In God We Trust (1980)

PG | 97 mins | Comedy | 26 September 1980

Director:

Marty Feldman

Cinematographer:

Charles Correll

Editor:

David Blewitt

Production Designer:

Lawrence G. Paull

Production Company:

Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

The Summary for this unviewed film was based on reviews in the 26 Sep 1980 NYT and the 1 Oct 1980 Var. The credits are derived from official screen credits in AMPAS library files.
       Working titles for the film were In God We Tru$t, In God We Tru$t (or Gimme That Prime Time Religion) , and In God We Trust (or Gimme That Prime Time Religion).
       According to an article in the 8 Jul 1979 LAT, Marty Feldman co-wrote the screenplay, directed and starred in In God We Tru$t (Gimme That Prime Time Religion), filmed in the Los Angeles, CA, area with a budget in the $6 to $8 million range. Feldman’s wife, Lauretta, was the film’s associate producer. The 9 Apr 1979 HR reported principal photography was scheduled to begin 16 Apr 1979.
       An item in the 30 Jun 1980 DV announced that a La Jolla, CA, sneak preview of In God We Trust was successful and Universal Pictures planned to release the film in fall 1980. The 24 Sep 1980 HR reported the film would be released nationally 26 Sep 1980. The film opened to generally negative reviews, with both the NYT and Var noting that the film lacked comedy.
       An article in the 25 Mar 1982 HR reported that writers Mort Lachman and Ed Simmons lost their copyright infringement lawsuit against Universal Studios and Marty Feldman. Lachman and Simmons claimed that In God We Trust was plagiarized from their ... More Less

The Summary for this unviewed film was based on reviews in the 26 Sep 1980 NYT and the 1 Oct 1980 Var. The credits are derived from official screen credits in AMPAS library files.
       Working titles for the film were In God We Tru$t, In God We Tru$t (or Gimme That Prime Time Religion) , and In God We Trust (or Gimme That Prime Time Religion).
       According to an article in the 8 Jul 1979 LAT, Marty Feldman co-wrote the screenplay, directed and starred in In God We Tru$t (Gimme That Prime Time Religion), filmed in the Los Angeles, CA, area with a budget in the $6 to $8 million range. Feldman’s wife, Lauretta, was the film’s associate producer. The 9 Apr 1979 HR reported principal photography was scheduled to begin 16 Apr 1979.
       An item in the 30 Jun 1980 DV announced that a La Jolla, CA, sneak preview of In God We Trust was successful and Universal Pictures planned to release the film in fall 1980. The 24 Sep 1980 HR reported the film would be released nationally 26 Sep 1980. The film opened to generally negative reviews, with both the NYT and Var noting that the film lacked comedy.
       An article in the 25 Mar 1982 HR reported that writers Mort Lachman and Ed Simmons lost their copyright infringement lawsuit against Universal Studios and Marty Feldman. Lachman and Simmons claimed that In God We Trust was plagiarized from their 1971 script Albert, written for CBM Prods., based in Munich, Germany. CBM Prods. representatives testified that the production company owned the copyright on Albert, and therefore, Federal district Judge Cynthia Hall ruled that Lachman and Simmons did not prove their ownership of the Albert screenplay, which was the first requirement of a copyright infringement suit. A lawyer representing CBM Prods. stated the company might pursue their own copyright infringement lawsuit.
       Articles in the 10 Jun 1982 LAHExam and the 16 Jun 1982 Var reported that author Donald E. Westlake filed a $2.5 million plagiarism lawsuit against Universal Studios, claiming that In God We Trust was plagiarized from his 1975 novel Brothers Keepers. According to the suit, Universal Studios optioned Westlake’s book for one year on 1 Aug 1975, and extended the agreement for another year, but allowed the option to expire on 31 Jul 1977. The outcome of the lawsuit could not be determined as of Jun 2014. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Jun 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 1982.
---
LAHExam
10 Jun 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Jul 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Sep 1980
p. 8.
New York Times
26 Sep 1980
p. 8.
Variety
1 Oct 1980
p. 20.
Variety
16 Jun 1982.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Universal, an MCA Company, Presents
A Howard West/George Shapiro Production
A Marty Feldman Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Key grip
Still photog
VTR op
ART DIRECTORS
Prod Illustrator/Title Illumination
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Contributing ed
Contributing ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Leadman
Sculptor
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
MUSIC
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Re-rec
Sd eff created by
Sd eff created by
Boom man
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff
Matte photog
Spec eff
Titles & opt eff
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Unit pub
Craft service
Secy to Marty Feldman
Secy to prod
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Good For God," written and sung by Harry Nilsson.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
In God We Trust (or Gimme That Prime Time Religion)
In God We Tru$t
Release Date:
26 September 1980
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 26 September 1980
Production Date:
began 16 April 1979 in Los Angeles, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 October 1980
Copyright Number:
PA84965
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex camera by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
97
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The monks of the Trappist Order of St. Ambrose the Unlikely need money to pay their monastery’s mortgage. Brother Ambrose is sent to Los Angeles, California, to ask for financial assistance from Armageddon T. Thunderbird, a television evangelist at the Church of Divine Profit. During his journey, Brother Ambrose encounters a seedy preacher, Dr. Sebastian Melmoth, and a good-hearted prostitute, Mary. Thunderbird eventually partners with the innocent monk, but the unscrupulous evangelist works against him after Brother Ambrose wins over God, who is actually G.O.D., a computer. Brother Ambrose prevails over Thunderbird, redeems Melmoth and Mary, and saves the monastery. ... +


The monks of the Trappist Order of St. Ambrose the Unlikely need money to pay their monastery’s mortgage. Brother Ambrose is sent to Los Angeles, California, to ask for financial assistance from Armageddon T. Thunderbird, a television evangelist at the Church of Divine Profit. During his journey, Brother Ambrose encounters a seedy preacher, Dr. Sebastian Melmoth, and a good-hearted prostitute, Mary. Thunderbird eventually partners with the innocent monk, but the unscrupulous evangelist works against him after Brother Ambrose wins over God, who is actually G.O.D., a computer. Brother Ambrose prevails over Thunderbird, redeems Melmoth and Mary, and saves the monastery. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.