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Leap of Faith [VHS]

4.1 out of 5 stars 517 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Steve Martin, Debra Winger, Lolita Davidovich, Liam Neeson, Lukas Haas
  • Directors: Richard Pearce
  • Writers: Janus Cercone
  • Producers: Burt Bluestein, David V. Picker, Janus Cercone, Michael Manheim, Ralph S. Singleton
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: April 2, 1996
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (517 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302768039
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,451 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

VHS tape is in great condition. Rare and hard to find. This item will still be in its original case. Running time 110 minutes

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric V. Moye on December 7, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a great film. A spellbinding performance by Steve Martin, who seemingly was born to play this role. He portrays Jonas Nightingale, a traveling huckster of a preacher, who leads an entourage going from town to town bilking poor hopeful people out of what little they do have.
Another reviewer was dead on - it is impossible to watch any of his scenes in this film without focusing totally on him. He is so full of the role but not in an overbearing way (unlike Jim Carey whose portrayal as Batman's foil The Riddler, comes to mind as a poor comparison).
It's not merely a send up of preaching, Christianity or of films like the great Elmer Gantry (to which it is often compared and found severely lacking). It is much more than that. It is also much much lighter. It also has a brilliant musical score, dominated by some of the most stirring and uplifting gospel music ever to come from any of God's creations.
Different from any role Steve Martin ever did. Brilliant!
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Format: DVD
Steve Martin is born to play the starring role of Jonas Nightingale, a travelling huckster, fraud of a faith healer, demon "caster outer", "slay in the spiriter" & more importantly, a money grubbing false prophet. Along with his no-nonsense sidekick manager, Jane, played aptly by Debra Winger, they bilk poor souls from a small town out of their hard earned cash with the oldest profession in the world. No, not prostitution. The selling of the Gospel Of Jesus Christ!
This film exhibits many word-faith doctrines such as "positive confession", "gospel of health", "gospel of wealth" and the whole "name it and claim it" belief. More imporantly, what it also has is some great smaller role performances given by Lolita Davidovich as waitress Marva, Lukas Haas as Boyd, Liam Neeson as Will, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Matt, and MEATLOAF as Hoover!
This movie also has a great soundtrack with samplings from Don Henley, Patti LaBelle, Wynonna Judd and of course, the great Meatloaf with "Paradise By The Dashboard Lights"!
Seriously though... This film has a great ending and shows what REAL MIRACLES are made of and EXACTLY where they are made...
A fun & entertaining family film!
Happy Watching!
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Format: VHS Tape
When con-man turned preacher Jonas Nightingale rolls into a small town plagued by drought and unemployment he has two things on his mind... getting his truck fixed and separating the locals from what little money they have. Before the film ends he finds himself in the center of a situation that borders on the supernatural. As Jonas finds himself doing the right things for the wrong reasons this hardened huckster finds himself in the last position he expected to find himself... out of control. This movie looks at the life of a traveling evangelist/flim-flam man with an honesty that is at the very least unsettling. It shows some of the "tricks of the trade" in a way that makes you wonder about even the most sincere traveling evangelists. Plus, this film is backed up by some of the finest gospel music ever put on a movie soundtrack. The scene with the choir singing acapella as the crew put up the tents is worth the price of the movie. Steve Martin does a great job as Jonas. Supporting players Debra Winger and Liam Neeson round out a fine cast. I highly recommend this film
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By A Customer on June 20, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I had never heard of this movie before I saw it and I wasn't expecting it to be any good--but it is. It's really, really good.
Considering the star status of Steve Martin (who turns out an extrodinary performance in this film) why has it been so overlooked? Martin plays "Jonas Nightengale", a glib traveling evangalist, faith healer, and con man. When one of his trucks breaks down in the impoverished town of Rust Water, Kansas, he sets up his tent and invites the town to a revival. The sheriff (Liam Neeson) is determined to stop Nightengale from seperating the poor and desperate people from what little money they have. At first this film appears to simply be a cynical expose of the tricks fraudulent preachers use to shake down their flocks. But as it progresses it reveals itself to be something much more complex and subtle. At one point Nightengale, when confronted as being a fake, replies, "What difference does it make as long as I get the job done?" Yet when a real miracle occurs, something he can niether explain or control, his lack of faith is shaken and he actually becomes angry with God. As in real life conversions, the film unexpectedly turns you around 180 degrees by the end.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Steve Martin gives a brilliant, multi-faceted performance, and Debra Winger (not one of my favorite actresses) is also very good here. The power of this movie is in the theme and how intelligently and skillfully it is developed.
I thought Steve Martin directed the movie, but he didn't. The director is Richard Pearce, who also directed "The Long Walk Home," another realistic, powerful story about an important social theme (segregation) with wonderful, subtle performances from Sissy Spacek and Whoopi Goldberg. Mr. Pearce is a very gifted director.
The story in "Leap of Faith" is about a traveling revival show, built on hucksterism, with Martin as "Jonas Nightingale," the main attraction. Almost all of the main characters are cynical at the outset, not just the traveling show folk, but also the sheriff (Liam Neeson) and the coffee shop waitress (Lolita Davidovich) in Rustwater, KN, the small town the traveling caravan breaks down in. What happens in this town changes the lives of everyone involved, but not in a sappy, hokey, gee-whiz kind of way. The movie is about faith, why people lose it and how they get it back.
This movie works on every level; it is well-directed, well-acted, wonderfully scored (the gospel music suits the story perfectly), and makes its point in a realistic but unexpected way. It is not a sermon, but a fascinating, entertaining look at how people are and how they can change.
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