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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)
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Popularity
4,920 ( 2,197)
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:

Tens of thousands of believers shouted his praises...Three women damned his soul! 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

Jean Simmons became so frightened in the fire scene with burning pieces of balsa wood falling all around her that she ran off the set. Richard Brooks didn't know what to do, so Arthur Kennedy suggested getting the actress 'bombed' on gin and milk. Kennedy had used the strategy on a nervous 'Dorothy McGuire' in a scene from A Summer Place (1959). After five drinks in her dressing room Simmons performed as scripted. See more »

Goofs

When Elmer enters Lulu's hotel room, you can clearly see the trip wire that is going to pull the vase off the mantlepiece and scare the cat. See more »

Quotes

Elmer Gantry: I was accosted by three painted women. Your streets are made unsafe by shameless, diseased hussies, rapacious pick-pockets, and insidious opium-smokers.
See more »

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 Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Shall We Gather at the River
(1864) (uncredited)
Written by Robert Lowry
Sung by the audience at a revival meeting
Reprised at a train station
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gantry great old-school film just the way I like it!
12 April 2012 | by YohahnSee all my reviews

Honestly, I don't know where to begin because there were a lot of things that I loved about watching this film Elmer Gantry (1960). There were so many great elements happening all at once especially the acting. Burt Lancaster did a splendid job and was a perfect choice for the leading role of Elmer Gantry because he featured lots of honest to goodness acting. His energy, enthusiasm, and charismatic appearance made Gantry such a cool character. His acting was most definitely my favorite aspect of the movie because his performance truly brought the movie to life.

My rule for telling whether I watched a good movie or not is by seeing how often I notice the outlining of the screen that the movie is displayed on and I barely noticed it when watching Elmer Gantry because I was so into it. The director of the film, Richard Brooks, did a fine job with choosing the camera angles and transitioning. Take it from someone who loves everything about film and is trying to become a prominent film director when I say you can learn a lot from watching Mr.Brooks film. Brooks displayed professional frame balance practically throughout every scene.

Overall, after watching Citizen Kane I kinda became bored of watching old-school films but Elmer Gantry has restored my enjoyment of old- school films once again. I just began enjoying older films a lot more than what is being produced today in the film world. I thought the script for Elmer Gantry was exceptional; I loved every quote in the movie especially, "One minute you're a howling banshee,the next, you're cold potatoes." Everyone should watch Elmer Gantry because it is simply a great movie.


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