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Elmer Gantry (1960)

Approved | | Drama | July 1960 (USA)
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A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Elmer Gantry
Jean Simmons ... Sister Sharon Falconer
Arthur Kennedy ... Jim Lefferts
Dean Jagger ... William L. Morgan
Shirley Jones ... Lulu Bains
Patti Page ... Sister Rachel
Edward Andrews ... George F. Babbitt (as Ed Andrews)
John McIntire ... Rev. John Pengilly
Hugh Marlowe ... Rev. Philip Garrison
Joe Maross Joe Maross ... Pete
Philip Ober ... Rev. Planck
Barry Kelley ... Police Capt. Holt
Wendell Holmes Wendell Holmes ... Rev. Ulrich
Dayton Lummis 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:

"You're all sinners... You'll all burn in hell!" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elmer Gantry - Gott ist im Geschäft See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,336,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Sound)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fire scenes used 200 stunt people and 1200 extras. See more »

Goofs

Set in 1927, when Elmer is on railway tracks after jumping from a moving train, a 1950s Ford can be seen in the distance. See more »

Quotes

Clean-up man: Mister, I've been converted five times. Billy Sunday, Reverend Biederwolf, Gypsy Smith, and twice by Sister Falconer. I get terrible drunk, and then I get good and saved. Both of them done me a powerful lot of good - gettin' drunk and gettin' saved. Well, good night.
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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

Featured in Film Review: Burt Lancaster (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music by John Stafford Smith
Lyrics by Francis Scott Key
Sung by the audience at a Zenith revival meeting
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 lastliberalSee 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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