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Shirley MacLaine Spiritual Movies: Widen Your Horizon

Paola_Bassanese_itcher_contributorShirley Maclaine spiritual movies are probably not as well known as MacLaine’s Hollywood movies like Irma la Douce or Terms of Endearment. ~ Paola Bassanese
I recently watched Out on a Limb, the 1986 film for TV about Shirley MacLaine‘s travels and her personal spiritual journey.

It’s a film in two parts and it is an account of Shirley MacLaine‘s investigations on spirituality.

In interviews, Shirley mentioned that she started this investigation in her forties, therefore so far she has accumulated 40 years’ worth of experience.



Shirley MacLaine has been criticised for her beliefs, especially about UFOs, and although I don’t believe in UFOs myself I can understand that in our Universe containing several galaxies there are potentially various planets like Earth that can sustain life.

You only need to watch Professor Brian Cox’s documentaries on the Universe to get an idea on that.

Regardless of what we all think about this topic and other so called “New Age” subjects, it is still worth looking at Shirley MacLaine’s works and what she has shared with the general public so far.

Shirley Maclaine New Age Movies

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Shirley MacLaine responds to her critics with the phrase: “My truth, my journey, my experience”.

Why do people feel entitled to criticise or ridicule other people’s beliefs anyway?

Good on you, Shirley, great reply!

At least she has the courage to share her experiences (and what amazing life experiences she has had!).

I decided to just approach Shirley MacLaine spiritual movie Out on a Limb with an open mind.

I was fascinated by this film because some of the story is set in Peru, where I had travelled to a few years ago – a place that has something really special about it.

Peru is steeped in ancient history and tradition, has stunning landscapes and has some kind of magnetism that is difficult to explain.

In this film for ABC Television Shirley narrates her own quest for meaning and her enquiries about life after death.

She meets a number of eccentric people including spiritualists channeling the dead.

What I also found interesting was the number of coincidences and synchronicities happening in Shirley’s life.


Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung described synchronicity in his book Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle as a correlation of seemingly unrelated events that have a special significance.

The concept of synchronicity is a relationship between ideas that reveal a certain pattern.

You can take it or leave it when it comes to new age ideas, spiritualism and parapsychology

Again, you can take it or leave it when it comes to new age ideas, spiritualism and parapsychology, but I would say that the seed of investigation and enquiry that Shirley MacLaine plants in the viewer through her work is well worth it.

What I really appreciate about Shirley is that she is not doing any proselytising.

You are left to think for yourself and it is up to you to accept or reject her theories.

`Defending Your Life´ (Albert Brooks, 1991)

Another film with a spiritual theme is the 1991 Albert Brooks‘ movie Defending Your Life with Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.

In this movie, people are being judged on their acts of courage before being granted access to the afterlife.

This romantic comedy narrates the journey humans have on this Earth to conquer their fears.


What About You?

What are your thoughts on spiritualism?

What about New Age ideas?


I am Paola Bassanese, and I love twitter – I think in slogans! I am a contributing author at itcher mag covering mainly quirky movies that I like and that I hope you′ll like too. [n-e-x-t] I have written a few books including The Foraging Home Cook, and also write about health and lifestyle for the Huffington Post. I consider myself to be a Londoner even though I was born in Italy. I love 80s music and foreign language films, but I also enjoy going to the opera and ballet.
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