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Banking on Heaven (2005)

A hard-hitting documentary on the largest polygamous cult in the U.S., the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), located right on the Utah-Arizona border. This film shows how women and ... See full summary »


Dot Reidelbach


Laurie Allen (screenwriter)


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Credited cast:
Laurie Allen ... Narrator
Linda Binder Linda Binder ... Herself - Arizona Senator
Duffy Bistline Duffy Bistline ... Himself - Evicted
Pam Black Pam Black ... Herself - Resident
Lori Chatwin Lori Chatwin ... Herself - Resident
Ross Chatwin Ross Chatwin ... Himself - Resident
Ruth Cooke Ruth Cooke ... Herself - Escapee
Seth Cooke Seth Cooke ... Himself - Escapee
John Dougherty John Dougherty ... Himself - Journalist
Gary Engels Gary Engels ... Himself - Private Investigator
Dan Fischer Dan Fischer ... Himself (as Dr. Dan Fischer)
Terry Goddard Terry Goddard ... Himself - Arizona Attorney General
Sara Hammon Sara Hammon ... Herself - Escapee
Marilyn Jarrett Marilyn Jarrett ... Herself
Elaine Jeffs Elaine Jeffs ... Herself - Escapee


A hard-hitting documentary on the largest polygamous cult in the U.S., the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), located right on the Utah-Arizona border. This film shows how women and girls are denied education and other civil rights, and are treated as slaves who are married off to the polygamous men of the cult. It investigates the role of Warren Jeffs, Head "Prophet" of the FLDS, and offers a searing indictment of his treatment of fellow cult members. It also addresses the lack of outrage from the mainstream Mormon church as well as the government's collective failure to take care of the problems that are plaguing many polygamists caught in this web of greed and deceit. See how a small group of courageous filmmakers managed to make their way into a town which shuns outsiders--particularly ones with movie cameras--and get damning testimonials from some of the women of this cult. Written by gctz1one

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Release Date:

28 May 2005 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Colorado City, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Over the Moon Productions See more »
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Frontline: The Mormons Part 2 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Polygamy - Bad.
22 October 2005 | by SpuzzlightyearSee all my reviews

Based on Heaven is a film which was made for people who didn't know polygamy cults existed. And that would be… who? OK, I'll be fair here. This expose of polygamy cults, down in Colorado City and (gee what a surprise) Utah, isn't REALLY all that surprising, though it inserts some amusing bits here and there. This film mainly focuses on the women that escaped, or kicked out of the polygamous communities, and they of course tell their stories. Of course, as you know, they were slaves, baby factories, etc etc. Again nothing really new. I only wished they spent more time on the boys and men who were kicked out of the communities (because of course, they provide more competition for the men who have plenty of wives already to acquire more), then to focus on the umpteenth shot of children born to polygamous parents running like hell from strangers because they're taught that those people are the spawn of Satan (which is true lol)

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