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Higher Ground (1988)

John Denver , Paul Batten , Robert Day  |  PG |  DVD

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Denver, Paul Batten, Gary Chalk, Garry Davey, John Rhys-Davies
  • Directors: Robert Day
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,401 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set against the awesome backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness, a disillusioned FBI agent decides to retire and join his buddy running an air frieght business. When his friend is murdered and unjustly branded a bootlegger, the former agent sets out to clear his friend's name.

Singer-songwriter John Denver sought to reboot his career and carve out a new role for himself as an action hero with Higher Ground. This TV movie, clearly intended as a pilot for a possible series, stars Denver as former FBI agent Jim Clayton, who goes to Alaska when the incompetence of his superiors at the bureau becomes unbearable. In the vast wilderness, he teams up with an old friend named Rick, who has an air freight business. But Rick soon turns up dead and it's up to Jim to clear his friend's name of bootlegging charges and bring peace to Rick's wife and son. Along the way, of course, there's an occasion for Denver to pull out his guitar and exercise his soaring tenor. The plot and overall quality is standard television fare of the 1980s: The bad guys are obviously bad, a young boy needs to regain his faith in humanity, and solving the case doesn't involve detective work so much as looking earnest and getting into awkwardly choreographed fist fights. Still, Denver's sincere and likable personality comes through and fans will enjoy his performance. Also starring John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Richard Masur (Risky Business). --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Denver Gets Tough in Alaska December 27, 2008
Verified Purchase
I'm happy that another one of John Denver's TV movies is being released officially rather than a backroom under the counter thing. He made some genuine films and this is another one that will thrill the JD enthusiast.

Set in LA and Alaska, John takes on the bootleggers of Alaska after becoming frustrated with corporate FBI procedures. He turns gritty and still keeps that John Denver appeal that we all grew up with. While this movie was released 20 years ago on CBS, it withstands those two decades as genuine entertainment. He only sings one song but it is part of the movie's plot and not a solo cutaway.

Get it while you can, it probably will be a limited release and end up on ebay at some point.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must-have" for John Denver fans February 5, 2009
I eagerly awaited delivery of this newly released DVD. It arrived in yesterday's mail and I watched it last night. I was truly surprised with John's performance. Admittedly, he was not a great actor, but a substantially good one. Of his films that I've seen, this was his best. The casting is superb; the acting well directed with fine performances all around. The scenery is magnificent and John sings and plays. A perfect evening of entertainment.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars JOHN DENVER February 26, 2009
This little telefilm is a must have for John Denver fans. If, for no other reason, it is one of the few films he ever did. Otherwise, there is not much about it that is worth anything. The story isn't bad. The scenic shots of Alaska are stunning. It is a big budget production with a fairly solid cast. The direction is weak and unimaginative and the writing appalling. The entire film makes you wince given the words that these actors have to struggle with. However, for JD fans, it's a chance to spend some time with him. The character he plays is really John Denver as an FBI agent. "Oh God" gave us JD when he was much younger. This film gives you a more mature JD. Aside from "Oh God", "Foxfire" with Jessica Tandy is a much better film with John. The, as yet to be released in DVD telefilm "The Christmas Gift" is also a better choice to see JD. He's a pretty natural actor and, in "The Christmas Gift", he sings a lovely verse from one of his more contemporary songs, "Love Again" - an added bonus.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Denver Fans Will Love This One August 5, 2009
Verified Purchase
I bought this dvd partly because i'm a big John Denver fan & partly because the reviews of it here on Amazon were overwhelmingly good. I unfortunately missed it back in 1988 when it was on tv but I am really glad I took a chance & bought it cuz it's one of Denver's best movies. It's also a real treat to see him playing a former FBI agent in the wilds of Alaska who while investigating the murder of his best friend & partner, gets to fly around in cool seaplanes as part of the shipping business that he's working in. His investigation rubs a few locals & the sherriff (John Rys-Davies) the wrong way at first but they quickly start to see that his character is smart, tenacious & not someone to be taken lightly. Along with the good story there is teriffic scenery & a good cast as well. You even get to see John sing & play guitar during a party scene. The highlight of this film isn't the music, story or gorgeous scenery though. It's actually getting to see John do the thing he loved to do the most when he wasn't entertaining all us lucky fans, and that was flying airplanes. Obviously there is a bittersweet quality to this but it's still great to see John having a great time & know all the while, that at the very least, he died doing the thing he most loves to do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Denver is fantastic in a serious role October 14, 2009
This is a a great treat for anyone and a must see for fans of John Denver. He's looking great, showing off his excellent acting abilities against the backdrop of beautiful Alaska and is shown doing what he loved almost better than anything; flying. It is exciting to see him in fight scenes, a sharp contrast to his gentle nature and beautiful songs. Even peace loving people sometimes have to stand up for what is right.
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I got my husband to buy this for me, and I am so glad he did! Although he never shared the enthusiasm that I did as being one of John Denver's fans, he knew that I did. I have always been a HUGE fan of John Denver, and I had never heard of this movie, having lost touch with some of the films he made during a very busy period of my life. When I was looking through items pertaining to JD, I came across this film and my husband ordered it for me. I really enjoyed watching it tonight. I thought he did a great job and was rather convincing in the role. I thought the scenery was beautiful, and how well the script fit him, as he had matured from a mop-topped, granny glasses wearing singer/guitarist (whom I adored, incidentally) to a mature man who, though not a professional actor, did a fantastic job in this movie. I read some of the critics words tonight regarding his performance, and I don't understand how people can be so cruel. Considering some of the trash that has been made for television and film, and considering that John wasn't a trained actor - give the guy a break, why don't you? It is easy to criticize - It takes a deeper spirit to find the beauty in a thing, be it a song, a film, nature, a book, whatever! Suffice it to say, considering the way John left us, it was bittersweet to see him in an airplane for the film, and one can only imagine how he was as a pilot in reality. I noticed in the film that it mentioned that his father (in the film) had flown, and anyone who knows anything about JD, knows that his father was an air force pilot, and John was called an air force brat, and moved around a lot when he was growing up. Considering all that, one can truly appreciate the man he grew up to be and that enormous talent that he had. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Alaska film
A fine watch for John Denver fans, however not overly great. It has some good things about it. Denver's style.
Published 9 days ago by JanaC
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and delightful
I thoroughly enjoy anything with John Denver. I was a product of the heyday of John Denver and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys John Denver.
Published 22 days ago by Rich O'Neill
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie!
John Denver can sing AND act.
Published 2 months ago by Mary Catherine Gaydon
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good, entertaining. A bit slow at times. JD was very good & a few others too. Enjoyed the scenery
Published 2 months ago by FluteTutor
5.0 out of 5 stars Good John Denver movie
Very well done movie and I'm sure you will like as much as I did. Keeps you most interested. A++++
Published 3 months ago by Carol D. Pippin
5.0 out of 5 stars Higher Ground - John Denver
I've always been a fan of John Denver. I was happy to purchase this dvd. Excellent movie. I wish music industry wouldn't have treated him so dirty through out his career. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Faren Kovacevich
5.0 out of 5 stars High Ground
Great movie. John Denver does a great acting job in this movie and is great in the fight scenes. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lynn Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Being a John Denver fan and I am happy to get anything I can about him, I miss his music
Published 6 months ago by Linda
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I remembered...
DVD arrived in excellent condition as advertised. Packaging was a
simple thin bubble wrap envelope but DVD was unharmed. Read more
Published 11 months ago by DWY3K
5.0 out of 5 stars John Denver is great in this movie
I bought this for a gift. The person I bought it for has all JD's music and dvd's. He is easy to listen to and makes sense with his lyrics.
Published 12 months ago by CARRIE
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