Documentary: ‘Marjoe’

31 07 2010

‘Marjoe’ is a 1972 American documentary film produced and directed by Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan about the life of evangelist Marjoe Gortner. Marjoe was a precocious child preacher with extraordinary talents, who was immensely popular in the American South. His parents earned large sums of money off him up until the point he outgrew his novelty. Marjoe rejoined the ministry as a young adult solely as a means of earning a living, and not as a believer; he spent the next several years using his fame and status as an evangelist to defraud a small fortune out of individuals both through tent revivals and televangelism.

Eventually, Gortner suffered a crisis of conscience and decided to renounce his ways, offering the documentary film crew unrestricted access to him during his final revival tour, repeatedly admitting on camera that he was a con-artist and revealing the tactics used by himself and other evangelists to swindle money from people.

The film won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.



DVD


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