- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Leonard G.
A fascinating movie and also fascinating discussions. I have always been a Burt Lancaster fan and this film is truly a tour-de-force performance; one richly deserving of his Oscar win. The film by the excellent Richard Brooks (Cat On a Hot Tin Roof) certainly gives a balanced blend of the ins and outs, the political machinations of organized religion,and the danger of it becoming another human endeavor. The con man Elmer Gantry (Lancaster), and Lulu ( Oscar Winner Shirley Jones) are clearly defined. but I think the more interesting character was the the Evangelist Falconer (The great Jean Simmons); who started out with sincerity in her work, but ended up being seduced by her own ministry, which made her an even more tragic figure than Gantry himself. I was also moved by the film's last scene, in which when Bill (Jagger), who basically exploited Falconer and her followers; offers Gantry to take over for Falconer. Gantry's quote from 1 Corinthians 13 while he is walking away indicates he's on a new path of understanding himself, human nature, and even God.
- Dashiell B.
Imagine the thrill of going to church, now imagine that excitement in a great film like "Elmer Gantry." Lancaster won the only Oscar of his career as the title character, a coniving evangalist who joins Simmons' religious movement, Jones won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Gantry's prostitute ex-lover. Brooks directed & won an adapted screenplay Oscar creating an always-compelling drama. Riveting and engaging, a great film. I give a 4.5/5.
Bible Study 101
- Maria C.
I have always, in the past, overlooked this movie. I didn't think it would be any good. But, since I've gotten involved in bible study, I realized how much I've missed out. This movie makes you want to open your bible and start memorizing God's Word. Also, beware of the wolves out there at the same time.
closer to Billy Sunday
The Elmer Gantry character, when he is preaching, reminds me of the real, old-time evangelist, prior to Billy Graham, Billy Sunday. Burt Lancaster truly "nails" that character, as he did in every film I have seen with him. What an actor!
Joel 'Elmer Gantry' Osteen
- Scott Schultz
Does the Elmer Gantry character remind anyone else of that silver-tongued Bible slinger Joel Osteen?
'Elmer Gantry' film reaffirms faith
- Doug Daniel
Those who think the film version of "Elmer Gantry" is an attack on faith may be missing a different perspective. Writer-director Richard Brooks indicated that his point wasn't to attack people of faith but to look at someone who uses the faith of others for his own selfish ends. (My book on Brooks, 'Tough as Nails,' explores the film in detail.) I think that's what Elmer Gantry is saying at the end of the movie. The 'childish things' aren't matters of faith, I would argue, but the unprincipled activities in which he's engaged. As far as Jean Simmons' performance, she is excellent, as usual, in a role that is a counterweight to Lancaster's.
I still believe in what I wrote...
- Jarrod McDonald
It's been over a year since I wrote my comments about ELMER GANTRY. After noticing that a subsequent poster took issue with some of my views, I went back and looked at what I had originally written. I believe I wrote it correctly, and it is still how I feel. There is no need to apologize to anyone or to say anything is inappropriate (when it's not). We all look at film in our own unique ways. And again, this is the way I see Jean Simmons' work in ELMER GANTRY.
Not so Irresponsable ( In fact illuminating)
- Raffi Hagopian
Pehaps this is not the forum to discuss this but I think Jarrod McDonald comment is inapropiate. Elmer Gantry has been a phony all his life and Shara a saint, yet at the end Jean Simons character is more focused on the church ( an idol she has created) than in what actually what she knows faith can do, and how she can be usefull to other people. On the other hand Gantry is transformed at the end, and he becomes more human and close to God ( wants a wife and love) and not to be a phony anymore. The end, when he says about "child ways" he means that transformation in himself, he has to become truthful with himself and with people, from then on. So I think the movie is not actually against faith ( it may be against organized religion), is actually a warning that the faith has to be in God not in things or what we create to increase our ego. Sorry Jarrod, I had to say this.
- Jarrod McDonald
Some express bewilderment about why Jean Simmons was neglected at Oscar time for her portrayal of an evangelist in this film. I think it's because she played neither the devil incarnate (as Lancaster did) or the lusty harlot (as Jones did). Instead, hers is a more sympathetic middle-of-the-road character who does have faith and who perishes because of that faith. That type of character would not be celebrated or applauded by liberal Hollywood. Also, I take great exception with Brooks' screenplay which ends on an irresponsible note, equating religion with child's play, something you outgrow when you mature. I don't think that holding on to your faith and making religion a priority is an immature thing to do at all. This film was produced around the time that 'Inherit the Wind' played on Broadway and came to the big screen. So it was fashionable to deride old time religion. And fifty years later, we are given this type of nonsense as a classic. Giving it several 'ones' to lower its overall average.
- Raffi Hagopian
Is not only the great acting. the story has different angles where to be studied from, great ending. Burt Lancanter has many good roles ( Seven Days in May, Run Silent..Run Deep), but Jean Simmons role is also great in this movie, as Arthur Kennedy and Dean Jagger. Have to watch it!
- Bob Hendrick
The only performance that comes to mind that matches Burt Lancaster's portrayal of the title character, is George C. Scott's "Patton", 10 years later. Sinclair Lewis would have been overjoyed. Great direction by Richard Brooks, and an outstanding supporting cast. This movie deserved the awards it received; especially Burt.
What an incredible film and performance!!!
This was a VERY good movie and Burt Lancaster's performance was phenominal. Incredible powerful performance in which Mr. Lancaster truly deserved his Best Actor Oscar. This role was perfect for him!!!
I LOVE Burt Lancaster and any movie he is in
Love this movie!
I love this movie. I wasn't that familiar with Burt Lancaster"s movies but this movie made me want to watch more of his work. This movie really shows off his talent and makes me smile to just think of his role in this movie. Watch this movie. It reminded me of Robert Duvall' movie The Apostle.