Elmer Gantry
Elmer Gantry (1960)

Elmer Gantry (Burt Lancaster), a drunken, dishonest street preacher allegedly patterned on Billy Sunday, wrangles a job with the travelling tent ministry conducted by Sister Sharon Falconer (Jean Simmons). Thanks to Gantry's… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: July 7, 1960
DVD Release Date: September 23, 2014
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Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dan Jardine
Slant Magazine

The film pulls few punches in its story of the hypocrisy, materialism, and opportunism at the heart of the evangelical world of Bible-thumping barnstorming revival troupes

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Brooks was the ultimate vulgarizer of serious literature.

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Yasser Medina

Every preached word that comes out of Lancaster's mouth elevates the film's dramatic potential and illuminates the scenes like a miracle fallen from heaven. [Full review in Spanish]

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Variety Staff

Brooks honors the spirit of Lewis' cynical commentary on circus-type primitive exhortation with pictorial imagery that is always pungent. He also has written dialog that is frank and biting.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

With a host of fine performances, and a strong sense of period and place conveyed by John Alton's lush camerawork, there's still plenty to enjoy.

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Clyde Gilmour
Maclean's Magazine

The title-role character, a preacher with a weakness for wild women and whisky, is more believable in scriptwriter-director Richard Brooks' film than he was in the Sinclair Lewis novel; the part is played with skill and gusto by Burt Lancaster.

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Kim Newman
Empire Magazine

This gets progressively nastier and winds up with an impressive hellfire finish.

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A.H. Weiler
New York Times

The briskly paced drama of a religious opportunist, his colleagues and his times utilizes the tools of the motion picture in expert fashion.

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Dwight MacDonald
Esquire Magazine

Alas! I found it crude and cumbersome, vulgar and overblown (a mistake in taste was to do it in color), and a perfect example of that having-it-both-ways irreality.

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More reviews for Elmer Gantry

Flixster Audience Score: 86% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
A snake-oil preacher woos a revivalist, and together they build a following, but will his dishonesty hurt their partnership more than his charisma helps their… More
Aj V
This movie has a good story and actors, I didn't get to see the end, though, so I should watch this movie again.
Tim Salmons
I find it very difficult to believe that Elmer Gantry made in to movie screens in 1960. It almost seems like a lynchpin or things to come in the decade.… More
Devon Bott
Burt Lancaster stars in the title role as a charmingly loud and lascivious travelling home appliance salesman who enjoys preaching the word of the Lord as a… More
Kevin M. Williams
Richard Brooks mesmeriising adaptation of Sinclair Lewis's book (--- what's killing Christianity is not unbelievers on the outside but rather the… More
Tim Sigur
Probably one of the best screenplays ever written. Lancaster makes me want to be a better man.