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The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Television movie directed by Lloyd Kramer

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Five People You Meet In Heaven - 2004

  • Oct 15, 2008
Pros: acting, scenery, lighting techniques, story

Cons: sound quality

The Bottom Line:
"All the way to heaven is heaven
Caught between the spirit and the dust
All the way to heaven is heaven
Deep inside of us"
~Melissa Etheridge

This was an interesting interpretation of how one views their self worth while they travel through life. It is sort of like Dickens's Christmas Carol brought into the 20th Century. Five People You Meet In Heaven centers on the life of Eddie, on his 83rd birthday, we travel back and forward in time to learn his story and how he affected those he met along the way.

Coming from a rather bleak background, Eddie strives for a better life but unfortunate circumstances during the war send him back to a place he thought he never return to ... Ruby Pier. Ruby Pier was the life Eddie viewed outside his window as he grew up, bringing him both heaven and hell. Now, he returns as a war vet, to take over the position his father held; maintenance worker at Ruby Pier.

An amusement park ride goes bad and Eddie attempts to save the life of a young girl that stands in the path of the falling machinery. Whether or not Eddie is successful in this attempt, I'll leave for you to find out. Without committing myself to admitting he lived or died, I will say that Eddie encounters the five people he may or may not meet in heaven and they, in turn, tell of how their lives were affected by knowing him.

It is a very convoluted story that begins at the ending and returns the same way. I found it to be similar to the classic six degrees of separation theory in the way that the way we communicate with one person can flow out to others lives. And that insignificant thing you may do for someone could have a vast change in the balance of their lives without you even knowing it occurred.

Eddie's five people consist of The Blue Man who is part of the sideshow at the amusement park; his Army captain; his wife who had died shortly after they were married; the wife of the original owner of Ruby Pier; and a young Filipino girl. Each of these people have been touched by Eddie in some way, or he has been touched by them. Each explains how knowing him changed their lives. It wasn't always in a good way. It once more reinforced to me how critically important it is to communicate with people we love how important they are to us and our lives. It is much easier to say I love you to someone in person than it is to stand over their grave and wonder if we had communicated that love.

What I really liked was the way director Lloyd Kramer divided the different segments of the film through the use of color to indicate which era were we dealing with: black & white for past, blue for present, and orange for Heaven.

There are many layers of complexity to this film as all the stories entwine and we move through many different areas of time. The acting by the participants in this movie was actually quite good. Jon Voigt carried the part of Eddie with such character to make it believable. He certainly looked the part and made each scene he was in not exactly remarkable but very well done. Others in the film included Jeff Daniels as The Blue Man, Ellen Burstyn as Ruby; and Michael Imperioli as the Army captain.

Written by Mitch Albom it received 7 nominations. My only beef about the movie, and I've heard others say it as well, was the sound. We had to turn the TV all the way up to hear it and still missed some portions. Then there would be a sudden loud explosion of sound. All in all, it was rather unnerving. Not enough for me to watch it or watch it again.

This film leaves you with the belief that life certainly isn't just a series of random things that happen without purpose. For every action there is a reaction. Everything happens for a reason and as John Edward says "Communicate, appreciate, and validate" your feelings for the people around you while you can in this life.


This movie is my submission to the Good Movies Write-Off 2, hosted by captaind


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More The Five People You Meet in He... reviews
review by . July 09, 2009
Eddie (Jon Voight) is an old man who has spent his whole life doing maintenance at the Ruby Pier amusement park. Today, one of the rides malfunctions and threatens a child's life. As he rushes to save her, he is whisked to Heaven where he meets five people from his past - people he loved and hated, and even one he didn't know at all.       I expected this movie to be sappy and maudlin and in a way it was, but it was so well done I was quite moved by it. Eddie's trip to Heaven …
review by . January 21, 2006
It isn't often that the movie version of a good book is as good as the book itself, but this is one time it actually happened. I thought the book was profound on a level that Tuesdays with Morrie never reached. Jon Voigt is a superb actor, and he is outstanding in 5 People. The rest of the cast is excellent as well. While some people may regard the "message" as trite or schlocky, this powerful dramatization of the fact that our lives are all interlocked is something we need to be reminded of often.  It …
review by . June 13, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
"This is a story of a man named Eddie who was shown the secret of heaven: that each life affects the other, and the other affects the next. The world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - The Five People You Meet In Heaven DVD    A critical, abusive, alcoholic father. The nightmares--and a physical wound--courtesy of war. Infertility. A beloved wife struck down with a neurological disease. Evaporating dreams of being an engineer, replaced with a life-long job as …
review by . March 21, 2005
"..each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." These words are uttered by Ellen Burstyn at the end of this Hallmark movie version of that persistent little best seller by Mitch Albom THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN. And that about sums up the content of this simplistic story of how all of us are connected, that each of our lives is significant even if not apparent while being lived.    Mitch Albom serves …
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Susi Dawson ()
Live your life with the goal to 'pay it forward' and do one good thing for someone else
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About this movie


Based on the bestseller by Mitch Albom (Tuesdays With Morrie),The Five People You Meet in Heaventakes up whereIt’s A Wonderful Lifeleft off. In the Capra classic, George Bailey gets a vision of life without him. In this Hallmark Hall of Fame production, Eddie (Jon Voight), an amusement park maintenance man and war veteran, ends up in Heaven after an accident takes his life. There he meets five people from his past: the Blue Man (Jeff Richards), the Captain (Michael Imperioli), Marguerite (Dagmara Dominczyk), Ruby (Ellen Burstyn), and Tala (Nicaela and Shelbie Weigel). Each shows him how he impacted their life or they his--and not always for the better. (In these flashbacks, Callahan Brebner and Steven Grayhm play the young Eddie.) The point may seem simplistic--everyone is connected--butThe Five People You Meet in Heavenfinds a unique and engaging way to make it.--Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Director: Lloyd Kramer
Release Date: 2004
Screen Writer: Mitch Albom
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2005
Runtime: 133 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate
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