This 1989 HBO movie is one of my all-time favorites. This is about a televangelist who dies and leaves his "ministry" to his less than exciting son, played by Richard Thomas. James Whitmore is absolutely brilliant as the ministry's CFO and overall manager. With the ministry going down the tubes with Thomas at it's head, he stumbles across a rock performer (Ellen Greene) who is well into sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. He convinces her to come and perform at his services - which she agrees to when she discovers he is syndicated across the country. She becomes Sister Ruth and steals the entire show. The film unfolds from this premise into a truly hysterical satire of the entire televangelist communities. I crack up every time I watch this - and must say that the music and performances of Ellen Greene are great! The movie was originally presented in two parts for a total running time of 3 hours, 18 minutes. I, too, have tried in vain to find it commercially released. I DID find a VHS version of it on E-Bay, but they cut the film almost in half to fit on one VHS, so I didn't bother. I am very glad I taped it at the time it was aired, so I DO have the entire film on an old VHS tape. Not the greatest quality, but watchable. I just recently converted it to DVD to archive it before the tape turns to dust! Hopefully, HBO will actually release this gem some day on DVD! But if you get a chance to see it, don't pass it up!
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