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Elmer Gantry (1960)

Approved | | Drama | July 1960 (USA)
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3:13 | Trailer

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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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Won 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 13 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 ... 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:

Based on the bold novel by Nobel Prize Winner SINCLAIR LEWIS 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

To keep word from leaking out as to how the novel would be adapted to the screen, only the film's six major stars were given access to the complete screenplay. See more »

Goofs

The voice-over of the Battle Hymn of the Republic does not match the video during the Revival. See more »

Quotes

Elmer Gantry: Sin, sin, sin! You're all sinners! You're all doomed to perdition!
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 Fletch Lives (1989) 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

 
A thought-provoking look at revivalist religion in which includes the magnetic presence of Burt Lancaster
24 April 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Excellent recounting based on the controversial Sinclair Lewis novel that got three Academy Awards . A brooding look at revivalist religion in which the over-the-top acting of Burt Lancaster steals the show . Concerning about some preachers exact wealth and power from their congregration . As Elmer (Burt Lancaster) is a saleman with a powerfully persusive tongue who joins up Sister Sharon Falconer (glamorous Jean Simmons) along with her colleagues , Sister Rachel (Patti Page) , William L. Morgan (Dean Jagger) touring grass-roots evengelist circus during the depressed twenties . As the good Sister employs him as a Bible-spouting person to expand the God Will and along the way he gets considerable success . As Elmer turns an attractive and charming preacher with a large audience . As Granty flashes with his silver smile but he has a dark past . Later on , newspapers publicize ¨Preacher preys¨ and he becomes into a discredited preacher .

This top-notch movie perfectly exposes and denounce the flamboyant , small-town evangelists tours spreading throughout at the Depression time . It contains top-drawer performances , strong sense of period and place conveyed by a lush camerawork , there's still plenty to enjoy . A magnificent look at the discredited charlatans and popular religion which , with the passing of the years is still holding many eye-brows . That said , it is intelligent , witty , entertaining and provoking thanks largely to the awesome presence of Burt Lancaster. Delving into the human psyche in such extreme situations and dealing with the issue of swindlers , false preachers , and other fraudulent healers . Reviewers applauded this prize-winning story that works on many levels , being constantly reconfigured and plenty of drama and interesting frames . Brooks' script delves beneath the surface , dealing with the relationship between religion , sex , corruption , faith and money . Some great stars , as Burt Lancaster who is extraordinary as the amoral Southern preacher , Burt has rightly said : ¨This was my best part ever , I would rather play one role as exciting and vital as Elmer Granty than a dozen of those handsome , big heroes who always get the beautiful girl¨. Including a host of fine interpretation from a great support cast : Shirley Jones as his ex-girlfriend who resorts to a life of prostitution , Arthur Kennedy as a disbelieving journalist , John McIntire , Patti Page , as a disbelieving reporter , Dean Jagger , Hugh Marlowe ,Edward Andrews , Rex Ingram , among others . And brief appearances from Ed Nelson , Barbara Luna , Jean Wiles , Barry Kelley and John Qualen .

It packs a colorful and evocative cinematography by John Alton , who along with John Seitz and Nicolas Musuruka are deemed to be the best cameramen of Film Noir . As well as moving and sensitive score y Andre Previn . This classy multi-Oscar-Winning rendition was well directed and screen-played in awesome style by Richard Brooks . It won various Oscars as Best actor : Burt Lancaster as the astute salesman turned preacher , support cast actress : Richard's corrosive screenplay . Brooks was a fine writer/director so consistently mixed the good and average which it became impossible to know that to expect from him next . Firstly he worked regularly as a Hollywood screenwriter . After that , his initial experience of directing was one of his own screenplays called ¨Crisis¨. The Richard Brooks films that have the greatest impact are realized during the 50s and 60s as ¨Cat on a hot tin roof¨, ¨Something of value¨ , ¨Elmer Gantry¨, ¨Sweet bird of youth¨, ¨In cold blood¨ , ¨Lord Jim¨. Brooks was a writer and director of Chekhovian depth , who mastered the use of understatement, anticlimax and implied emotion . His films enjoyed lasting appeal and tended to be more serious than the usual mainstream productions . Richards formerly directed two good Western titled ¨Bite the bullet¨ and ¨The professionals ¨ with various tough stars as Burt Lancaster , Lee Marvin , Jack Palance and Robert Ryan . ¨Elmer Granty¨ is an authentic must see , a masterpiece not to be missed for buffs of the dramatic genre . A magnificent movie , being nowadays very well considered . Rating : Above average because of its awesome acting , dialog , score are world class.


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