Heavens Above!

Heavens Above!

Infobox Film
name = Heavens Above!

image_size = 150px
caption = original film poster
director = John Boulting
Roy Boulting
producer = John Boulting
Roy Boulting
writer = Frank Harvey Jr.
starring = Peter Sellers
Bernard Miles
Cecil Parker
music = Richard Rodney Bennett
cinematography = Mutz Greenbaum
editing =
distributor = British Lion Films
released = 1963
runtime = 113 min.
country = UK
awards =
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
amg_id = 1:21990
imdb_id = 0057134

"Heavens Above!" is a 1963 British satirical comedy film starring Peter Sellers, directed by John and Roy Boulting, who also co-wrote along with Frank Harvey, from an idea by Malcolm Muggeridge. It is in much the same vein as earlier collaborations between Sellers, Harvey and the Boultings, "Private's Progress" and "I'm All Right Jack".


The plot features Sellers as a humble, caring vicar accidentally assigned to the comfortable country village of Orbiston Parva, in place of Ian Carmichael's upper-class cleric, with whom he shares a name. His belief in charity and forgiveness set him at odds with the selfish locals, whose assertions that they are good, Christian people are belied by their behaviour and ideas. He creates social ructions by hiring a new churchwarden, giving away food, taking in a homeless lower class family, and opposing the building of a new factory in the village. However, all his good works lead to trouble.


The cast includes Cecil Parker as Seller's Archdeacon, William Hartnell as a town councillor, Roy Kinnear, Irene Handl, Eric Sykes, Joan Hickson and Steve Marriott [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A9370415 BBC - h2g2 - The Small Faces - the Band.] Steve Marriott appeared in "Heavens Above!"] . Sellers' performance is generally held to be outstanding, in a meatier, more dramatic role than most he had previously taken on, but many find the ending a little ill-fitting and silly.Fact|date=June 2007


Like the other Boulting/Sellers films, "Heavens Above!" satirises contemporary attitudes and cautiously espouses a socialist ethos, while also showing the possible deleterious side-effects of such ideas, and the all-too-human tendency to take advantage of naive generosity.

The film is also notable for its use of profanity, very daring for 1963; Sykes' character at one stage utters the line, "What if it pisses it with rain?".


External links

* [http://imdb.com/title/tt0057134/ Heavens Above!'s entry at the IMDB]
* [http://www.britmovie.co.uk/directors/j_boulting/filmography/005.html Info and plot summary at Britmovie.co.uk]

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