Saturday, June 18, 2011

ANGEL BABY – Elmer Gantry’s Little Sister

Ed here: I've seen this movie probably three times since 1961 when it first appeared. Caught it originally at a drive-in where I was sober enough (for some reason) to appreciate how loopy it was. This is my kind of guilty pleasure. I know he's tan but I still don't know how George Hamilton ever got work. TCM Movie Morlocks is a site you need to follow.

ANGEL BABY – Elmer Gantry’s Little Sister
Posted by morlockjeff on June 15, 2011

After the critical and boxoffice success of ELMER GANTRY in 1960, another film, much smaller in scale and budget, came along that mirrored the latter film both thematically and in some of the plot details. It might have been merely a coincidence that ANGEL BABY appeared shortly after ELMER GANTRY in 1961 but it certainly beats the Burt Lancaster Oscar winner when it comes to curiosity value. Take, for example, George Hamilton and Mercedes McCambridge as married evangelists, traveling down the backroads and byways of the Deep South. (You heard right – Hamilton and McCambridge are married!!; this odd arrangement is revealed by the screenwriter through an expositional mid-point revelation.) Or consider Salome Jens in her first major screen role as a young mute who miraculously finds her voice at a revivalist tent show and becomes a faith healer herself! Then, there’s the hardcore roadshow veterans, Joan Blondell and Henry Jones, sinners who became believers and occasionally fall off the faith wagon if the temptation to booze overcomes them. And in a small but pivotal role is Burt Reynolds in his movie debut playing a lustful redneck named Hoke Adams. Last but not least, Haskell Wexler is one of the cinematographers. It may not be Academy Award material but it’s a fascinating brew that comes off like an Erskine Caldwell literary adaptation crossed with a sordid B-movie melodrama aimed at the drive-in crowd. Plus it’s got six revival-style musical numbers written by songwriter Wayne Shanklin whose composition “Chanson d’Amour” ended up in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut [1999]. None of these numbers are exactly rave-up toe-tappers but, for the record, they include “Little by Little,” “Rise Up Singing,” “Beulah Land”, “Our Love’s No Ordinary Thing,” “He’s My God, Yet”, and “Jenny Angel.” READ

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jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Salome Jens (in 1953 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously), that chick was HOT ! ! !.

Todd Mason said...

Charming. You want, as a hamster, to anally rape her to show your appreciation for her youthful appearance?

ANGEL BABY is one that got past me altogether...