Why but why nobody is listening to me when I say that Richard Brooks is one of the most important American filmmakers? Here's a movie that has become very relevant today if not for its religious themes at least for its description of mass manipulation. Mickey (I don't want to end up in a ditch) should absolutely see it. Masterpiece.
A powerful tale of a con man who leaps into the tent revival game for money and a woman, the people he's used along the way, the people he takes in (and doesn't), and the woman who becomes fatally convinced of her own divinity. A few moments go over the top, but Lancaster's bombastic performance is mesmerizing and the rest of the cast lends it solid support at every turn. Elmer seems emerge ... http://bit.ly/1fiPvMp
Burt Lancaster is brilliant as Gantry and the movie is great as well but I found it too inarticulate at times, some scenes either came too abruptly or they seem completely artificial compared with the tone of the story, but those are minor complaints. The dialogue is also worth mentioning.
Only few times I have been struck by an actor's performance so profoundly. Lancaster is pure energy - take Duvall in "The APostle", multiply it with 1000 and there you have Burt praying to the sinners of rural america like God's best salesman.Havent read the book yet so I can't compare, but I ordered it straiht after watching the film. But you have to be a sucker for evangelical fanatism to appreciate the film fully.