MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 631 this week

Elmer Gantry (1960)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  July 1960 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 7,479 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 41 critic

A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (from the novel by)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 titles
created 09 Dec 2011
 
a list of 29 titles
created 08 Mar 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 19 Jul 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 20 Sep 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Elmer Gantry" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Elmer Gantry (1960)

Elmer Gantry (1960) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Elmer Gantry.

User Polls

Won 3 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.

Directors: John Frankenheimer, Charles Crichton
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter
Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An arrogant Texas millionaire hires four adventurers to rescue his kidnapped wife from a notorious Mexican bandit.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan
Atlantic City (1980)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer finds themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The stories of several people are told as they stay at a seaside hotel in Bournemouth which features dining at "Separate Tables."

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr
The Rainmaker (1956)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lizzie Curry is on the verge of becoming a hopeless old maid. Her wit and intelligence and skills as a homemaker can't make up for the fact that she's just plain plain! Even the town ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Anthony
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Wendell Corey
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
Fever Pitch (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

An investigative journalist gets hooked on the subject of his inquiry - organized gambling.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Catherine Hicks, Giancarlo Giannini
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March
The Train (1964)
Thriller | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 1944, a German colonel loads a train with French art treasures to send to Germany. The Resistance must stop it without damaging the cargo.

Directors: John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau
In Cold Blood (1967)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After a botched robbery results in the brutal murder of a rural family, two drifters elude police, in the end coming to terms with their own mortality and the repercussions of their vile atrocity.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Jim Lefferts
...
William L. Morgan
...
...
Sister Rachel
...
George F. Babbitt (as Ed Andrews)
...
Rev. John Pengilly
...
Rev. Philip Garrison
Joe Maross ...
Pete
...
Rev. Planck
Barry Kelley ...
Police Capt. Holt
Wendell Holmes ...
Rev. Ulrich
Dayton Lummis ...
Eddington
Edit

Storyline

Elmer Gantry is a fast talking, hard drinking traveling salesman who always has a risqué story and a hip flask to entertain cronies and customers alike. He is immediately taken with Sister Sharon Falconer, a lay preacher whose hellfire and damnation revivalism has attracted quite a following. Gantry uses his own quick wit and knowledge of the bible to become an indispensable part of Sister Sharon's roadshow but soon finds that his past catches up with him in the form of Lulu Bains, now a prostitute. While Gantry seeks and eventually gets forgiveness from Sharon, tragedy strikes when she finally manages to get out of her revivalist tent and opens a permanent church. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the bold novel by Nobel Prize Winner SINCLAIR LEWIS See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elmer Gantry, le charlatan  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Richard Brooks did not want Shirley Jones for the role of Lulu Bains, but Burt Lancaster insisted. As a result, Brooks gave Jones no direction in the filming of a very difficult scene. Brooks eventually admitted to her that he couldn't see anyone else in the role. See more »

Goofs

The first time Gantry is in Lulu's room and she is staging the blackmail photos, she puts the money he hands her into the top of the stocking on her right leg while he stands on her right side next to her right leg. When we are later shown the photograph as published in the newspaper, Gantry is still standing on her right side next to her right leg, but Lulu is inserting the money into the top of the stocking on her left leg rather than her right leg. See more »

Quotes

Elmer Gantry: [repeated] Love is the morning and the evening star.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Scrolled before the opening credits: "We believe that certain aspects of Revivalism can bear examination- that the conduct of some revivalists makes a mockery of the traditional beliefs and practices of organized Christianity! We believe that everyone has a right to worship according to his conscience, but- Freedom of Religion is not license to abuse the faith of the people! However, due to the highly controversial nature of this film, we strongly urge you to prevent impressionable children from seeing it!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Dying Breed: The Making of 'The Leopard' (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Shall We Gather at the River
(1864) (uncredited)
Written by Robert Lowry
Sung by the audience at a revival meeting
Reprised at a train station
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"You're all sinners! You'll all burn in hell!"
5 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Elmer Gantry" is an amazing film that does not seem dated at all, having lost none of its bite or appeal with the passing of time. Taken from the classic Sinclair Lewis novel of the same name, director Richard Brooks garnered an Oscar for Best Screenplay for his adaptation, and Burt Lancaster won his sole Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Elmer Gantry. Gantry is an over-the-top opportunistic traveling salesman who teams up with evangelist Sister Sharon Falconer (Jean Simmons) to promote religion in 1920's America. Gantry turns out to be the perfect publicity compliment to Sister Sharon, who, unlike him, is a true believer. Where she is quiet and gentle with her manner of preaching, he is all fire and brimstone, literally throwing himself about the audience and inflaming them into repentance.

Burt Lancaster commands the screen: all flashing teeth, athletic energy, charisma, and wild hair, using his own physical prowess to great advantage. The angelic and lovely Jean Simmons, who had legions of adoring male fans when she was in her ethereal prime, portrays Sister Sharon (loosely based on a well-known real-life revivalist of the early 1920's, Aimee Semple McPherson, about whom I'd heard from my grandmother) in a manner reminiscent of her character in "Spartacus" - she was the perfect choice for this role, as was Lancaster for his.

Shirley Jones was awarded the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her lively portrayal of prostitute Lulu Bains, whose past history with Gantry comes back to haunt him, with some of the best lines in the film

  • gleefully laughing as she dances about a room full of her fellow


prostitutes, she recounts that "He rammed the fear of God into me so fast I never heard my old man's footsteps!" Watching Burt Lancaster in his prime use his athletic ability (he was a circus acrobat before he became an actor) and physical grace helps make his performance truly electrifying. And he also manages to believably evolve Elmer Gantry from loud-mouthed salesman to a sympathetic and honest human being over the course of the film.

The top-notch supporting cast includes Arthur Kennedy, Patti Page, Dean Jagger, and John McIntire.


30 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Faith Healing neverdidnowanderin
Cartoonish portrayl plugpray
Shirley Jones Won An Oscar For This??? kdboles
Casting for remake of Elmer Gantry mudgejl
British Accent diamonddog
Aimee Semple McPherson darienwerfhorst
Discuss Elmer Gantry (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?