WRITER: Steve Austin
EXEC. PROD: Jonathan Gray
PRODUCERS: Graham Leader
1967, 4 years after Dallas, Prince Sihanouk invites a still grieving Jackie Kennedy on an official visit to Cambodia, his imperial kingdom now teetering on the precipice. Jackie invites the charismatic British diplomat, Lord David Harlech, to accompany her. Set amidst the breathtaking ruins of Angkor Wat, 37 HEAVENS recounts their brief but intense love affair.
The world fell in love with Jackie Kennedy on November 22, 1963 and wanted her never to change. The fragile young widow was expected to stay beautiful, solitary… and tragic. And for that small price, the world would pay her homage.
In November 1967, Jackie (37) traveled to Cambodia as the guest of PRINCE NORODOM SIHANOUK (40s) to visit the ruins of Angkor Wat and dedicate JFK Boulevard in Phnom Penh. Lord David Harlech (40s), the British ambassador during Kennedy’s presidency and an old family friend, traveled with Jackie at the request of her brother-in-law, Robert Kennedy.
For Sihanouk, the trip was a peace offering to regain American friendship against the encroaching Khmer Rouge. For Jackie, it was a chance to live out her girlhood dream of visiting Angkor Wat. For David, it was an opportunity to gather intelligence for presidential-candidate Kennedy and spend a week alone with the woman he had always loved.
At the same time David is juggling the intrigues of Sihanouk’s royal court, he and Jackie are given an unprecedented private vacation at the mysterious temple ruins. Captivated by the spirit of the place, uncertain how she can continue to play the role prescribed for her, Jackie finds herself reaching out to the one man she totally trusts, has always trusted and is now certain that she loves.
Against the backdrop of the neighboring Viet Nam war and the insistence of Sihanouk’s cousin, PRINCE SIRIK MATAK, who hopes to assume the throne, David and Jackie lose themselves in the magic of the lost, ancient civilization and, for once in their lives, don’t worry about what others expect of them.
But dreams don’t last forever and stolen moments evaporate in the morning haze. Can David and Jackie’s love survive in the world to which they must return? Can their public image adapt itself to their private desires?
THIRTY-SEVEN HEAVENS is a love story in the tradition of “The Bridges of Madison County.” Ultimately, the promises made to others – even the implied promise of a public figure – take precedence over personal yearning and individual need.