Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Heavenly Creatures (1994)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Heavenly Creatures (1994, NZ/Germ.)

In director Peter Jackson's R-rated, coming-of-age crime story, a true-life tale and psychological thriller about a friendship that became a homicidal partnership, set in 1950s Christchurch in NZ:

  • the film's opening sequence: a narrator was calmly describing the city of Christchurch ("New Zealand's city of the plains"), when interrupted by the sight of two girls - unidentified - disturbingly running through a wooded area, and emerging covered in blood, screaming for help as they ran toward a house, calling out: ("It's Mummy, she's terribly hurt, please help us!") - before a caption card told about the film's story - the friendship of two girls, Pauline and Juliet, in 1953-54 - it made a statement about Pauline's diary account - ("All diary entries are in Pauline's own words") before a flashback
  • in flashback, the film's development of the close and increasingly dark friendship of two emotionally unstable, giddy, obsessed, lesbian and murderous schoolgirls: quiet and brooding 14-year-old working class Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey in her screen debut) (aka 'Yvonne') and wealthy class, histrionic 15-year-old Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet in her screen debut)
The Schoolgirls' Imaginary World of Borovnia
  • the scenes of the deluded and "unwholesome" and inseparable girls retreating - with stunning visual-digital effects - to their imaginary, fantastical, make-believe world named Borovnia (with unicorns, dream castles, and life-size versions of green Plasticene clay models they sculpted, as well as favorite stars, such as Mario Lanza and James Mason but without Orson Welles (regarded as "the most hideous man alive"))
  • also, the girls' belief in another beautiful, magical fantasy realm known as the "Fourth World" - a heavenly place (without Christians) in the after-life of art and music
  • their frenzied dancing together to the tune of their favorite, idolized tenor Mario Lanza's "Be My Love" who they imagined was singing to them
  • the scenes of the two often bathing together in a large bath tub, sitting at the opposite ends
  • the striking scene in Dr. Bennett's (Gilbert Goldie) office, who believed that Pauline was exhibiting an "unwholesome attachment" to her female friend; when he suggested to Pauline that she might spend more time with boys, Pauline scowled at him and imagined him being impaled by one of her life-sized fantasy Plasticene figures; the doctor then spoke privately to ('Yvonne's' or Pauline's) mother Honora Parker Reiper (Sarah Peirse), who was told a shocking diagnosis for the 1950s, in extreme close-up of his mouth - and with great emphasis about her problem: ("Ho-mo-sex-uality...I agree, Mrs. Rieper. It's not a pleasant word. But let us not panic unduly. This condition is often a passing phase with girls of Yvonne's age....Oh, it can strike at any time, and adolescents are particularly vulnerable...Physically, I can find nothing wrong. I've checked for TB, and she's clear. I- I can only attribute her weight loss to her mental disorder. Look, Mrs. Rieper, try not to worry too much. Yvonne's young and strong, and she's got a loving family behind her. Chances are she'll grow out of it. If not, well, medical science is progressing in leaps and bounds. There, there could be a breakthrough at any time")
  • the horrible final pre-meditated murder scene of the two girls scheming against Honora who threatened to separate them; the setting was a walking path in Victoria Park, where they smashed in her skull (from behind) with a brick in a stocking, after planting a round clear pinkish colored stone on the ground so that she would stoop down to pick it up, intercut with black/white-toned images of the two of them screaming and reaching out to each other after being found guilty of murder at their trial and separated for life ("It was a condition of their release that they never meet again")
The Flashback to the Pre-Meditated Murder of Pauline's Mother Honora
And The Girls' Separation After Being Found Guilty of Murder

Bloody Opening Sequence Before Flashback

The Girls' Love of Mario Lanza

Lesbian Relationship

"Unwholesome" Relationship Between Two Girls

Close-Up of Dr. Bennett's Mouth As He Discussed Diagnosis of Pauline's Homosexuality to Her Mother


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