Elmer Gantry (1960)
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 28
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 3,063
Elmer Gantry (Burt Lancaster), a drunken, dishonest street preacher allegedly patterned on Billy Sunday, wrangles a job with the travelling tent ministry conducted by Sister Sharon Falconer (Jean Simmons). Thanks to Gantry's enthusiastic hellfire-and-brimstone sermons, Sister Sharon's operation rises to fame and fortune, enough so that Sharon realizes her dream of building her own enormous tabernacle. These ambitions are put in jeopardy when a prostitute (Oscar-winning Shirley Jones), a former
Jul 7, 1960 Wide
Mar 6, 2001
MGM Home Entertainment
Sister Sharon Falcon...
William L. Morgan
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Brooks honors the spirit of Lewis' cynical commentary on circus-type primitive exhortation with pictorial imagery that is always pungent. He also has written dialog that is frank and biting.
With a host of fine performances, and a strong sense of period and place conveyed by John Alton's lush camerawork, there's still plenty to enjoy.
The briskly paced drama of a religious opportunist, his colleagues and his times utilizes the tools of the motion picture in expert fashion.
If not for the amazing performance of Burt Lancaster, the film would collapse under its own self-righteousness.
The film pulls few punches in its story of the hypocrisy, materialism, and opportunism at the heart of the evangelical world of Bible-thumping barnstorming revival troupes
Lancaster pulls out all the stops in one of his most memorable roles as the lustful, ambitious charlatan of Sinclair Lewis's powerful novel.
This gets progressively nastier and winds up with an impressive hellfire finish.
Burt Lancaster gives one of his most memorable and zestiest performances as the lustful, charismatic evangelist charlatan in Richard Brooks' loose adaptation of Sinclair Lewis 1927 powerful novel.
Hypocrisy and religion exploited! Lancaster and Shirley Jones are terrific.
Still powerful expose of evangelism.
Lancaster puts in a thrilling, Oscar-winning performance in this cynical satire on religious evangelism which was considered extremely controversial at the time of its release.
Lancaster and Simmons are scorching as the con artist and the evangelist who join forces in the 1920s Midwest.
The most interesting part of this movie is its use of broad strokes to mask subtle sketches and careful characterizations.
Highly recommended for fans of Lancaster or Jean Simmons, who plays the earnest young preacher who gets caught up in Gantry's web.
With a strong message, excellent satire, and even some heart, Elmer Gantry is an excellent film, and even a tad underrated.
Audience Reviews for Elmer Gantry
- Elmer Gantry: Well, as long as I got a foot, I'll kick booze. And as long as I got a fist, I'll punch it. And as long as I got a tooth, I'll bite it.
- Elmer Gantry: And when I'm old and gray and toothless and bootless, I'll gum it till I go to heaven and booze goes to hell.
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