28 user 32 critic

Marjoe (1972)

Part documentary, part expose, this film follows one-time child evangelist Marjoe Gortner on the "church tent" Revivalist circuit, commenting on the showmanship of Evangelism and "the ... See full summary »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Marjoe Gortner ... Marjoe
Sarah Kernochan ... Self


Part documentary, part expose, this film follows one-time child evangelist Marjoe Gortner on the "church tent" Revivalist circuit, commenting on the showmanship of Evangelism and "the religion business", prior to the start of "televangelism". Written by Steven F. Scharff <sfscharff@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Real Story Millions of People Refuse to Believe! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Marjoe's preaching allowed him to work for six months then take six months off. See more »


Marjoe: Glory je to Besus!
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He Touched Me
[performed by] Worship service congregation
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User Reviews

Award-Winning Documentary that Had No Effect on Americans
2 April 2012 | by mercuryix2003See all my reviews

Watching this documentary was painful; despite that fact that the audience wanted to be taken in, was only too willing to be credulous, it was no less painful watching them give away their intelligence and self-respect along with their money to believe the outrageous things that Marjoe does to demonstrate evangelistic hucksterism.

Marjoe's personal story is even more painful; his early childhood literally stolen from him by his cynical and cold-blooded parents, who used to smother him with a pillow or drown him under tap water until he agreed to do their bidding (they used this form of torture because it left no marks on him). He finally got away from them at age 17. His parents kept all of the money he made for them, by the way; it didn't go to charity or even to the church.

Marjoe courageously faces all of his demons, and recreates all the tricks he was taught as a child, to drive the all-too-willing audience into a frenzy of mindlessness as they throw their money at him in hopes of a personal miracle.

And what was the result of exposing the fraud? Nothing. Not one thing changed as the result of this fearless documentary. Evangalism continued to grow even bigger, its stars grew bigger, and when they were finally brought down by their own excesses, instantly replaced. The distributors didn't show it in the South because they were afraid of the outrage. Nice courage there, guys. They should have Especially shown it in the South. Maybe a few people's eyes would have been opened.

People want to believe so badly that there is a quick answer for them, that they will continue to throw money at fraud after fraud, despite being shown exactly how they are being bilked. So are the hucksters the only ones to blame?

Hmm... how do you do that "cross" trick again? Can I get an "Amen!"? How about your Visa number?

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Release Date:

11 April 1973 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Марджо See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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