all of the religious ministers of the community for a prayer meeting. They prayed that the film crew would be blessed with good weather. 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: There is a connection between heaven and earth. Finding that connection gives meaning to everything, including death. Losing that connection makes everything lose meaning, including life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Field Is White (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lone Ranger
Courtesy of Golden Books Family Entertainment
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User Reviews

BEWARE: MORMON PROPAGANDA!!!
21 April 2003 | by mydarkdreamsSee all my reviews

No one believe all this praise.

I was led to believe that this was a wholesome family movie about a guy stranded on a island in the south pacific...because that's what it said on the box....and that it was a DISNEY movie. i'm thinking HEY another Robinson Crusoe movie....no no no

First off....from a purely story structure point of view....the movie is slow as hell. The story has really no main tension...the main character doesn't really have an arc. it supposedly is a coming-of-age story, but honestly i was so blinded by all the mormon propaganda that the "coming-of-age" part was all but a mute point.

This movie, in a nutshell, is the tale of a Mormon missionary preaching preaching LDS and western values to this indigenous tribe on the small island of Tonga.

I mean you have all the stock "inspirational" stories in this film. There is the alcoholic who abused his wife and daughter.....the estranged girl looking for direction and love......the tribe leader looking for leadership of this own..... The hurricane that destroys a lot of the island....the rebuilding effort....the missionary almost dying....but no no....it was the powerful message of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon that pulled him through and, of course, the love of all those poor indigenous people he brainwashed as well.

Just to clear up one thing....I have NO problem with people doing and saying and believing what they want to believe.....but I HATE it being pushed on me. I was lead to believe that this was a wholesome family DISNEY film. Nowhere on the box does it say anything remotely about it being a mormon movie, or that a mormon is even in it. That is deceptive advertising at its slimiest. I mean I can respect a film like "Left Behind" a lot more, because at least it was honest about what it was...and of course wasn't distributed by a "non-biased" major hollywood studio like Disney.

So after watching it, my friends and I discovered online that one of the production companies involved in the film is a hugely funded Mormon production company. And again there is nothing wrong with that, but a.) Don't be deceitful about it and b.) why the hell did Disney pick it up for distribution in the first place? I mean what if a jewish or islamic, or any non-mormon or non-christian couple picked up the movie thinking it was good for their kids to see because it was a disney family film? What is this film saying about Disney and their values? That being deceitful and brainwashing people is a good way to get others to believe the same way you do.

If none of you believe me....rent the video.


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