Skip to comments.The Surprising Gimme Shelter: The Powerful Pro-Life film Hollywood tried to stop
Posted on 01/26/2014 6:12:25 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Gimme Shelter, a film with a powerful pro-life message that opened yesterday in theaters around the country, almost didnt make it to the screen; certain forces in Hollywood thought it might be a bit too influential. After all, this was no low-budget film with unknown actors and a hit-you-over-the-head faith message aimed primarily at churchgoers.
Instead, Gimme Shelter has big stars and an award-winning director who has created a film with enough power and subtlety to inspire a wide spectrum of Americans. And thats what made it so dangerous to the fanatically pro-abortion Hollywood crowd.
Its a miracle that this film is even being released, says director Ron Krauss, who has also directed films about disabilities and human trafficking. I cant tell you what I went through to get this film out. After shooting Gimme Shelter, I spent literally almost a year pushing and pushing people to get this movie out. A lot of people in Hollywood actually went out of their way to make sure this movie would not come out. People tried to pay me off and I just kept saying, No no no no no. And then I came across someone who was willing to help me.
Gimme Shelter, based on a true story, is about a pregnant teenager called Apple (played by Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame) who runs away from her abusive mother and prefers life on the street to living with a wealthy Wall Street father who wants her to have an abortion. After an accident in a stolen car, Apple lands in a hospital, where she encounters perhaps the first person who has ever really cared about her: Father Frank McCarthy (played by James Earl Jones). Father McCarthy convinces Apple to give a try to a shelter for pregnant teens. Here, she meets Kathy DiFiore, a devout Catholic who has run shelters for pregnant girls for 30 years. Apple is surrounded by other pregnant teens and by teen mothers who have recently given birth. Slowly, she begins to learn how to trust, and her new sisters become a much-loved family.
The take-away message: When you talk about choice, people of faith are the ones offering a real choice to some of the most desperate young mothers around those nobody else cares about.
The actors so believed in the project that they worked for little or no money, and the biggest stars Brendan Fraser, who plays Apples father, and James Earl Jones donated their salaries to the real-life shelters run by DiFiore, whose work has been honored by three presidents.
Krauss got the idea for Gimme Shelter while visiting his brother over the holidays a few years ago. One of DiFiores shelters was about a mile from his brothers house, and he decided to pay it a visit. I knocked on the door and introduced myself, and saw what was going on. I actually borrowed Kathys video camera and started interviewing the girls.
Krauss visited again and again, and one day he encountered a young girl who had walked about 25 miles to get there in freezing weather with no jacket. And she was three months pregnant. Learning that some 750,000 teenagers become pregnant each year, Krauss began to believe the issue needed to be addressed in a way that would get the publics attention. After making a documentary, he set to work on a feature film.
When Brendan Fraser, whom Krauss calls a person of faith, said he wanted to play Apples father, I was taken aback, Krauss says, because he was a big actor, and I didnt really expect to have big actors in this movie. And James Earl Jones actually studied to be a priest when he was younger, and he understands a lot about racism, and about compassion and healing and faith. Rosario Dawson, who plays Apples junkie mother, grew up in poverty, and many of the actresses who play the teen mothers were actually shelter moms, Krauss tells me, so it really had an authentic cast, whose motivation was not about money, but about getting an authentic message out.
Except it almost didnt get out. Krauss maintains that the hostility directed toward Gimme Shelter was even harsher than that directed toward Mel Gibsons The Passion of the Christ because this film really connects with people. Hollywood, he notes, doesnt care about most of the films Christians make because they tend to be a bit amateurish and formulaic the actings not so great and the message is overdone and they are only going to reach a faith audience. By contrast, says Krauss, I set out to make a film about life that was realistic. People get into bad situations, and then their faith shows up.
Anne Morse is a senior writer for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.
Lemmie guess which presidents did NOT honor her work...
Praying for this movie to be successful! I believe pro-choice should instead be called selfish- choice or anti-life: it is a selfish act against life. So glad to see that there are big-name actors in this movie. Perhaps the movie will help some women choose life for their unborn babies.
I’d like to see this movie. The San Francisco Chronicle refused to give it a review, so it must be good.
"Pro-choice": the position so wonderful that it hides itself behind a euphemism.
RE: Id like to see this movie. The San Francisco Chronicle refused to give it a review, so it must be good.
Here’s a good review:
Gimme Shelter’ Review: An Emotional, Pro-Life Story That Shows Christian Charity
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Awesome and worth spending the obnoxious movie ticket price to make it a hit.
How about Boys Town? That’s now a euphemism for homosexuality.
The critics are working overtime to bury it:
23% rating there among the critics, but 75% of movie-goers liked it and rated it 4/5 on average.
Look, I hate to say this, but those who use the term "pro-choice" are largely women who believe that since social mores have forced the average woman's legs to be permanently pried open (in a manner of speaking), then this is the only "choice" left to her.
I think that deep down inside, these women, without even being aware of it, desperately wish they had some other choice.
Well the Conservatives stayed home. The movie ranked number 22 and didn’t even make 1 million dollars. It made just over 700K. I can see why Hollywood refuses to make these type of movies. Not even conservatives attend.
Of course, Norma was not seeking an abortion, she moved from being a part of the pro-abortion movement to making penance for being the Roe of Roe v. Wade
I have met her personally several times since then (Norma). She remembered me at the last occasion in 2005.
The aspect of the book (Won by Love) that mirrors Gimme Shelter is that the world outside of Prolife folks can be very ugly. This is in contrast to how prolifers treat people.
Why do I say this? The first time I met Norma McCorvey she came up to me and hugged me. I was in the Operation Rescue office in Dallas that was side by side with the abortion clinic that Norma was working in. I came to the office because I had written a prolife song to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic... Not to meet Norma... It was someone in the office (Rhonda -- a key person in the book Won by Love) who told that it was Norma McCorvey who had just hugged me...