Stealing Heaven

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Abelard and Heloise retold with more than a touch of Emmanuelle, and no sense of the medieval anywhere. All in all, the tale comes across like a Mills & Boon bodice-ripper. Theirs is a forbidden passion since his vocation as a teacher enjoins chastity, but boarding in her uncle's house and giving her private tuition saps his resolve. Tolerant Bishop Martin (Hepton) would probably have let him off lightly, but Uncle Fulbert (Elliott), a vain, power-hungry prelate who sells bogus holy relics on the side, sends a gang to castrate him. After that, Abelard and Heloise take holy orders, but bump into each other a bit around the cloisters and get to play house as the century wears on. Fairly feeble except for Denholm Elliott, who tops up his role with such a convincing character study that you regret every minute he's off screen.

Release details

Duration: 115 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Clive Donner
Screenwriter: Chris Bryant
Cast: Derek De Lint
Kim Thomson
Denholm Elliott
Bernard Hepton
Kenneth Cranham
Rachel Kempson
Angela Pleasence
Patsy Byrne
Cassie Stuart
Philip Locke
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