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The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Five People You Meet in Heaven title card

Year - 2004
Studio - Hallmark Entertainment
Stars - Jon Voight, Ellen Burstyn, Jeff Daniels, Dagmara Dominczyk, Michael Imperioli
Director - Lloyd Kramer
Writing Credits - Mitch Albom (teleplay, based on his book)
Music - David Hershfelder

Synopsis

Eddie (Callahan Brebner, as the boy Eddie) grew up at the Ruby Pier Amusement park where he father (Callum Keith Rennie) worked as a maintenance man. As a young man he (now played by Steven Grayhm) fought in World War II where he suffered a serious injury, after being shot in the knee during an escape from a Japanese prison camp. He returned and married his childhood sweetheart, Marguerite (Dagmara Dominczyk). When his father gets ill with pneumonia, Eddie performs his maintenance work, and he stays at that job after his father dies.

Marguerite dies of cancer at a young age, leaving Eddie lonely and bitter over his life experiences. On his 83rd birthday, a high thrill ride malfunctions and, after the riders are rescued, the ride compartment plunges to the ground. Eddie rushes to save a little girl in its path, but is crushed by the falling compartment and dies.

Five People You Meet in Heaven poster

He awakes in Heaven which is revealed to him as the amusement park, empty and as it was when he was a child. There, he meets the "Blue Man" (Jeff Daniels), who was one of the carnival sideshow attractions, someone he barely knew in life. The Blue Man shows him how he, himself, died of a heart attack after a car accident, caused by his crashing to avoid hitting the young Eddie, who had run out into the street.

Eddie continues to experience Heaven in different scenarios. meeting four other people who had been influenced, either directly or indirectly, by having known him. They include his Army Captain (Michael Imperioli), Ruby (Ellen Burstyn, for whom the amusement park was named), his beloved wife Marguerite, and a little Japanese girl, Tala.

Eddie ultimately learns that his meetings with the five people in Heaven show him that his life, and all lives, touch many other people in many ways, and that no one is insignificant.

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