The World’s Greatest Sinner, 1962

Iconic character actor and inimitable personality Timothy Carey’s eccentrically flawed, indescribably lowbrow, and madly egocentric, yet indelible satire, The World’s Greatest Sinner, is a commendable exposition on opportunism, moral bankruptcy, and idolatry as a bored insurance salesman, Clarence Hilliard, re-invents himself as a youth attuned, hip-gyrating pop star in order to gain public exposure and build a constituency base for his political ministry. Renaming himself “God”, Hilliard’s decision to run as a presidential candidate under the unsubstantive, but universally appealing platform of personal empowerment and eternal life – and in the process, attract an ever-widening circle of fanatical followers – serves as a patently bizarre, deliriously kitschy, and idiosyncratically disjointed portrait on spiritual desolation, existential vacuity, and monomania as the once seemingly grounded Hilliard becomes estranged from his family and faith under the intoxicating, corrupting delusion of power.

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