A sweet movie
The M.O.W. - wrote on 05/11/11
"Jerry Landers" (John Denver) is a family man with a steady job at a grocery store. One day, he gets a weird letter telling him to go to a building for a meeting with "God" (George Burns in one of his most famous roles). "God" asks him to get His message out to the world.
"Landers", who is skeptical of the kindly old man who asks for his help, and a non-believer in God, tries to get out the message by any means. He eventually gets on national television, and in front of a panel of religious leaders, who ask him to have "God" answer a list of questions, written in an ancient and extinct language.
Now, "Landers" has to prove to the court of the existance of "God", while trying to defend himself in a slander suit filed against him by a televangelist over comments "Landers" credits to "God", who claims the televangelist is a fraud.
Let me say that, when I first saw this, I thought it was funnier. Having seen it all these years later, the jokes fell flat in my opinion. However, I was not once offended by any joke in the film. The humor targets a lot of questions believers and non-believers of the Almighty ask when questioning their beliefs, but not once is offensive. If you ask me now, the jokes are worth a couple of chuckles.
For anybody who is a hardcore believer, who will walk up to a stranger to give his or her testimony and try to convert the person, I can guarantee you that you will not be offended with this movie at all. The subject matter is handled with extreme care, and is handled perfectly by Denver, and especially Burns.
The performances in this movie are pretty good if you ask me. Terri Garr, who portrays Denver's wife, plays her character as a woman who is skeptical of her husband's believe that he was visited by God, but supports him no matter what. Denver was pretty good in his role, never missing a beat as Burns straight man, and handled his character's transformation in the film nicely.
Burns though is easily the star of this film, and made "God" one of his most memorable roles in his career. Anybody who has seen this movie, or its two sequels have never forgotten Burns in this role. To his fans, this and his role with the love of his life, Gracie Allen, is fondly remembered.
This film is perfect for families, as their is no violence or swearing. Younger children may not understand the message of the film, but might enjoy some of the jokes. Older kids will understand the message, and may have questions about their own faith.
The supporting cast is not well developed in this film, especially the televangelist, who was the most vocal in the counsel that asked "Landers" to have "God" answer the questions they gave him. Personally, I would have liked to have seen the televangelist go to his flock and the media to try to discredit "Landers" in his believe he saw "God". Just having "God" tell "Landers" to call the guy a fraud to help set up the court scene was a bit weak in my opinion.
There is some special effects in this film, but you can tell they were all done by editing. They just don't hold up after all these years. The soundtrack was completely forgettable as well.
In my opinion, this movie is not bad. I would suggest to watch it on television if there is nothing else on.