skip navigation
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison(1957)


FOR Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) YOU CAN


TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)

DVDs from TCM Shop

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison A marine and a nun are... MORE > $11.21 Regularly $14.98 Buy Now


user reviews

See Detailed Ratings
    Acting of Lead Performers
    Acting of Supporting Cast
    Music Score
    Title Sequence
  • No Ratings Available Add Yours Now
    Historical Importance
    Would You Recommend?
  • 0 Member Ratings

Add your ratings! Each of the detailed ratings you select will result in a cumulative score for this film.

You can also write a review by clicking here. Your review will then be posted for everyone to read.

Thank You!

We have received your ratings and calculated them into the overall user ratings for this title.

You can also write a review by clicking here. Your review will then be posted for everyone to read.

    Rate the acting of the Lead Performers
    Rate the acting of the Supporting Cast
    Rate the Director
    Rating of the Music Score
    Rating of the Title Sequence
    Creatively uses the camera to tell the story
    Importance in Cinema history
    Would you recommend for fans of this genre
Submit Ratings Cancel Write a Review Read Reviews

*By submitting your contribution, you agree to TCM's Terms of Use. TCM will use your personal information consistent with our Privacy Policy


The title has not been reviewed. Be the first to write a review by clicking here to start.

  • No alternative ending but a different movie!

    • Joseph Brush
    • 1/21/18

    It seems that some people reviewing this movie believe they viewed an alternate ending. Not so. They have confused Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison with another 1957 World War Two movie entitled Sea Wife. This movie stars Richard Burton and Joan Collins who survive a shipwreck. At the film's end, Burton searches for Collins in London and she walks right past him but Burton doesn't recognize her because she is dressed as a nun. All the time they were adrift in the Indian Ocean Collins never revealed her station in life to anyone.

  • The Ending That Never Was

    • Flying High
    • 7/23/17

    I envisioned the ending to be like this.......As Mr. Allison is saying goodbye to Sister Angela near the end (this would be the final scene), there is a momentary pause, their eyes meet, the tension peaks, and Sister Angela slowly removes her ring, pulls back her habit, revealing one again her beautiful red hair, and they passionately kiss.

  • Heavens knows Mr Allison

    • O.Rachel cryan
    • 7/22/17

    I do remember seeing a different ending to the movie and it was the best part, I am extremely disappointed.can you suggest anything?

  • Heaven Knows,Mr. Allison

    • Vic Noto
    • 3/16/17

    It's sad in a way to have been blessed with the observation skills I have,and by NO means do I "Blow My own horn",but the fact remains that the first time I saw "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison", I realized that in only a few minutes,that JOHN HUSTON just made a remake of his other great film:THE AFRICAN QUEEN. For YEARS I couldn't understand why all the "Great Minds" who call themselves:"Film Critics" and "Hollywood Geniuses" let this FACT pass them by.THE AFRICAN QUEEN..........HEAVEN KNOWS MR ALLISON is the **SAME** Movie!

  • Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison-One of My Favorites

    • NavymanBill
    • 2/16/16

    This is one of my favorite movies. I read some of the other comments and had to smile. The whole POINT was that these two people from opposite backgrounds are thrown together to survive and are in a situation as Mitchum/ "Allison') says" Just like Adam and Eve." The fact that they are both young and attractive complicates the whole situation dramatically. Saying that Allison is an "oaf' doesn't take into account the fact that he was raised in an orphanage, and then joined the Marines, and his dealings with women before this were likely not with nuns!! I personally get choked up when they say goodbye to each other before the Marines finally come ashore, where Allison tries to say goodbye to the sister as respectfully as possible, and as he knows how-when he really wants to tell her that he loves her. And she KNOWS it, and while knowing that she will return to her life and is telling him goodbye, she knows that she is not the same person for their time together and she will remember him always. Which for a nun, especially in those days and times, was a pretty significant comment. Anyone who has ever had a romance end because of "external forces" can sympathize with the both of them. I haven't seen the "alternate ending". I shall have to look for it.

  • YES, they did have a different ENDING!

    • Twiddlebug Jan
    • 4/29/15

    Answer to Grace Grace 3/22/14 "I love this movie but I remember an alternate or extended version where Mr. Allison goes looking for the nun at the convent anyone else know about this?"___________________________________________________I remember it too! The camera shot was from overhead. We see Mr. Allison briskly walking from the convent. By his actions, you know he didn't find her. He passes two nuns in black. (Wearing black means that they have taken their final vows.) As he passes by, and is some feet beyond them, the nun on the right, turn and looks over her shoulder. We see that it is Sister Angela. The camera goes to eye level in front of them. She turns to the other nun with a secret, sweet smile, she says, (my paraphrase), When we are in habits, we all look alike. I was so disappointed that when I saw the current version that the last scene was missing. It changed the whole theme of the movie!

  • Bravo, Mr. Allison!

    • Lynn
    • 3/22/14

    I just watched Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison for the first time and absolutely loved it! Both Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr give outstanding performances as Corporal Allison, USMC, and Sister Angela, a nun who has not yet taken her final vows. Their chemistry simmers and sizzles while stranded together on an island in the South Pacific during WWII. Well directed by John Huston. What a wonderful film!

  • Love this movie but have a question

    • Grace
    • 3/22/14

    I love this movie but I remember an alternate or extended version where Mr. Allison goes looking for the nun at the convent anyone else know about this?


    • AJ
    • 10/25/13

    Although Allison's hopes are dashed by Sister Angela as she explains her vows and wedding ring, there is much symbolism employed by director John Huston. Explanations made my Sister Angela and Allison's references to Mackerel Snappers create tension and in a scene of utmost irony, Allison eats raw fish matter of factly and Sister Angela cannot choke it down, failing as a mackerel snapper. Could this foreshadow that she could let go of her final vows? There are many scenes of water, waves coming on shore, implying changing chapters or events unfolding. Allison breaks the pipe of the priest which was a cherished object of Sister Angela of her priest colleague. The breaking of the pipe could be symbolic of Allison's desire to break the strictures of the Church that are keeping Sister Angela's love from him. The objects have symbolism. The Crucifix is carried off by Sister Angela in the last scene. Remember though, she would not have that Crucifix if Allison had not recovered it for her. Also, being the oaf he is, Allison crafts a crude bamboo comb with his sheath knife, not knowing that nuns wear their hair very short. He presents this as a gift, as a love offering, by wrapping it in a palm leaf as gift wrap with a "bow" of a red hibiscus flower. The hibiscus flowers are mentioned in the dialogue as well as Allison offers to gather flowers for her, trying to demonstrate his love for her. In the last scene, Sister Angela grasps two objects, the crucifix and the comb symbolizing now that these two areas of her life are in a way equal to her. She also now serves Allison by handling his cigarette for him so he can exhale while he is on a stretcher. His wounded body lying on the stretcher could be symbolic of a Christ like figure immobilized on wood and Sister Angela serving that figure, by attending to him and walking in stride with him. I have watched this movie since I was a boy and still want to believe that Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum marry.

  • Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

    • GypsyPi3000
    • 5/18/13

    This film is so touching and endearing. It's so refreshing to see the respect Mitchum and Kerr have for one another. Maybe they can't completely understand each others' life choices, but they do know what it's like to show regard for your fellow human being. To actually have manners! Imagine that!

  • Heaven Knows Mr. Allison

    • Sylvia
    • 5/18/13

    Great movie, very enjoyable, wonderful acting. This is the first time I've seen it. Mitchum and Kerr and wonderful together.

  • Two people, one great movie

    • Gibbs
    • 3/11/13

    Most of the movie is just two people. These two actors carry the enire movie in a splendid manner. Two different characters come together for survival. One island, two people and a movie to watch.

  • Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

    • Terri
    • 3/10/13

    Absolutely loved this movie. It was a first for me. I was born in 1957. I love the old movies and I am so happy to have seen this one. What a wonderful movie this was, with the endearing interaction and survival of these two on the island during WWII. Beautiful movie. I hope you don't wait to show it again. Please do make it more available--it's one of the greats in my eyes and heart. <3 it! Awesome performances by two wonderful actors! Thank you!

  • Kerr...Mitchum...Houston

    • stephen maher
    • 10/4/09

    My favorite romantic movies are "Roman Holiday","Heaven Knows Mr.Allison and "Harold and Maude". I just realized that all three end with no future for the couple involved... Go figure.The characters are extremely memorable.This is one of John Houston's best films....that should be enough to recommend it.

  • Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)

    • Jay Higgins
    • 8/9/09

    A definite personal favorite, with both Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr giving amazing performances. The character development is so rich. It is believably done, such perceptive direction. A truly great classic that is always interesting. Brilliant.

  • Why hasn't this movie ever aired on TCM?

    • Caroline
    • 3/10/09

    I've been watching TCM for about 10 years now, and have yet to see this movie aired; why? I've loved it since I was a kid when I came across it on late night TV (back in the 60s). I was so happy when I found it on DVD about 3 years ago. TCM should at least air it during their "31 days of Oscar" since it was nominated for two. They seem to show the same Oscar winning movies over and over. Kerr and Mitchum were impeccable; this was the movie that made me a Robert Mitchum fan. I hope to see it aired soon and often!

  • Correction to my comments

    • Ron
    • 2/20/08

    Sister Angela was carrying a large CROSS and the hand-carved comb "Mr. Allison" had made for her as they were walking together when the movie was ending. I had the nagging feeling that something wasn't right when I submitted my original comment. When I realized what it was, it was too late. I'm so embarrassed, but I had to set the record straight!

  • One of my all-time favorites!!

    • Ron
    • 2/19/08

    I've wondered why this film wasn't more accepted as a great movie. It's a beautiful character study of two individuals who are 180 degrees apart from each other, but are forced to fend for themselves by war. One is a battle-hardened marine whose whole world is the "Corps" and the other is a devoted Catholic nun who hadn't yet taken her final vows as a nun. Mr. Huston showed his directorial skills in bringing their interactions to the screen. When Sister Angela told "Mr. Allison" so shyly about her "DI," it was a classic scene of their growing attraction & trust in one another. My Dad served in the Pacific and told me of watching Navy ships battling it out beyond the horizon, one of the few times he talked about his experiences. Gregory Peck walking out of the courtroom and the black people above standing up to honor him as he passed below them was THE classic dramatic scene in film. Sister Angela in her white, pure uniform clutching her bible and comb in one hand, holding his cigarette in the other while walking next to him as "Mr. Allison" was being carried in a stretcher thru the group of marines, was one of the tenderest moments in film, because you knew what they been through.

  • One of my top five all time favorite movies.

    • James Baugh
    • 8/6/07

    Again one of my all time favorites. The acting is impeccable. The chemistry between Mitchum and Kerr is wonderful. I can't say enough and so will say no more.

  • "You got your cross...I got my globe and anchor!"

    • Katharine
    • 6/2/07

    "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison" is one of those movies that you discover and marvel that it isn't more vocally revered and celebrated. For my money, it's one of the best movies Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr, or director John Huston had in their respective careers. The film is a two-character study of a Marine (Mitchum) and a nun (Kerr) stranded on a Pacific island during the Second World War. They survive on the island together despite the inconvenient occupation of Japanese forces.Often the tenderest performances from tough-guys come out in their comradeship with their fellow soldiers. But one of the absolute pleasures of "Heaven Knows..." is Robert Mitchum's interactions with Deborah Kerr. He is gallant and touchingly protective of her without losing his strapping Marine machismo.No one ever made piety more endearing than Kerr and she manages to inspire romantic (though ultimately platonic) chemistry with Mitchum. His career would've lacked a crucial something if not for his on-screen pairings with Kerr in "Heaven Knows...", "The Sundowners", and "The Grass is Greener". Perhaps it's the reversal of Katharine Hepburn's assessment of the Astaire and Rogers chemistry. Mitchum gave Kerr sex appeal and Kerr gave Mitchum class.John Huston directs with a deft hand. Nothing ever gets too corny, religiously fervent, or chest-thumping. The portrayal of the Japanese is even and not unnecessarily exoticized or stereotyped. Huston keeps the attention on the beauty of the island and the beauty of the relationship between Mitchum and Kerr. The war had few moments of grace for anyone who fought or lived through it, but somehow these two characters found it on this isolated island.

  • Your Name
  • Your Email (optional)
  • Your Location (optional)
      Rate the acting of the Lead Performers
      Rate the acting of the Supporting Cast
      Rate the Director
      Rating of the Music Score
      Rating of the Title Sequence
      Creatively uses the camera to tell the story
      Importance in Cinema history
      Would you recommend for fans of this genre

  • Title of your Review
  • Your Review

    Character Limit! You have reached the 2,000 word character limit for this review.

  • Preview & Submit Cancel Submit Review Go Back
Thank You!

We have received your ratings and calculated them into the overall user ratings for this title.

Click the button below to read reviews and see your posting:

Close Detailed Ratings (optional)

*We protect your personal infortmation and will not provide it to anyone without your consent. For a complete explanation, please refer to TCM's Privacy Policy. By submitting your contribution, you agree to TCM's Terms of Use.