In the early 1900's Tennessee, a loving family undergoes the shock of the father's sudden, accidental death. The widow and her young son must endure the heartache of life following the ... See full summary »
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
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 »
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 »
Besides, I'm for a free press, for free enterprise... and for whatever the hell the other freedoms are!
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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 »
Sin, sin, sin! You're all sinners! You're all doomed to perdition!
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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