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Elmer Gantry (1960)

Approved | | Drama | July 1960 (USA)
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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Writers:

(screenplay), (from the novel by)
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
George F. Babbitt (as Ed Andrews)
...
Rev. John Pengilly
...
Rev. Philip Garrison
Joe Maross ...
Pete
...
Rev. Planck
...
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 Bible knowledge to become an indispensable part of Sister Sharon's roadshow, but his past soon 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:

If there was a dollar to be made - Gantry would make it... If there was a soul to be saved - Gantry would save it... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elmer Gantry - Gott ist im Geschäft  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,336,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound)

Color:

(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Don Ameche was originally cast as William L. Morgan, but when the film's start was delayed, he left the production and was replaced by Dean Jagger. See more »

Goofs

The location where Sister Sharon confronts the police captain and fire chief over erecting her tent is purported to be in Lincoln Nebraska. The opening part of the scene shows mountains in the background. There are no mountains around Lincoln. See more »

Quotes

George Babbitt: Besides, I'm for a free press, for free enterprise... and for whatever the hell the other freedoms are!
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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 While We're Young (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm On My Way to Canaan Land
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Mahalia Jackson
Sung by Patti Page and the audience at a revival meeting
Reprised by her at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sin, sin, sin! You're all sinners! You're all doomed to perdition!
24 November 2007 | by See all my reviews

Based on the muckraker Sinclair Lewis' novel, and superbly translated to the screen by Richard Brooks (In Cold Blood , The Professionals, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), this story of huckster-ism by religion is a masterpiece.

Burt Lancaster player the greatest role of his career, getting his only Oscar for his performance. Lancaster, so good in such films as From Here to Eternity, Atlantic City, and Seven Days in May, was spellbinding as the salesman for God.

Shirley Jones (The Music Man, "The Patridge Family," was simply delicious as Gantry's first conquest, and now a "five-buck hooker," that he left behind: "Oh, he gave me special instructions back of the pulpit Christmas Eve. He got to howlin' "Repent! Repent!" and I got to moanin' "Save me! Save me!" and the first thing I know he rammed the fear of God into me so fast I never heard my old man's footsteps!" 1960 was a great year for movies, and this was certainly one of the best of that year, and one of the best of all time. If you want to see real acting, this film should be on your "must-see" list.


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