MovieChat Forums > Leap of Faith (1992) Discussion > this is a fact based movie

this is a fact based movie


The serious research that went into the book plays out well
into the movie. The vent like fiquire with a monstrous tone leaves
us frothing at the mouth regarding faith.

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[deleted]

Steve Martin said himself in the past that this movie while about Faith, was exposing the lies behind so called faith healers.

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Somehow the point of this stilletto-like film has been lost for the entire audience who was confused or half-entertained when it first appeared. I saw it in the theater and realized its roots go deeper then most imagined. In many ways, it is a deeply religious film, though its creators may or may not have realized it at the time. I believe they did--and Steve Martin is as heavy as they come. "L.A. Story"!
Yes, the film owes its structure to 'The Music Man' and 'The Faith Healers', but it goes deeper into the philosophic wellsprings of human need, the search for meaning in life, and the yearning for the eternal. I am no normally religious person, but I recognize analogy when I see it. This is no less then the story of Jesus.
Think about it. Jonas and his traveling faith-healing circus appear as if from nowhere--complete with disciples and Mary Magdalene (Plain 'Jane'). They do have their own beliefs, but they must live as well, so they put on a show. The show makes people feel better, but there's a price. You must give up something to get something. Jonas works the crowd, saying what he has learned about human nature. He speaks directly to those needing him the most through his 'angels,' Mary, and the crew. The faithful leave with a stronger faith. Will (interesting name) the Sheriff, sees the con, but also sees--like realists do--the hypnotic draw of faith. He settles for saving Mary.
Who can say why Jesus appealed to so many in his own time? He was obviously a great speaker and knew the human condition well. Who is to say he did not use a bit of slight of hand to make a point?
And when Jonas realizes he has a real connection to what God really is--the goodness and courage in ALL of us--he gives up everything he knows and leaves, much like Jesus, with the memories of what good he did as the important thing.

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I agree, it does go deeper than most people can imagine; however, to say it's analogous with Jesus is going too far. Jesus and His disciples didn't appear out of nowhere. His cousin, John the baptizer, was preparing the way for Him. Second, He and the disciples didn't "have their own beliefs." As devout Jews, they followed the spirit of the Law, which was easy to do when you're with the One Who gave it :-)

Finally, as far as knowing human nature, Who better than the One Who created it and longs to redeem it?

>Who can say why Jesus appealed to so many in his own time?
= The writer of Hebrews can:
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds...

>Who is to say he did not use a bit of slight of hand to make a point?
= I will.

Jesus didn't "give up everything (He) knew and leave," nor did He "realize (He) had a real connection with God." He came to earth to die for the sins of all humanity; hence, His cry on the cross, "It is finished."

Thanks for the chance to 'say so.'

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Be my guest. You are certainly entitled to your beliefs--I believe. But if you discount all other interpretations of your faith but your own, there may be a tendency to become inflexable in every part of your life--a life even Jesus believed was worth living to the fullest. My analogy was meant to entertain, not to vex. And--you might try getting out more.

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?

>My analogy was meant to entertain, not to vex
= Seemed otherwise

Get out more?
Dude, if you only knew...

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[deleted]

Tiredeyes, I can appreciate your interpretation/analogy. So few people are willing to de-deify Jesus out of fear of blasphemy, when in truth it is our understanding and questioning that leads us to the bigger picture.
I may not agree with your interpretation, but I would be a fool to disregard it without contemplation.

*
*
"I look for truth and find that I get damned"

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I aim to be in the mix, agreement is not a given, and everyone who appreciates the complexity and relevency of cinema is welcome to the table.

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VERY well stated, Gabby.
<So few people are willing to de-deify Jesus out of fear of blasphemy, when in truth it is our understanding and questioning that leads us to the bigger picture.
I may not agree with your interpretation, but I would be a fool to disregard it without contemplation.>
Question everything. Truer today than ever.


Carpe Noctem

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The problem is, there seems to be a norm that it is enough to de-deify Jesus to look intelligent. For those, who don't believe, it's morally ok to think about Jesus as a mere man, but beleivers won't do that, not primarily because of being afraid, but because we know Him to be God.

Tiredeyes' argument is not blasphemous, but mistaken in many points. Tiredeyes, you may notice analogies when you see them, but in many things you simply don't know about the things you think you have recognised. Your thoughts are interesting, but lack lexical stuff that's absolutely necessary to interpret texts or movies.

But, as a Christian, I felt nothing offensive in Tiredeyes' comment.

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[deleted]

I got & appreciated TiredEyes' POV, GSTerry---didn't vex me @ all.
You, on the other hand,....

Carpe Noctem

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Boy, that is sure a good projector you have in your head, Tired eyes.
It shows how we can read a lot more into a story than the author ever intended.
You should have paid double to see this movie, because you got more out of it than the average audience.

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The final product is indeed an admirable treatment of personal redemption and other Christian virtues. But that wasn't the original intent of the film at all.

The script went through lengthy development, but its origin was based on time one of the writers spent as a roadie for a rock band. Many of the antics and behaviors of the crew were based on the rock-band roadie experience. About the time the script was being worked up, James Randi's expose' of evangelist charlatans was a hot topic, so the roadie-centric script was adapted to the traveling preacher angle. A pretty clever twist.

Several script treatments were considered, many of which were entirely scathing of religion and Christians in general. The ending was shot several ways and more than one was audience tested... only the redemption of Jonas tested well. The other more-cynical endings preferred by the writers and film company principals would have quickly sunk the film in theaters.

God worked through Jonas in the film. But in the fimal production of the film, He worked through the film company's marketers and financial analysts. He does have His tools, no matter how Hollywood they may be. 😄

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