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Elmer Gantry


Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy, Dean Jagger View All


Richard Brooks (Director), Richard Brooks (Screenplay) View All

Released: Jun. 29th, 1960
Runtime: 2 hours, 26 minutes
An ex-football player becomes a popular evangelist in the 1920s Midwest.
Average Rating:

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40 Elmer Gantry: What's it About? What's Good and Bad About it?
OK MoFos, you know I love this flick, and I'd really like to get into a discussion about it. I'm not going to write up some big post here because I'd love for others to carry the conversation and ...

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Reviewed by

mark f
The film's opening scene has Gantry (the overpowering, Oscar-winning Burt Lancaster), a drunken, womanizing traveling salesman, drinking it up on Christmas Eve with the boys in a speakeasy, but when a woman comes in asking for donations, Gantry remains in his salesman persona while pitching Jesus as someone who deserves respect and alms because he "would have made the best little All-American quarterback in the history of football".
An Oscar nominee for Best Picture of 1960, Elmer Gantry is a riveting character study wrapped inside a sprawling and dramatic epic that tackles some very prickly subject matter like the validity of organized religion, religion for profit and how the lines can so quickly blur, the concept of religion as circus side show, and watching crowd sensibility turn to mob sensibility and back again.


mark f