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Saving Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple McPherson Story (2001)

Roberta Salter; Gemma Wenger , Richard Rossi  |  DVD
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Saving Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple McPherson Story + American Experience - Sister Aimee + Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple Mcpherson Story
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Product Details

  • Actors: Roberta Salter; Gemma Wenger
  • Directors: Richard Rossi
  • Producers: Richard Rossi
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Eternal Grace
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2011
  • Run Time: 40 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0055EHWDY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,666 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

"Of Richard Rossi's two films on Sister Aimee, his 2001 Oscar-considered documentary "Saving Sister Aimee" is by far the superior film." (William Jones)

Awards: Academy Award-considered, Best Documentary 2001, Golden Halo Award, Best Documentary 2001, Angel Award, Southern California Motion Picture Council, Best Documentary, 2001

Directed by Richard Rossi Edited by Jaime Prater

Synopsis:`***** 5 Stars Out of 5! Sex..Sin..Salvation! Aimee Semple McPherson was the most famous female evangelist of all time, healing the sick & raising the dead, stopping the rain in Kansas, cavorting with Charlie Chaplin. Then she vanished mysteriously in 1927 at Venice Beach. The faith-healer with a longing to be touched in a human way became the biggest Hollywood scandal & mystery of all time. Aimee was front page news! The few people who knew the truth were in their 90's and near death when they decided to spill the beans nearly 75 years after Aimee disappeared. Richard Rossi reveals the truth by interviewing Sister Aimee's daughter Roberta, who breaks her silence for the first time. Roberta was not on speaking terms with her mother the last 9 yrs of her life. Roberta granted Rossi an interview shortly before she passed away to set the record straight. Also interviewed in this are the McPherson family secretary who also gave one interview to Rossi before her death. McPherson's leading man in her theatrical sermons breaks his silence to Rossi before he passed as well in his only interview in which he reveals secrets of the legal battles & hidden plans of Aimee loyalists fighting over her legacy. The footage shot by Rossi of 3 primary witnesses is unique as they don't appear together in any other film. The story arc starts with Aimee's background and move to California (narrated by her daughter), then takes us up to date with Rev. Gemma Wenger, a contemporary evangelist patterned after Aimee. The film builds to a climax of legal confrontations over the dismantling of Aimee's temple. All sides are interviewed along the spectrum, from Ken Bernstein from the L.A. Conservancy who alleges Foursquare pastors misrepresented the facts, to a woman who believes Aimee was kidnapped presenting the evidence from the defense attorneys. There is a halting piano score played by the ninety-five year-old pianist who accompanied Aimee in her heydey. Though it may not be a perfect performance, it's authentic. Combined with the use of silent movie style cards, it takes you back to the Roaring 20's when Sister Aimee lived. In 2001, Richard Rossi was threatened by lawyers & thugs sent by the Pentecostal church to stop the theatrical exhibition of the film for the Academy Award judges. Rossi was snuck out of the theatre & guarded by off-duty policemen. They succeeded in stopping the film from being seen on DVD for 12 years..... until now. For the 1st time, in 2013, "Saving Sister Aimee" is available for a limited time on DVD. See the film the Pentecostal church does not want you to see. Fearless filmmaker Richard Rossi rips the lid off the secret legal wars to suppress the secrets of Sister Aimee. Be forewarned: Though they have been defeated in stopping you from seeing the film, there is an organized campaign to trash the film on Amazon & discourage you not to watch it. Be suspicious of reviews from powerful, rich Pentecostals who slander the movie. Keep in mind their motives. They are upset about the legal battles revealed in the film so they rail against it in ad hominem attacks around talking points distributed in religious campaigns in which they are coached to use the following adjectives/statements in their reviews calling SSA: "disjointed," "junk," "disappointing," "inconclusive," "dull," "I've been robbed buying this," "don't share this DVD with anyone," etc. There's a reason this film has won awards & is the best-selling DVD on Sister Aimee of all time. See it & judge for yourself. It's up to you to decide.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE TRUTH SETS AIMEE FREE July 2, 2011
As the director of this film, I wanted to share that I was offered money to make a big budget film on Sister Aimee by rigid religious Aimee adherents and loyalists who wanted me to remove from this documentary as well as my later dramatic feature film "Sister Aimee; The Aimee Semple McPherson Story" (also on Amazon) anything that could be construed as negative: her overdose, breakdown, three marriages, and morals trial. I took a class in the history of the Foursquare Church through Aimee's LIFE Bible College and was stunned that her trials and many of the headline stories about her were ignored completely. I couldn't live with myself if I made a propaganda piece. Jesus said the truth shall set us free, so I decided to turn down millions of dollars and make a truthful portrayal that Sister Aimee was a conduit for the Spirit, but also a very human person. We shot both "Saving Sister Aimee" and "Sister Aimee;The Aimee Semple McPherson Story" on a micro-budget of a few thousand dollars, but this brought out creativity in us. Thank you to all of you who purchased the film and have supported us. This was the first film I efver made and we finished it despite overwhelming odds, my paying the price of pouring all my time, money, and energy into finishing the film, & some powerful people threatening me if I finished & exhibited the film. I was humbled that this movie was in the Academy Award competition for Best Short Documentary. I believe in our film & in our fans. I loved the opportunity to meet and interview Sister Aimee's daughter and close compatriots for this film. My editor Jaime Prater did an amazing job assembling this documentary so I vote five stars out of five *****. For more detailed information on both films, see our website aimeesemplemcphersonmovie dot com God bless, Richard Rossi (Writer-Director)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sister Aimee July 21, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Richard Rossi is a good director, actor, singer, and songwriter, and I have had the honor of meeting him in person. This is a very interesting documentary that let me know a lot about Sister Aimee that I didn't know at all. Good job here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I paid for November 11, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Aimee Semple McPherson is a complex person. She did many fine things, but there were inconsistencies in her personal life that cause many to doubt her as a genuine servant of God. I for one am undecided and do not intend to judge, but rather look at the facts. Aimee Semple McPherson and her daughter were not on speaking terms during the years before she died. Shortly before her death a few years ago, McPherson's daughter stepped forward and told her side of the story, which is not flattering. I thought that was what I was buying. Instead I got a very dull 30 minute documentary. If you are looking for information about the life of Aimee Semple McPherson this is not the place to get it. In short--I've been robbed.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the facts please! July 5, 2011
My name is Jeffrey Griffith and I was the Director of Photography on Richards later film "Sister Aimee". At the time Richard was interested in interviewing several people who actually knew Aimee, Specifically Roberta Salter Aimee's daughter, Gemma Wenger, Billy Adams, Secretary Leita Mae Steward, and Neil McClaflin, I Think those are correct spellings of their names. These people give us a sense of who Aimee was and makes for us an historical reference that would not exist were it not for Richards' diligence and perseverance. The way the documentary is presented was meant to remind us of the 20s style music and is an artistic choice that perhaps others would not make but which none the less gives a sense of the era in which those people lived and thrived. After seeing his documentary I was inspired to begin my own film career and my first actual work on film was "Sister Aimee". I consider myself lucky to have been able to work on that project. I believe that our finished product has made a difference in peoples lives and that all started with "Saving Sister Aimee".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought but informative May 11, 2013
By jrross
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Not much of her ministry personal recollections of her from cohorts and relative's daughter I think but was hoping to get more info on her methods of ministry and some of the things she did to have such a significant impact on history of the church.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not a lot of autobiography February 4, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
The condition of the film was below average and the content did not say a lot about Aimee McPherson. It was more about the history of the temple and those that fought to retain its original architecture/purpose.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I Expected January 13, 2013
By Dee
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with the package when it arrived. It was open and damage. I'm just glad the actually DVD still worked.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE!!!
Thankfully, I borrowed a friend's copy so didn't waste $ but did WASTE TIME. Can't remember a movie where I was more disappointed. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Joseph Plemmons
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely one-sided and truly awful
I was hoping for an even treatment of the subject matter. What this DVD presents is very one-sided testimony from some folks who are quite biased in a very favorable fashion... Read more
Published 18 months ago by The Bear
1.0 out of 5 stars Wake Up Before it's Too Late
This video says nothing new.

If you want to read about Aimee (and decide for yourself) about her, you can read a self published book circa 1927 or there about, by a... Read more
Published 21 months ago by tomana
1.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed, lack of theme, inconclusive
I am unable to understand what the filmmakers were attempting to convey in this very strange, disjointed, pointless documentary. Read more
Published on June 8, 2012 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Saving Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple McPherson Story
I was very disappointed in the legal debate at the end of the is DVD. I would not share this DVD with anyone.
Published on August 22, 2011 by Alexis G. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting documentary about the life of Sister Aimee
I enjoyed learning about this amazing woman in our history through the artistic eye of Richard Rossi. This video includes many interesting details about the life of Sister Aimee. Read more
Published on August 7, 2011 by Linda
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