John Wesley

Theatrical Release: June 15, 1991
DVD Release: June 15, 1991
John Wesley


A re-release of the J. Arthur Rank historical classic made in 1954. This cinema drama follows the life of John Wesley from when he was saved out of a burning house as a child and thereby marked for life as a “brand from the burning.” His Oxford days, a disastrous mission to America, his decisive Aldersgate experience, his bringing the Gospel into the daily lives of alienated masses, the founding of Methodism, and his astounding role in raising the moral and religious climate in 18th-century England, and much more are set forth with careful dependence on historical sources.

Dove Review

“John Wesley” is a fitting tribute to the founder of Methodism who was a shining example of a life well lived in service to others. Leonard Sachs gives a touching and sensitive portrayal of Wesley, a man who struggled with his understanding of Scripture until he saw that it was through faith in what Christ had accomplished—not by works—that man was and is redeemed. He learned what his father meant about the “inward witness.”

The film portrays Wesley’s learning of Scripture as a young boy, his close call with death when he was rescued from a fire in the family home, his preaching, and the persecution he endured for his message of faith. The film also depicts the lives he touched and how he stood against complacency in the church, as well as the books he published. We are pleased to award this earnest and uplifting film our “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages 12 plus. “John Wesley” the film is a powerful tribute to John Wesley the man.

Content Description

Sex: None
Language: Fool-1; Riff raff-1.
Violence: Family's crops destroyed by others and their home set on fire; wounds seen on man that he says came from violent Indians; man robs another with pistol but it's said he later repented; boy burned and it's hinted his employer at the bank might have done it.
Drugs: Tavern scene and several mentions of people drinking and getting drunk; comment about imported liquor; Wesley writes a sermon for the "drunkards;" sign about drinking and being drunk.
Nudity: None
Other: Persecution of some characters; man about to be hanged fears damnation, but looks to the Christ that Wesley told him about; disagreements between a few characters.


Company: Gateway Films / Vision Video
Director: Norman Walker
Producer: Clifford Jeapes
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 73 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter