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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Silver-tongued charlatans come bearing hidden motives in these subversive, fire-and-brimstone exposés of religious hypocrisy and chicanery. Richard Brooks’s powerful adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s controversial novel “Elmer Gantry” stars an Oscar-winning Burt Lancaster, in one of his greatest roles, as an opportunistic evangelist who rises to ignoble heights. Lancaster’s Gantry is the not-too-distant cousin of the heretical preacher played by Brad Dourif in John Huston’s appropriately gonzo take on Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood,” a startlingly original, tragicomic blend of social commentary and southern-gothic eccentricity.