Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker story was a "natural" for TV-movie adaptation, and Fall From Grace more than fills the bill. Bernadette Peters heaps on makeup by the trowel as Tammy Faye, the wife of televangelist Jim Bakker (here played with boyish fanaticism by Kevin Spacey). The Bakkers build up their "PTL" organization ("Praise the Lord") into a massive empire encompassing millions of dollars in donations, a cable-TV network, valuable land holdings and a garish religious theme park, Heritage USA. A North Carolina newspaper rocks the boat by investigating inequities in the Bakkers' financial setup. The whole enterprise falls apart when it's discovered that Jim has siphoned off funds to cover up an extramarital affair. Telecast in the spring of 1990 to coincide with the beginning of Jim Bakker's long, long prison sentence, Fall From Grace tries to be fair...for at least fifteen minutes.
televangelism, extramarital-affair, born-again, business-ethics, makeup