6.1/10
11,964
79 user 18 critic

Leap of Faith (1992)

Fake faith healer Jonas Nightingale is stranded in a small town where he finds he can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Director:

Richard Pearce

Writer:

Janus Cercone
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Martin ... Jonas
Debra Winger ... Jane
Lolita Davidovich ... Marva
Liam Neeson ... Will
Lukas Haas ... Boyd
Meat Loaf ... Hoover
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Matt
M.C. Gainey ... Tiny
LaChanze ... Georgette
Delores Hall Delores Hall ... Ornella
John Toles-Bey ... Titus
Albertina Walker Albertina Walker ... Lucille
Ricky Dillard Ricky Dillard ... Ricky
Vince Davis Vince Davis ... Roger
Troy Evans ... Dade
Learn more

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Storyline

Jonas is a fraudulent faith healer, who uses all the tricks in the book to con the people attending his shows. Jonas and his team of helpers, including Jane who is in need of some romance, travel the country stopping at big towns and cities to put on their show. When one of the trucks breaks down in a small town, Jonas is quick to accept the challenge of making money in this town. His other goal is to seduce Marva, a waitress in the town, but she's a hard nut to crack, as is Will, the local sheriff who's determined to expose Jonas as a fraud. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Real miracles, sensibly priced. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonas's "mind-reading" trick, wherein he receives intimate details about his marks via a small radio, loosely follows the exploits of televangelist Peter Popoff, who performed a very similar trick with his wife at the microphone. Popoff's career took a nosedive when he was publicly "outed" on the Johnny Carson show by professional magician and skeptic James Randi, who had managed to smuggle a radio scanner into one of Popoff's revival meetings. See more »

Goofs

When Will consoles a conflicted Jane by massaging her bare feet in his backyard, an overhead shot shows him rubbing her left foot but when the camera cuts to a medium shot, Will's hand is gently caressing the toes of her right foot for the remainder of the scene. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff Will Braverman: Feeling better now?
Jane: [getting her feet rubbed by Will] Yeah. I guess I just needed to be alone.
Sheriff Will Braverman: I'll take that as a compliment.
Jane: [Jane checks her watch and starts pulling her feet away] It's before 6:00. I've got to go.
Sheriff Will Braverman: Whoa.
[pulls Jane's bare feet back and resumes gently rubbing her toes]
Sheriff Will Braverman: Places to go. People to rip off.
Jane: Oh, you should talk. Here you are consorting with the enemy.
Sheriff Will Braverman: Yeah, well, I'm an easy consort.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the closing credits, the 'Angels of Mercy' singers are shown singing to a tent full of people (including some of the cast members). See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Jesus on the Mainline
Arranged by Edwin Hawkins and George Duke
Performed by The Angels of Mercy
Produced by George Duke
See more »

User Reviews

Interesting take on faith healing
8 September 2003 | by Laitue_GonflableSee all my reviews

Leap of Faith tells the story of travelling faith healer, Jonas Nightingale (Steve Martin), who visits a small drought-stricken town to supposedly spread the word of God and heal some people's suffering. Or, if truth be told, to make a quick and easy buck by playing on people's gullibility. Essentially, he is a fraud, pretending to be on divine terms with the holy father but in actual fact is fed information about members of his audience through an earpiece by his assistant Jane (Debra Winger).

Jonas is on the surface a charismatic type, as you'd expect from a Steve Martin role, but is also a fraudulent and essentially remorseless swindler. This comes to the fore when he crosses paths with Marva (Lolita Davidovich) - a young woman who has a long-held prejudice against his type after a faith healer blamed his inability to heal her crippled brother on his 'lack of faith' - and Will (Liam Neeson), the sheriff who doesn't look kindly on Jonas' swindling a poor and struggling rural town with false hope.

It's a story about deception, and faith, and divine intervention. It's also a story about remorse, and paying for your own mistakes. Cleverly written and directed with great performances all around and a number of seriously catchy gospel hymns, it's quite a winner in terms of entertainment. However, it does have a fair few corny sections and a lot of the interpersonal relationships are fairly thin.

It worked well for me because I watched it instead of a religious studies class in high school, but I can imagine it still working in plenty of other contexts as well. ***1/2 / *****


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Leap of Faith See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,222,768, 20 December 1992

Gross USA:

$23,369,283

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,369,283
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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