I learned something new about the Pollyanna movie

Today my mother requested that I drive my little brothers to the library and that I wait there with one of them for an hour. I pulled out my computer and decided to read a sermon called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” which was written by Jonathon Edwards because Mark Driscoll stated explicitly in his blog that Jonathon Edwards is the “greatest theologian that America ever produced” because of the aforementioned sermon which Mark Driscoll described as “America’s most famous sermon.” I.e. I decided to read America’s most famous sermon because I had never read it before.

I read the first twelve or so pages (of eighteen in the format that I found first) before I had to drive my brother to another location. When I returned I decided to find the first sermon scene in the pollyanna movie because I was reminded of it by my earlier reading. As I watched it, I decided that sermon therin had obviously been taken from “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” I got on the internet and found it to be so.

So I just realized that the first sermon in the Pollyanna movie is really not as bad as the movie tries to make it out to be. It is just incomplete, i.e. just about all of the content of the Pollyanna sermon is contained in the first 12 pages of the “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” sermon and it ends with “Yes, death comes unexpectantly! Amen.” and says absolutely nothing about Jesus or anything that he did or does. So it is a good 90% of a sermon, but makes people uselessly miserable. At the end of the movie, all of the sermons are preached exclusively from the happy texts and are even more useless than those previous. If you are at all interested in knowing why both of these components are required in these proportions, I recommend reading or listening to Hell’s Best Kept Secret.

I guess I do find it interesting that Disney made money off of making fun of America’s most famous sermon way back in the sixties when it was supposed to be so clean and moral.


2 Responses to “I learned something new about the Pollyanna movie”

  1. Anonymous Says:


    I got your Blog from Dale, who was MY pastor from 1978 to 1984 or so; he married my wife Jackie and I.

    While Hollywood likes to play fast and loose with the facts and edit for their own good, I wanted to mention that the Pollyanna movie is from the late 1950’s (not the 60’s) and that the book “Pollyanna” is far, far better than the movie. Read it sometime when you can, it’s available free, online from Project Gutenberg.

    As for editing-out the grace and mercy of ‘an angry God’, well, that’s just like Hollywood, isn’t it?


  2. Joshua Says:

    Hello Tony. Thank you for introducing yourself. I hope that you find Dale’s sermons listenable from a technical standpoint.

    I just looked at the Disney web site and at IMDb which both indicate that Pollyanna is from 1960. If you have a citation stating otherwise, I’ll be happy to look at it.

    I just finished reading the Pollyanna book in pdf format from that same source. I did so because I wanted to know what kind of liberties Disney took with the movie.

    Do you know whether the sequel (Pollyanna grows up) is worth reading?

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