Heaven Help Us

( 3 )

Overview

Charles Purpura scribed this semi-autobiographical tale about his experiences in a Brooklyn Catholic school of 1965. The film focuses on several Catholic school boys who get into ever increasing amounts of trouble with the presiding priests of the Catholic school, St. Basil's. Andrew McCarthy plays Michael Dunn, a newly arrived student who latches onto the class egghead Caesar Malcolm Danare, who is constantly picked on by the class bully Rooney Kevin Dillon. Rooney intimidates Michael and Caesar to become his ...
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Overview

Charles Purpura scribed this semi-autobiographical tale about his experiences in a Brooklyn Catholic school of 1965. The film focuses on several Catholic school boys who get into ever increasing amounts of trouble with the presiding priests of the Catholic school, St. Basil's. Andrew McCarthy plays Michael Dunn, a newly arrived student who latches onto the class egghead Caesar Malcolm Danare, who is constantly picked on by the class bully Rooney Kevin Dillon. Rooney intimidates Michael and Caesar to become his erstwhile chums and, along with a few other quiet students, they receive corporal punishment for minor infractions, disrupting communion and confession and, ultimately, their antics inspire changes in the strict school hierarchy.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Michael Dinner's Heaven Help Us looks like just another '80s high-school romp, but it actually has some deeper thoughts and feelings running through it. While the teenagers and clergy members are, for the most part, written as stereotypes, the talented cast helps smooth over the more obvious moments and hit home runs with the smartest sections of the script. Andrew McCarthy is appealing as the newcomer learning to negotiate his way through the school; John Heard embodies the teacher/guidance counselor/father figure anybody would want; and Malcom Danare and Yeardley Smith share a very funny moment of attraction as two nerdy high-school kids who discuss Freud's explanation of phallic symbols. These people balance out the more obvious characters -- the physically abusive Catholic school teacher (Jay Patterson in a menacing, but one-note performance), Kevin Dillon's wiseass student, the devout mother -- making for a pleasant viewing experience with more charm and warmth than one might expect.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/21/2013
  • UPC: 883316778531
  • Original Release: 1985
  • Rating:

  • Source: Hbo Archives
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:45:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 1,510

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Donald Sutherland Brother Thadeus
John Heard Brother Timothy
Andrew McCarthy Michael Dunn
Mary Stuart Masterson Danni
Kevin Dillon Rooney
Malcom Danare Caesar
Jennifer Dundas Boo
Kate Reid Grandma
Wallace Shawn Father Abruzzi
Jay Patterson Brother Constance
Philip Bosco Brother Paul
Patrick Dempsey Corbet
Stephen Geoffreys Williams
Sherry Steiner Social Worker
George Anders Brother Augustus
Dana Barron Janine
John Bentley 1st Man
Imogene Bliss Cook
Donald Breitman Brother Gregory
Nolan Carley Bartender
Al Cerullo Pilot
Calvert Deforest Bridge Operator
Christopher Durang Priest
William Eustace Brother William
Henry Fehren Priest Celebrant
Janice Fuller Passenger
Pamela Galvin Sister Thomasina
Richard Hamilton Grandpa
Jody Jensen Girl
Mary Koch Cafeteria Lady
Paul Marchand Perrin
Kachina Myers Girl
Vic Polizos Police Officer
Douglas Seale Brother Dominic
Yeardley Smith Cathleen
Jimmie Ray Weeks Danni's Father
Mel Winkler Willie
Ed Zang Confessor
Technical Credits
Michael Dinner Director
Joseph G. Aulisi Costumes/Costume Designer
Gary J. Brink Set Decoration/Design
Mark Carliner Producer
Howard Feuer Casting
Carl Fullerton Makeup
Robert Guerra Art Director
James Horner Score Composer
Michael Molly Production Designer
Miroslav Ondrícek Cinematographer
Charles Purpura Screenwriter
Jeremy Ritzer Casting
Stephen A. Rotter Editor
Kenneth Utt Producer, Production Manager
Dan Wigutow Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hysterical!

    Definately one of my favorite movies. Not as well-known as some of Patrick Dempsey and Andrew McCarthy's other movies, but a classic! Hillarious lines throughout the film, as well as some touching moments. Anyone who went to an all boys or all-girls school will enjoy it, if only for the memories. Some very impressive acting by Kevin Dillon (little brother to Matt) and he pretty much steals the show. Also in this movie are John Heard and the legendary Donald Sutherland.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    60's & 70's Catholic school boys can relate

    Heaven Help Us is a movie that will strike a sentimental chord in Catholic school kids from the 60's and 70's era. Why, because back then you were hit by nuns, went to church a few times a week, had daily confession,and our parents loved the idea of a "catholic" education. This movie also features the awckwardness of the new kid,(McCarthy) and the dumb,tuff, yet vulnerable kid (Dillon), and the geeky brain, the oversexed friend, and the quiet kid(P.Dempsey) who is just fine hanging with the group. We were all there, pulling pranks, hormones raging, and and feeling constantly inferior to our nuns, or brothers in this movie. John Heard and Donald Sutherland give believable and honest performances as the older wiser brother who is the principal,brother Thaddeus, and Heard as Brother Timothy the maybe not ready for this lifestyle brother who is more of a friend, and advice giver to Mike,Rooney, Ceaser,and the other two. Watch for a great scene featuring McCarthy and Williams,the oversexed one as his dream comes true, holding the patton for the all-girls school mass during communion. Any good Catholic knows what I am trying to explain. See this movie and be pleasently surprised by a sweet little movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2001

    Heaven Help Us

    This movie combines comedy,drama,intense brutallity,and even a love story! As five Catholic school boys try to survive high-school,in this coming of age classic.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews