April 30, 1990 12:00 PM

NBC (Sun., April 29, 9 P.M. ET)


Bernadette Peters and Kevin Spacey star as disgraced evangelists Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker. Spacey gives a wonderfully tempered performance as a venal hypocrite, couching his spiraling voluptuary’s greed in piety. He has got the revivalist preacher’s delivery down cold. In the movie Bakker exhibits a strange obsession: continually dictating trivial memos into his hand-held tape recorder.

Peters’s mascaraholic Tammy is grasping and trashy, but spirited and oddly sympathetic. Richard Paul also has a marvelous turn as the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Director Karen Arthur molds the story into obvious but wonderfully garish TV, like a corn-pone Citizen Kane. The best line comes as the couple is running into the Reagan inauguration party in 1980, with Tammy squealing, “I want to see what Nancy’s wearing.”

You May Like