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Elmer Gantry (1960) - Plot Summary Poster

(1960)

Plot 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 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
  • It's the mid 1920s. Elmer Gantry is a hard living, smooth talking traveling salesman who often uses Christian references in his sales pitches to his largely Christian clients. Along his travels, he comes across the traveling revival show of evangelist, Sister Sharon Falconer. He is immediately attracted to her and also sees her revival meetings as a way to make money. Using his sales techniques, especially on one of Sister Sharon's underlings, the naive Sister Rachel, Elmer is able to infiltrate his way into her entourage. He becomes the symbiotic antithesis to Sister Sharon: while he tells of heading toward the depths of hell for his many sins, Sister Sharon tells of being saved from that fate if repentance is forthcoming. Elmer's presence is against the wishes of Sister Sharon's manager, William Morgan, who sees through Elmer's smooth talking veneer, although William can't argue with the bottom line that Elmer brings to the meetings. Traveling along with the show is Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Jim Lefferts, who looks at the show and Elmer with a critical eye, despite Sister Sharon, William and Elmer welcoming him as much as they can. William's business plan thus far has been for the show to set up in small towns. So it is against his wishes that Sister Sharon, who is falling for Elmer, agrees to Elmer's plan of setting up in the larger city of Zenith, where William feels the scrutiny of the cynical urban populace will hurt their brand. But it is Elmer's past, which catches up with him in Zenith, that may be his and by association Sister Sharon's downfall.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Elmer Gantry, salesman, teams up with Sister Sharon Falconer, evangelist, to sell religion to America in the 1920's. They make enough money to build a temple, and Sister Sharon falls for Elmer. Elmer, is tested by temptation and almost capitulates, but is then wrongly accused by the jilted temptress. But Sharon stands by her man and truth prevails, until both are seduced by fame and blind faith over common sense, and fate deals them a crushing blow.

    - Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

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