Heaven Help Us focuses upon several Catholic school boys, three in particular, who get into an increasing amount of trouble with the presiding priests. Andrew McCarthy, a new arrival at St Basil’s, instantly latches onto reigning outsider in his class, Malcolm Danare, a chubby egghead who is constantly picked on by school bully Kevin Dillon.
It’s virtually inconceivable that the intelligent, sensible McCarthy or Danare would have anything to do with the likes of ne’er-do-well Dillon in real life, but Dillon intimidates them into something resembling friendship. Along with a couple of other large, silent boys, they receive their share of corporal punishment for relatively harmless offenses, wreak havoc during confession and communion and ultimately inspire some helpful changes to be made in the school heirarchy.
Very funny in spots and wonderfully evoc- ative of Brooklyn, circa 1965, pic suffers somewhat by dividing its attention between outrageous pranks and realistic sketches of the Catholic school experience.