AMAZING GRACE (2019)

"Grace Will Lead Us Home"

NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

AMAZING GRACE is a long-lost documentary and concert film from 1972 featuring the incomparable Aretha Franklin singing Gospel songs while supported by members of her band and the Southern California Community Choir founded by gospel music legend, the Rev. James Cleveland. The music in AMAZING GRACE is soul-stirring and filled with strong Christian content, including favorite hymns like “Mary Don’t You Weep” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and, of course, Aretha Franklin’s powerful rendition of John Newton’s classic hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

Review:

AMAZING GRACE is a long-lost documentary and concert film from 1972 featuring the incomparable Aretha Franklin singing Gospel songs while supported by members of her band and the Southern California Community Choir founded by gospel music legend, the Rev. James Cleveland. The music in AMAZING GRACE is soul-stirring and filled with strong Christian content, including favorite hymns like “Mary Don’t You Weep” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and, of course, Aretha Franklin’s powerful rendition of John Newton’s classic hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

Filmed over two nights at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Los Angeles, the movie begins with Rev. Cleveland introducing Aretha, saying, “she can sing anything.” The rest of the movie aims to prove Rev. Cleveland’s high praise, and prove it it does.

On the first night, Miss Franklin begins with Marvin Gaye’s “Wholly Holy” and winds with “Amazing Grace.” In between are a version of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Precious Memories, and a wonderful version of “What a Friend We Have In Jesus,” with choir conductor Alexander Hamilton brilliantly leading his spirited choir members in the Southern California Community Choir in a vibrant backup of Aretha Franklin’s pure tones. Behind the choir is a starling mural of Jesus Christ just after John the Baptist has baptized Jesus in the River Jordan.

On the second night, Aretha starts with “Mary Don’t You Weep,” then Rev. Cleveland introduces Clara Wood, who comes down the aisle to sit in the audience and was one of Aretha’s major musical influences. Aretha’s father, the Rev. C. L. Franklin, is invited on the podium to say a few words about his daughter. Aretha listens respectfully and humbly, then finishes the concert with “Climbing Higher Mountains,” “God Will Take Care of You, and “Never Grow Old.”

During her performance, the Rev. Cleveland sits at the piano, and a couple other times, Aretha tickles the ivories. In both cases, neither she nor the good reverend skip a beat. At one point, Rev. Cleveland is so moved by Aretha’s performance that he just sits down and weeps into his handkerchief. At another point, during “Amazing Grace,” one of the male choir members just starts weeping himself.

AMAZING GRACE the movie preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ in several ways, from an evangelistic way that talks about salvation to a spiritually invigorating one that promises eternal life and fellowship with God. The lyrics inspire the crowd in the movie and the moviegoers watching the concert. However, it’s all tied together by Aretha Franklin’s pure mezzo-soprano dulcet tones. The choir is also marvelous. If you’re going to see one concert this year, see AMAZING GRACE, which showcases Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, at the peak of her powers. There’s no objectionable content. So, AMAZING GRACE is made for all ages.

An album was made during the concert and released later that year, and became the biggest selling gospel album of all time.

Content:

(CCC, BB, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:

Foul Language:
No foul language

Violence:
No violence

Sex:
No sex

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Nothing objectionable.

In Brief:

AMAZING GRACE is a long-lost documentary and concert film from 1972 featuring the incomparable Aretha Franklin singing Gospel songs. She’s supported by members of her band and the Southern California Community Choir founded by gospel music legend, the Rev. James Cleveland. The music in AMAZING GRACE is soul-stirring and filled with strong Christian content, including favorite hymns like “Mary Don’t You Weep,” “Never Grow Old,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and, of course, Aretha’s powerful rendition of John Newton’s classic hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

AMAZING GRACE the movie preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ in several ways, from an evangelistic way that talks about salvation to a spiritually invigorating one that promises eternal life and fellowship with God. The lyrics inspire the crowd in the movie and the moviegoers watching the concert. It’s all tied together by Aretha Franklin’s pure mezzo-soprano vocals. If you’re going to see one concert this year, see AMAZING GRACE, which showcases Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, at the peak of her powers. There’s no objectionable content. So, AMAZING GRACE is appropriate for all ages.

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