7.4/10
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270 user 94 critic

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

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(screenplay) (as Frances Walsh), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Diana Kent ...
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Simon O'Connor ...
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Bill Perry
Gilbert Goldie ...
Geoffrey Heath ...
Rev. Norris
Kirsti Ferry ...
Wendy
Ben Skjellerup ...
Jonathan Hulme
Darien Takle ...
Miss Stewart
Elizabeth Moody ...
Liz Mullane ...
Mrs. Collins
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Storyline

Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship. Written by Alexander Lum <aj_lum@postoffice.utas.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Not all angels are innocent. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a chilling murder and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

14 October 1994 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Heavenly Creatures: The Uncut Version  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,049,135
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The feature film debut for stars Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet. See more »

Goofs

When Honora brings Pauline a tray of breakfast into her room, she gives Pauline the tray, then talks to her for a while. A crew member's face is clearly reflected in the window. Afterward, two hands holding the long pole of a boom mic are reflected in the window. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Director Peter Jackson opens with the scene that should, logically, end the film: that is, the moments immediately following the murder. The girls Juliet and Pauline run screaming up the hill-path to the tea-house, sobbing and covered in blood. The scene is intercut with b&w visions of the two running across a ship deck to meet Dr. and Mrs. Hulme, whom they both refer to as their mother, as the first three exclamations of "Mummy!" demonstrate]
Juliet Hulme: Mummy!
Pauline Parker: Mummy!
Juliet Hulme: Mummmmy!
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Preceding the end credits: "In the hours following Honora's murder, a police search of the Rieper house unearthed Pauline's diaries. This resulted in her immediate arrest for the murder of her mother. Juliet was arrested and charged with murder the following day. After Pauline's arrest it was discovered that Honora and Herbert Rieper had never married. Pauline was therefore charged under her mother's maiden name of Parker. In August 1954, a plea of insanity was rejected by the jury in the Christchurch Supreme Court trial, and Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme were found guilty of murder. Too young for the death penalty, they were sent to separate prisons to be 'Detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure.' Juliet was released in November, 1959 and immediately left New Zealand to join her mother overseas. Pauline was released two weeks later but remained in New Zealand on parole until 1965. It was a condition of their release that they never meet again." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scalpers (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Be My Love
Written by Nicholas Brodszky (as Brodsky) / Sammy Cahn (as Cahn)
By Permission of EMI Music Publishing
Performed by Mario Lanza
Courtesy of BMG/Arista/Ariola Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Beautiful Haunting Story Of Teenage Obsession
3 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

Lesbian murderers ? I'm sort of guessing that I might not like this movie very much . No doubt we'll be seeing some polemical do gooder film maker with zero talent making a movie where anyone who gets murdered by the gay girls probably asked for it because they were a rabid homophobe

That was my abstract opinion of HEAVENLY CREATURES when it was released to some critical acclaim ten years ago , with much of the acclaim going to writer/director Peter Jackson whose previous gory horror comedies I'd enjoyed . Yeah the guy was talented I remember thinking , but in a liberal climate we'd no doubt be hearing a myriad of excuses via the film for the girls crime and it was this attitude that stopped me from watching the movie until it was broadcast on BBC 2 tonight

I was fooling myself if I thought Jackson was going to make a bad movie . This is another piece of heart melting , intelligent movie making from the Kiwi genius and I'm sorry for doubting Jackson for a moment . What Jackson has done has made a movie where it's difficult to think of the two protagonists as " lesbian lovers " , Pauline Reiper and Juliet Hulme are two teenagers who love each other full stop and the screenplay doesn't once make any excuses for anything that happens , we're not supposed to feel disgusted by their relationship , we're not supposed to feel that they are victims in any way and we're not supposed to feel that a conservative , homophobic society is to blame for what happened . Jackson deserves much credit for making an amoral movie without an agenda , it's up to the free thinking audience to make up their own minds on the case. Take for example the murder of Mrs Rieper who kindly takes the girls to a tea house then for a walk in the countryside . It's difficult not to notice that if she'd been an uncaring cruel dragon with absolutely no conscience the girls wouldn't have had an opportunity to murder the woman .

It's also a movie that captures the spirit of being a teenager in love . When for whatever reason you have to say goodbye to your first love it's the end of the world . You'll do anything to stop it happening - ANYTHING - and you won't forgive anyone who caused it to happen . Fantasy sequences similar to the ones shown here are also a staple diet of the teenage mind and if you disagree with me you're either being dishonest or you're under twelve years of age . Believe me this movie reminded me , perhaps a little too much , of my own teenage angst

Jackson also deserves credit for his casting Melanie Lynskey and ( A then totally unknown ) Kate Winslet as Pauline and Juliet . Neither of them can be described as strikingly attractive and you do have to worry who we would have got instead if this was a Hollywood production , but they play the star crossed lovers with absolute conviction , as indeed do the rest of the cast

HEAVENLY CREATURES is beautiful , haunting , thoughtful and incisive . With the exception of Martin Scorsese I rate Peter Jackson as the world's greatest living film maker and HEAVENLY CREATURES is the first movie that showed the true greatness Jackson is capable of


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