HTF REVIEW: "Oh, God!" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Oh, God!

    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 1977
    Rated: PG
    Film Length: 98 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)

    God grants you an interview
    On July 9th, Warner Brothers is releasing a
    handful of DVD titles that have remained on
    the "most wanted" list of collectors for many
    years now. It's hard to believe it has taken
    this long to release "Oh, God!", but thank
    the Lord that the wait is over.
    Released in 1977, "Oh, God!" came on the
    heels of the rejuvenation of George Burn's career.
    Just two year earlier, at age 80, he won an Oscar
    as best supporting actor for his role as an old-time
    vaudevillian in "The Sunshine Boys," taking over
    the role when Benny died.
    Jerry Landers (John Denver), is a good-natured
    grocery store manager with a lovely wife, Bobbie
    (Teri Garr) and two kids. One evening Jerry receives
    an invitation from God requesting an interview. This
    invitation, of all places, arrives in the mail. Jerry
    immediately tears up the invitation dismissing it as
    a prank, but once the torn up the invitations keep
    returning to him reassembled, he figures he ought
    to check things out.
    When God finally appears to Jerry, he appears as
    a kindly old man (George Burns). How else would
    Jerry be able to accept the almighty? God has some
    pretty good answers for everything. On creating the
    world he quips; "to tell you the truth I thought
    about it for 6 days and did the whole thing in 1".

    God wants Jerry to spread the word that the world
    can work with what God's given us. But Jerry finds
    that people are difficult to convert, and it is
    Jerry's faith that carries him through.
    How is the transfer?
    After giving a less than favorable review of the
    transfer of My Favorite Year (being released
    the same day), I was a little afraid that the transfer
    of "Oh, God!" would be less than spectacular.
    I became a little concerned when the opening
    credits appeared. These opening credits are the
    most god-awful (pardon the pun) credits I have ever
    seen. Knowing how bad Warner catalog opening credits
    usually look, I held in there until the last credit
    appeared. Afterwards, the transfer cleared up
    For the most part, the transfer looks quite good.
    Picture looks far more sharper than I had expected.
    Colors are very well pronounced, most strikingly
    in the reds of Bobbie's clothing, or the yellow
    of a cab that God is driving. You'll also notice
    vibrant colors everywhere inside the Supermarket
    where Jerry works.
    Where the transfer has the most problems is
    any scene dealing with a white background. This
    is most evident in chapter 3 when Jerry heads
    up to the 27th floor to meet God. In a room
    of total white, there is a rash of video noise
    that totally ruins the sequence.
    The mono sound is very clear and robust. I was
    surprised as to how bass heavy the soundtrack was,
    with the film's music producing nice low-end booms
    from my front speakers.
    Special Features
    A full-length audio commentary with Teri Garr,
    Director Carl Reiner, Writer Larry Gelbart and
    Producer Jerry Weintraub comes off being less
    exhilarating as I expected. Most of the time
    the three gentlemen are complimenting one another
    or quirping at how cute Teri Garr is and how so
    many people in the industry must have wanted to
    go out with her at the time. Among the many
    things discussed is the fact that Mel Brooks
    was originally cited to play God, with Woody
    Allen playing the non-believer. We also hear
    (among other things )about George Burn's toupee
    and how pipes installed in a high-rise car ceiling
    allowed the miracle of rain to suddenly appear.
    Although there is a Cast & Crew filmography,
    it is just George Burn's film career that can be
    highlighted. The rest is a simple listing of
    actors and crew.
    A simple one-pager Awards section lists
    the one WGA award the film received.
    Finally, trailers for Oh God; Oh God
    Book II
    and Oh, God You Devil! are
    included (but let's hope we are not subjected
    to the DVD release of these films anytime soon).
    Final Thoughts
    This is a movie that is hard to resist -- especially
    because George Burns shines as the perennial God, a
    role that he played so admirably. Out of his entire
    film career, this film was perhaps his most memorable.
    Purchase this DVD without second thought. I also
    warn you now -- skip the two sequels that followed it.
    Release Date: July 9th, 2002
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Aug 3, 2001
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    Good to know the transfer is better than My Favorite Year, even though I want that picture more than this one. But I still want it. Oh, and about the sequels:

  3. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

    Nov 1, 2001
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    Good review! This was IMHO a highly underrated film. It had a charm and a humor that you just don't find any more, and it brilliantly tackled the topic of God's existance without being preachy and without the over-glamorization of movies like "The Ten Commndments". This is not a movie that I'd watch over and over and over again, but I think I will still be adding it to my collection.
  4. Chris M

    Chris M Second Unit

    Apr 15, 2000
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    I'm not a religious person, but I remember this film from watching it on TV when I was younger, I remember loving it. I'll buy this definately!

    Thanks for the good review Ron!

  5. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

    May 28, 1999
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    I've wanted this film for years. A true must buy. And that preacher played by Paul Sorvino was on the money.
  6. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

    Feb 14, 2002
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    I love this one [​IMG] It addresses the topic of God and religion without preaching to non-believers and without disrespecting the faithful. And it's a wonderful family film, the kind you hardly see anymore.
  7. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

    Jun 17, 1999
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    I also enjoyed Oh God, You Devil, but don't remember the second film. I may pick this one up.
  8. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

    Apr 19, 2000
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    I just watched this DVD and happened to notice a new review of it on ANOTHER site. I won't name names, but it's about the most pathetic thing I've seen in a while. It's exceedingly clear the "reviewer" never actually watched the movie - he talks about how God is a New York cabbie! God drives a cab in one short scene, and the movie takes place in LA, a fact stated REPEATEDLY during the film - there's absolutely no way anyone could actually watch the flick and think it takes place in New York!

    Sorry to soapbox, but at least Ron actually WATCHED the DVD, unlike this other critic. And Ron nailed the quality of the disc as well, UNLIKE the other critic, who obviously made up 99% of his comments. I hate crap like that - it gives all of us a bad name...
  9. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

    Dec 28, 2001
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    >>I'm not a religious person, but I remember this film from watching it on TV when I was younger, I remember loving it. I'll buy this definately!>>
    Agreed. I celebrate Christmas, and Easter and all that, but other than that, I'm not a Church person, and DEFINETLY no Ned Flanders [​IMG]. But this is just a warm, fun, heartloving movie that it's tough not to pick it up.
    I remember after seeing it again, that I just had to write Goerge Burns for an auto and tell him how much I loved the movie still today. Sadly, As soon as I sent the photo out, he had his accident [​IMG].
    As for the sequals, I didn't care too much for the second one. I just thought it was a rehash of the fun original. But the third one was much more fun.

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