Peter Sellers Collection
Considered a bit too sacrilegious for general consumption in 1963, the Boulting brothers' Heavens Above was simply ahead of its time, and has since accrued a loyal and vocal following. Peter Sellers plays an idealistic British reverend with a bad habit of telling the truth at all times. He also follows his conscience whenever possible, resulting in several cleric decisions that shock his wealthy, landed-gentry parishioners. By inviting such "undesirables" as gypsies and West Africans to worship freely in his church, Sellers rouses the ire of the rest of his white-bread flock. He does, however, compel the selfish owner (Isabel Jeans) of a laxative firm to "see the light" and to sell off all her holdings on behalf of the poor and downtrodden. Unfortunately, by doing this the woman wrecks her business--which is the principal source of income for the community where Sellers works. Retreating from town with an angry mob on his heels, Sellers relocates on a tiny island in the Pacific. Since the island is the site of a missile base, and since the local astronauts have shown signs of agnosticism, where else is there for Sellers to go...but up? Heavens Above was inspired by a notion cooked up by iconoclastic British satirist Malcolm Muggeridge.