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Elmer Gantry (1960)

 -  Drama  -  July 1960 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 6,743 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 37 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.

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Title: Elmer Gantry (1960)

Elmer Gantry (1960) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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:

The screen has never known a man like ELMER GANTRY See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

200 stunt people and 1200 extras were used for the fire scenes. See more »

Goofs

At the newspaper office meeting, Elmer Gantry refers to Christ' miracle of feeding the 5,000 with five fishes and two loaves of bread. According to the Gospels, it was five loaves and two fishes. See more »

Quotes

Elmer Gantry: I have here in my pocket - and thank heaven you can't see them - lewd, dirty, obscene, and I'm ashamed to say this: French postcards. They were sold to me in front of your own innocent high school by a man with a black beard... a foreigner.
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

Featured in Shirtless: Hollywood's Sexiest Men (2002) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
This is the movie Steve Martin was trying to make when he did "Leap of Faith"
15 March 1999 | by (Indianapolis, IN) – See all my reviews

The titular character starts out as a cynical small time hustler discovering a good scam joining up with a traveling revival show, and casting his eye to the charismatic and comely lady preacher leading it.

What is really good is how the character develops, and gradually becomes a good sincere Christian, which is best seen in his interaction with the Shirley Jones character.

She is a preacher's kid who was disowned by her father before the start of the movie timeline after he caught Elmer "ramming the fear of god" into her. She has since become a prostitute, and has the opportunity to repay Elmer's earlier callous treatment.

Oh, yes, I know these people, or at least watered down real life versions of them. This movie really gets at the charismatic Christianity of the heartlands, and the strong sexual tensions running just beneath the surface. Oh, I bet Jimmy Swaggart for one knew JUST what they were getting at.


19 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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