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Stealing Heaven (1988)

In medieval Paris, a young religious scholar and the beautiful niece of a local patrician fall madly in love and consummate their passion for each other. In the religious uproar that follows, they are condemned and brutally punished.

Director:

Clive Donner

Writers:

Chris Bryant, Marion Meade (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek de Lint ... Abelard
Kim Thomson ... Heloise
Denholm Elliott ... Fulbert
Bernard Hepton ... Bishop
Kenneth Cranham ... Suger
Patsy Byrne Patsy Byrne ... Agnes
Cassie Stuart ... Petronilla
Philip Locke ... Poussin
Victoria Burgoyne ... Prostitute
Antonia Cutic Antonia Cutic ... Landlady
Diana Belinic Diana Belinic ... Girl in street
Davor Fejzagic Davor Fejzagic ... Boy in street
Mark Jax Mark Jax ... Jourdain
Timothy Watson Timothy Watson ... François (as Tim Watson)
Andrew H. McLean Andrew H. McLean ... Gerard (as Andrew McLean)
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Storyline

Abelard, a respected philosopher and teacher in 12th-century Paris, is hired to tutor the intelligent and beautiful Heloise. They soon fall in love, but must hide their affection because Abelard is sworn to celibacy. Written by Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Yugoslavia

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1988 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Abelard i Heloiza See more »

Filming Locations:

Yugoslavia

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Gwilym auditioned for the part of Jourdain. See more »

Goofs

In the construction montage towards the end of the movie, you can see an altar with a number of pumpkins on it. As a plant native to North America there wouldn't be any in 12th century Europe. See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video prints were cut for a '15' rating. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Tropic Thunder (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Resonamus Laudibus
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by David Wulstan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Romance in which philosophies clash.
21 September 2000 | by BlackMonkSee all my reviews

An historically-based film focusing on the romance between Abelard and Heloise which highlights two philosophical outlooks on life.

Abelard, though a first-class thinker, accepted the premise of the Church--that one's life belongs to God, that sex is evil, that happiness on earth isn't possible. But yet he acted against that premise--he fell in love with a woman of reason: Heloise. Abelard's implicit premise, the one he subconsciously held, was in fact pro-life and pro-earth. He loved Heloise because she reflected the things he valued most deeply: Intelligence, beauty, and happiness. But since those things are not valued but are in fact derided by the Church, Abelard believed that his feelings for Heloise were wrong, were worthy of guilt.

Heloise, on the other hand, never accepted the anti-life, anti-pleasure, anti-earth philosophy of the Church. She scoffed at religion, challenged its teachers, and refused to accept things on faith. She held reason, beauty and happiness in high esteem. She saw in Abelard a reflection of her highest values, and, consequently, she acted to gain those values. She never felt guilty about her love for Abelard. She never apologized. She never wavered.

The movie is wonderful because it demonstrates two contrasting philosophical views on life. But since the predominant view in Abelard's and Heloise's time was based on faith, mysticism and obedience to authority, unfortunately life, happiness and love were casualties. Watch this film with your lover and say a word of thanks to REASON, FREEDOM, and SCIENCE that you two don't live in the atmosphere that those two did.


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