Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Elmer Gantry

Once the 1960's rolled around, you could tell that the rules of censorship for movies were starting to fall apart. Dialogue became vicious, performances more ruthless and movies had no boundaries.

That statement can definitely be applied to Elmer Gantry. It shows the intense nature of people's religious beliefs of the time the movie's set.

Burt Lancaster, as we all know, was a powerful presence on screen. His performance reminded me of Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter. Both men are wolves in preacher's clothing, but they also have a chilling aura when they stand at the pulpit. It's an excellent piece of acting from Lancaster, but it pales in comparison to the ruthlessness of J.J. Hunsecker.

It's clear on how Lancaster (and, to a lesser extent, Shirley Jones) won an Oscar, but I don't understand how Jean Simmons wasn't even nominated. She gives honestly one of the best performances I've seen. She may be one of the many corrupted by Gantry's views, but she keeps her morals intact.

To sum things up nicely, Elmer Gantry is an excellent movie. Wonderful work from Lancaster and Simmons as mentioned above. If you ask me, it's a really powerful movie.

My Rating: *****

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I know this is an older review but I came over to see you choices for Fisti's moments blogathon and noticed Jean Simmons in one of the side lists. Love her and it's rare to see her on blogs so yeah!

    It surprises me that she wasn't nominated as well, she would have been my choice to win this year but it's hardly the first time the academy has ignored a worthy piece of work. A less assured actress would have been swamped by Lancaster.

    Also I loved her in The Grass is Greener where I saw you also enjoyed her. She was wonderful in everything but if you haven't seen it yet I'd recommend Angel Face with Robert Mitchum, she quite extraordinary in it and miles away from either of these two characters.


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