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John H. Groberg, a middle class kid from Idaho Falls, crosses the Pacific to become a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan island kingdom during the 1950's. He leaves behind a loving family and the true love of his life, Jean. Through letters and musings across the miles, John shares his humbling and sometimes hilarious adventures with "the girl back home", and her letters buoy up his spirits in difficult times. John must struggle to overcome language barriers, physical hardship and deep-rooted suspicion to earn the trust and love of the Tongan people he has come to serve. Throughout his adventure-filled three years on the islands, he discovers friends and wisdom in the most unlikely places. John H. Groberg's Tongan odyssey will change his life forever.Written by
Mary Jane Jones
Cast member John Paekau (The Governor) died of a heart attack a couple of hours after wrapping production on the film. A dedication is made to him in the closing credits. See more »
In the opening shot, the moon is shown in line with the Big Dipper, meaning it would be due north. The moon always appears in the zodiac. See more »
Tomasi, why did you help us?
When I was a little boy, I was orphaned. Two missionaries like you took care of me, put me in school. I had forgotten about it until the minister told us to go rough up the Mormons. Then I remembered: I am one!
[takes a swig of alcohol]
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I have yet to catch all of the movie on TMC but I have seen about 7/8ths of it. It's funny, sharp, very interesting and easy to watch. I found myself laughing and crying with the character. Being based on a true story makes it even more fun to watch. The movie sure does explain more about what a missionary goes through. What a life this man had! He was truly blessed. This movie was a great find. The main actor was magnificent in the role and his portrayal made the movie even greater. The locations were like heaven on earth. The main character had to overcome local prejudice against missionaries, his total removal from worldly possessions, his fears of becoming an elephant (see the movie he explains this) and his loneliness for his wife to be are just a few of his challenges. According to his church elders he must first finish his missionary role before he can marry his true love. This is one rule he is determined never to break. The fellowship and eventual closeness he enjoys with the natives proves to be a grand learning experience for both him and his new friends. "The Other Side of Heaven" is a must see for anybody.
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