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Shvoong Home>Entertainment>Movies>Elmer Gantry Review

Elmer Gantry

Movie Review   by:prometeheus    
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Directed by Richard Brooks and based on the famous Sinclair Lewis novel, it stars Burt Lancaster as Gantry in an Oscar-winning performance as well as Jean Simmons as Sister Falconer, a crusading evangelist. Other key roles in the film belong to Arthur Kennedy as the reporter who follows the crusade and Shirley Jones, who won a best supporting actress Academy Award as the prostitute who betrays Gantry. The film’s energy is exacerbated by the thrilling musical score provided by Andre Previn and the photography is first-rate. This film occasionally makes it into the top ten of all time for some critics. The story starts with Gantry as a traveling salesman in the Midwest who drinks, womanizes and swears with the best of them. Then Gantry walks in upon a revival meeting hosted by the very sexy Sister Falconer. Gantry is intoxicated with her. He makes up his mind to join the revival as a reformed sinner and the braintrust for the revival accepts him into their show. Gantry and Sister Falconer heat up their romance as the revival begins to pick up steam and Sister Falconer invests much of the profits of the previous revivals into building a permanent temple so she will not have to go on the road in the future. One last, big revival is needed to pay for everything. This is where the Shirley Jones character comes into play and where Gantry falls off the high morality wagon. The forces of truth and the realities of the real world clash in the tumultuous conclusion. The characters and events of this film are based on real-life characters with the names changed and the events are also closely related to the actual events of the time. This is a must-see film.

Published: February 06, 2011   
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