Gates to Paradise

Gates to Paradise

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1968. Color. 78 minutes. German language with English subtitles. Image quality: good.

In 1212, a Children's Crusade is launched after a boy named Jacques claims to have had a vision which told him that the innocence of children would be able to liberate Jerusalem from the occupying Muslims. A monk, just returning from Jerusalem himself, crosses paths with the young crusaders and decides to joins them. As he listens to the children's confessions, the monk begins to realize that many of them have ulterior motives for hanging with the gang, and are not as committed to a holy cause as had first appeared. Turns out the junior god squad is full of lustful little sinners; boy wants girl, girl wants boy, boy wants boy, boy wants man, and vice versa! Originally an English language movie, this version (the only one currently available) is dubbed in German and has English subtitles. The monk is played by crusty old character actor Lionel ("That's Mrs. H, she's gorgeous!) Stander, whose real voice is so abrasive and gravelly that in his case, the German overdubbing is actually an improvement. Lancastrian lollipop Pauline Challoner plays Blanche, a blonde-haired beauty who seems to have tagged along on the crusade solely to satisfy her need to be constantly reassured by the cute boys that she's the prettiest girl in the world. Doesn't look like there'd be anyone among the remaining ragtag crowd of crusaders that could emerge to steal some of Blanche's thunder, but then just like that, bam! Out of nowhere comes cute-as-a-button Maud, an innocent young girl who, much to Blanche's chagrin, draws the boys' attention without even trying to. Maude is played by the adorable Jenny Agutter, best known for her breathtaking skinny dipping scene in the 1971 movie "Walkabout". Jenny keeps herself wrapped up in this one, but her natural beauty and innocence bring a little lightness to director Andrzej Wajda's often heavy and somber film.

DVD-R disc by mail - $12.00 NTSC format (North American standard), region free. NTSC compatible player required for viewing. DVDs feature menus and chapters. PLEASE NOTE: Image shown is for display only. Discs are shipped in protective sleeves without cases/covers.

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