Elmer Gantry

• TOP NOTCH (my top choices)
• HONORABLE MENTION (well worth watching)
• YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER (I like them but you might not)
• CLASSICS (Great movies up through the 1960s - many don't have any rating)

 Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy    

Summary - A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.

Cautions -A few immodestly dressed prostitutes (including Shirley Jones).

Commentary - The film takes what could have been an easy target -- revivalist evangelism -- and paints things in shades of grey, not black and white. Everyone’s motives are complex, everyone does good and bad, and holds both inside. Characters may lean one way or another, but this is a film without a villain or a hero. Because, it deals with beliefs held dear by many (including me) it may not be for everyone but I found it richly written and powerfully performed. It's a film that gives one a lot to think about and discuss with friends.

Winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Burt Lancaster, Best Supporting Actress for Shirley Jones, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Richard Brooks.


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