Sunday, May 22, 2016

Heavens Above! (1963)

Directors: John Boulting, Roy Boulting

Writers: Frank Harvey, John Boulting, Malcolm Muggeridge

Composer: Richard Rodney Bennett

Starring:  Pete Sellers, Cecil Parker, Isabel Jeans, Ian Carmichael, Bernard Miles, Brock Peters, Eric Sykes, Irene Handl, Miriam Karlin, Joan Miller, William Hartnell, Roy Kinnear

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  Where 'I'm All Right Jack" left off... this takes off!

Plot:  Peter Sellers stars as a young vicar whose tendencies to interpret Christian doctrines in his own individualistic way, rather than conform to church traditions, leads to all kinds of chaos. He really believes, for example, in taking from the rich to give the poor.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Fine performances are given by the entire cast.  No surprise there, they're British.  It's a mildly amusing film that gets milder as it goes until it the solution to everyone's problem (Reverend Smallwood (Sellers)) is found.  Then it gets ridiculous as if the ending belonged in a different film altogether.  The ending isn't horrible but it's almost out of left field.  When things are at their very worst for Smallwood and his community, and they get REALLY bad, the church big wigs get with the government big cheeses to fix the problem which means, in part, getting rid of Smallwood.  What happens next feels better suited to a different film.  I was really involved in the picture until then.  It was getting quite serious but still within the confines of a light comedy.  Anyway, I'm beating a dead horse.  Sellers is quite good and plays the character with a little wink but it's some of his supporting cast that get more of the funny.   The Anchor Bay DVD has a great anamorphic widescreen print with no extras. 

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