About the Movie "Cold Heaven"

by Robert Godard

"Cold Heaven" features frequent religious iconography.

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"Cold Heaven" is a thriller released in 1991 by Hemdale Film. It stars Theresa Russell, James Russo and Mark Hamon and was directed by Nicholas Roeg. The film was adapted from a 1983 novel of the same name written by Brian Moore. The film progresses through a plot of mystery, infused with religious symbols and emotional development.


The film's protagonist is Marie Davenport, a tired housewife who becomes overcome with grief with the death of her husband Dr. Alex Davenport. She finds comfort in Daniel Corvin, a friend of hers who she even begins to fall for. Both the men in her life are smart and caring, but there is something more to them than what is on the surface. Also joining the cast of characters are those who serve as Marie's religious guides, including a priest and a nun.


While vacationing on the beaches of Mexico, Alex and Marie decide to take a paddle boat out off the coast. As they are boating, a series of unfortunate mishaps leads to Alex being declared dead. Before Alex's death, Marie had been ready to leave her husband for Daniel, who she found to be more attentive than her own husband. However, Alex's death makes her feel guilty, and she puts her relationship with Daniel on hold while she attempts to understand her grief.


Marie soon learns that Alex's body has disappeared from the morgue, and she becomes convinced that he is not actually dead. She begins to see visions of Alex appear before her for brief moments and cannot understand what their source may be. She turns to Father Niles and Monsignor Cassidy for help in discovering the secret to her visions. Together, they begin to uncover why she feels so guilty and the true nature of her husband's death.

Religious Themes

The film "Cold Heaven" incorporates many religious themes into the film, including religious iconography, such as crosses and rosaries seen in many of the film's settings. The film also includes several religious characters who press Marie to find the answers to her questions in God. Marie's visions also parallel those had by Saint Bernadette in the mid-19th century, who throughout her life had premonitions of those who had passed away.

About the Author

Robert Godard began writing in 2007 for various creative blogs and academic publications. He has been featured on multiple film blogs and has worked in the film industry. He attended Baltimore College, earning his B.A. in history.

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