“God gave her voice, and he said, ‘Angel Baby, you teach them scriptures with your voice!'”
When a mute woman (Salome Jens) believes she’s been healed by a revivalist (George Hamilton), her faith in God is renewed, and she starts preaching. Soon she’s taken in by a crooked promoter (Roger Clark), who hopes to convince the public that “Angel Baby” can heal.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Burt Reynolds Films
- Deep South
- George Hamilton Films
- Love Triangle
- Mercedes McCambridge Films
- Missionaries and Revivalists
This B-level Elmer Gantry remains an enjoyable look at backwoods evangelism and the power of faith to shape lives. Salome Jens is convincing in the lead role as a troubled woman who naively believes that God (working through handsome George Hamilton) has performed a miracle; equally compelling is Mercedes Cambridge as Hamilton’s devout older wife, who uses her faith as a sincere excuse to manipulate those around her. Indeed, it’s the role of faith as a manipulative ploy which drives the film’s narrative; then — as now — faith healers continue to dupe willing audiences, simply because of their desire to believe.
P.S. Angel Baby is also notable as Burt Reynolds’ screen debut.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Salome Jens as Angel Baby
- Mercedes McCambridge as “Sister Sarah”
- An effective portrayal of belief in faith healing
No, but it’s recommended.