Marjoe (2000)

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Movie Info

Marjoe Gortner, today known primarily for his acting roles in B-movies, was at one time a boy faith healer and evangelist. Wildly popular in the American South, he could fill huge tent revival meetings with his promises of eternal salvation and healing. What the people who came to his meetings didn't know, and what this documentary shows, is that he was a fake who was used by others to make money.

Rating: PG
Genre: Documentary, Faith & Spirituality, Special Interest
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Sarah Kernochan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 7, 2006
Runtime:
Docurama

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Critic Reviews for Marjoe

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

For many complicated reasons, fundamentalist Christianity in America doesn't look the same today as it did in 1972, when Marjoe won the Academy Award for best documentary.

Full Review… | January 12, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

In 1972, Sarah Kernochan and Howard Smith's Marjoe was enough of an eye-opening sensation to make news of itself and Oscar winners of its creators.

Full Review… | January 10, 2006
Village Voice
Top Critic

Especially entertaining is this con man's exposing all the tricks of the trade, from how he healed confederates feigning illnesses to the special gestures and vocal cadences designed to hypnotize his gullible followers.

Full Review… | May 26, 2007
Upstage Magazine

A portrait of interior disconnect between authentic faith and cynical disillusionment.

Full Review… | January 10, 2006
Slant Magazine

This extraordinary documentary shows Marjoe back in the pulpit for an expose of the church-and-tent revival circuit.

Full Review… | February 13, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Marjoe

A grown up child faith-healer reveals the schemes and deceptions of his trade.
Inside the brain of a con artist, this documentary is everything that's good about Elmer Gentry with the added benefit of being all true. Marjoe is an unappealing person, but the film is starkly honest and unflinching in its condemnation. The thesis isn't as intelligent about faith as it might be (because after all faith is far more complex than can be shown in a film or garnered in a tent rally), but this is still a valuable and compelling film.
Overall, Marjoe is a fascinating look at the business of conversion.

hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

I think it's absurd to review this film based upon your religious convictions. I think it's more appropriate to review it based upon it's content and how the film is crafted. And it get's an A in those areas. This sheds light on how easily manipulated children can be and how even more easily adults can fall for anything if they want it to be real. Marjoe had an unfortunate upbringing and the realizations that he makes in this film are gratifying for the viewers. This is an important documentary for believers and non-believers alike. Don't watch it with defiance like others clearly have.

vonnalushigmailcom
Jason Ross

An amazing look inside the Pentacostal church by a trusted and famous pastor, who admits that it's all a scam. Marjoe Gortner was a child prodogy. The son of pentacostal parents who was trained to recite versus, how to give a great performance and when to solicit money from believers. He was ordained at the age of four and continued to preach into his teens. He gave up preaching and joined the hippy movement until in his twenties, needing money, went back to the only thing he knew how to do well. Preach and get people to empty their wallets for God.

philliprenke
Phillip Renke

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