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SOUTHERN GOSPEL

"Never Surrender a Righteous Dream"

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What You Need To Know:

SOUTHERN GOSPEL is a Christian film based on true events in the life of Sam Allen, a 1960s rockstar. Sam is the young son of a popular preacher, who pastors an evangelical church but also encourages Sam’s budding talents as a singer and guitarist. When Sam witnesses the tragic death of a friend, the harsh blame he receives for her death drives him to leave his faith and start a life of debauchery. A tragic car accident caused by intoxicated driving gives Sam a wake-up call. Can he make a lasting change?

SOUTHERN GOSPEL is packed with strong performances and good music on both the secular and religious fronts. It has a moving script and solid direction. SOUTHERN GOSPEL also has a strong Christian, Biblical worldview, with a heartfelt message of redemption and forgiveness. However, it does have some foul language, three intense bursts of violence and references to substance abuse. So, the movie isn’t suitable for young children. Yet, SOUTHERN GOSPEL tells a strong story of a prodigal son who begins to see the real light of Christ again.

Content:

(CCC, BBB, LL, VV, S, AA, DD, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian, biblical worldview about the son of a preacher who falls away from his faith but returns, only to face some other obstacles he must overcome, with help from his wife

Foul Language:
Eight obscenities (Mostly “h’ and “d” words) and four light profanities

Violence:
Some intense and light violence includes a man puts a shotgun up to his chin and fires offscreen to commit suicide (a big blood stain is shown under sheets on a gurney when the body is taken away), a teenage boy is slapped hard by a cop and has a bucket of water dumped on him, a teenage girl is slapped hard by her father and this results in a bloody lip, an angry man grabs his gun and appears out for revenge but doesn’t pull gun out during confrontation and winds up forgiving the other man, a serious car crash sends a car up in flames and severely burns one man and kills the drunk and high driver, a teenage girl drowns and her dead body is washed away by a strong river current

Sex:
A man calls a prostitute to his hotel room but decides not to go through with it because he says he’s a changed man (Christian), but pays her some money for the hassle, and a woman discusses her father sexually assaulting her as a child and the devastating impact it has had on her

Nudity:
None

Alcohol Use:
A few scenes showing drunkenness and drinking such as a man in multiple scenes swigs alcohol from a flask, a man drives heavily under the influence of drugs and alcohol, causing a serious car crash that kills him and burns another man who survives, and a woman drinks a glass of wine casually at dinner

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
A man says he used cocaine regularly, another man smokes a marijuana cigarette while drunk driving (resulting in a serious crash that kills him and burns another), and a pill bottle is seen in background next to a glass of wine as a woman is shown in severe depression over being sexually assaulted as a child by her father;

Miscellaneous Immorality:
A legalistic religious leader shows contempt for the main character, a reformed rock and roller turned pastor, and tries at every turn to sabotage him, the leader ultimately hires a detective to follow him and take pictures of him, but the leader ultimately changes and saves the pastor’s career, putting him in a much greater position than before, and a tragedy leaves a teenage boy to face such harsh criticism that he abandons his Christian faith and becomes a partying rock and roller, but he eventually returns to faith.

More Detail:

SOUTHERN GOSPEL is a Christian-themed drama based on true events in the life of a 1960s rockstar and preacher’s son who falls away from his faith until a car accident puts him back on the road to redemption. SOUTHERN GOSPEL is packed with strong performances, good music on both the secular and religious fronts, a terrifically moving script, and solid direction and has a strong Christian worldview with a heartfelt message about redemption and forgiveness, but there is some foul language, violence and references to substance abuse and other sins.

The movie begins with Sam who is the young son of Joe Allen, a popular preacher (Gary Weeks), who pastors a strict evangelical church but also encourages Sam’s budding talents as a singer and guitarist. When Sam witnesses the tragic death of a friend, the harsh blame he receives from people in the church drives him to leave his faith behind and start a life of (almost entirely off-screen) debauchery.

Sam’s rock band becomes successful, but he himself gets addicted to drugs. A tragic car accident caused by a DUI kills the drummer in the band and leaves his best friend and bandmate, Barry (J. Alphonse Nicholson), burned and unable to play bass. A judge dismisses drug charges against Sam if he speaks to local churches and schools about the dangers of drugs. So, Sam must decide if this is a wake-up call to turn away from his life of sin and get saved.

Eventually, Sam’s combination of music and testimony to churches results in him being given a surprise offer to become the pastor in his father’s denomination. However, a church overseer named T.L. Whittmore, who travels around to give critiques of churches in his jurisdiction, jealously hates Sam and tries to sabotage him at every turn. Meanwhile, Sam’s wife Julie is a bedrock of support for him until she reveals a childhood tragedy that sends her into a serious depression, while Sam faces his own dark night of the soul.

Can Sam and Julie overcome their demons? Can Sam save his pastorship?

SOUTHERN GOSPEL has a strong Christian, Biblical worldview, with a heartfelt message of redemption and forgiveness. However, it has some foul language and other mature content. For example, there are three brief bursts of violence – two harsh hand slaps to faces and a fiery car crash, and a man grabs a gun with the intent of shooting another man before forgiving him – that might shake up some viewers momentarily. The movie also has depictions of drunkenness and a resulting DUI disaster, a prostitute that a newly Christian character calls amid temptation but turns away, and discussion, and a marijuana cigarette smoked in a negatively portrayed manner by a drunk driver.

Writer-Director Jeffrey A. Smith makes a highly impressive debut feature film here. The performances in SOUTHERN GOSPEL are all great, with a deep bench of young talent who are poised to gain great mainstream success as well. The original rock and spiritual songs are top-quality and believably popular, which is also a rare for any movie.

SOUTHERN GOSPEL is a strong tale of a fallen Christian who goes through a prolonged period of moral failings that only brings him sadness, before seeing the real light of Christ again. As such, it’s part of a movie that adults will enjoy with a bit of caution. It is not suitable for young children, however.

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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