YOU CANNOT FIND BETTER QUALITY ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!
Lindsay Anderson's hilarious parody of the church, GLORY! GLORY!, follows a television evangelist show (televangelist) from its roots in a small country church to its complete and total sell-out to commercialism. The Reverend Dan Stuckey (Barry Morse) slowly and painstakingly builds a TV ministry in a tiny country church, taking in half a million dollars a day. His accountant, Reverend Lester Babbitt, (James Whitmore) was given Divine guidance on how to evade taxes on the Church's investments. After his death, Reverend Bobby Joe (Richard Thomas) tries to assume his father's role. However, his boring philosophical sermons fail to bring in enough money to keep the Church afloat.
Seeking guidance from God he goes to the sight of his father's first church, where he sat mesmerized by his preaching, only to find it has been replaced by a rock-n-roll bar. He goes into the bar and is captivated by Ruth (Ellen Greene), a foul-mouthed, drug-addicted singer-songwriter who is desperate for a big break. She agrees to take on the persona of "Sister Ruth," to help Reverend Bobby Joe re-popularize his church. Her songs, "Back in Jesus' Arms," and "Satan Sucks," prove instant hits and the money starts flowing again.
Nevertheless, when her needs: cocaine, an abortion, prove to be too much of a burden, Lester calls in Vincent (George Buza), an ex-con who's found Jesus "helps" the Church. From there, the church's circus atmosphere only gets crazier. A smart, balanced script by Stan Daniels keeps this film from becoming unbelievable parody. The religious characters, while at times venal, have real faith, which is never satirized. The way that the characters react to extreme situations provides the comedy in Lindsay Anderson's realistically skewed look at the world of TV evangelism.
Ellen Greene ... Ruth
Richard Thomas ... Rev. Bobby Joe
James Whitmore ... Lester Babbitt
Winston Rekert ... Chet
Barry Morse ... Rev. Dan Stuckey
George Buza ... Vincent