By Renee Longstreet,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Warmhearted '70s comic fantasy has positive messages.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Simple messages work for any belief system: The world has everything in it to provide full, good lives for everyone; it's up to the people who live there to make it work. And, if help is needed, they must turn to each other. Key decisions must be made: Choose cherishing and nurturing the planet and each other instead of killing and ruining the earth.
Positive Role Models
Jerry Landers is a truly good man. He is ethical, honest, compassionate, and loving. By the film's end, his simple goodness has enabled him to reestablish a moral compass for all who will listen. The comic-fantasy character of "God" is straightforward and delivers messages that inspire good works, faith in the future, and personal responsibility. A parody of corrupt, self-aggrandizing religious opportunists is very funny but succeeds in making a point as well. The featured woman functions as "supportive wife," and there is little ethnic diversity, even among the background players.
Violence & Scariness
Security guards grab hero in a church service and carry him out of the room.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Married couple cuddles in bed. Comic scene shows hero passing a couple embracing in a supermarket; her skirt is up. Female lead appears in skimpy clothing (babydoll PJs, a slip). Man is shown getting out of the shower, naked from waist up until he puts a towel on, and is embarrassed by his nakedness. A mention of menopause.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Hell," "crapshoot," "humping the checkout girls."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Coca-Cola and some TV stations.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two scenes show hero drinking a beer.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Oh, God! is a comic fantasy in which the Almighty, disappointed with the way things are going, travels to Earth in the guise of a human to deliver his most important messages. He chooses a nonbeliever, an ordinary man to carry those precepts to the world. The teachings are "faith-based," not preaching any particular belief system, but hoping to inspire responsibility, compassion, and care for the earth and one another. The movie asserts only that there is one Creator (in this case, a whimsical and funny one) and that it's entirely up to the world's inhabitants to take advantage of everything he has put in place for them. Fine for kids and families who can accept this lighthearted approach to faith and who will appreciate the honesty and value of the ideas it presents. Profanity includes "hell," "crapshoot," "humping the checkout girls." There's some minor sexual content (skimpy nightgown, man getting out of shower naked from the waist up).
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 2 parent reviews
Depends entirely on your tolerance for the humor; very little inoffensive content
Report this review
Oh, God, what a fantastic insightful cinematic gem.
Report this review
What's the Story?
What a shock to innocent Jerry Landers' (John Denver) sensibilities when he encounters the voice of someone who claims to be God coming through his car radio's speakers in OH, GOD! It isn't until "God" (George Burns) makes it rain inside the car that Jerry has to acknowledge that there may be some truth to what the voice has told him. And when God, with a no-frills business card, appears in the passenger seat (a little old man in a plaid shirt and a cap), Jerry is sufficiently astounded. It takes a while, but Jerry can deny the truth no longer. God explains himself: He's come to Jerry for a very big favor. He wants this very ordinary, but very good, young family man to spread his message throughout the world. Jerry's clueless: How's he supposed to do that? Who's going to believe him? With only a sprinkling of advice and a few small miracles, God will be Jerry's guide, helping him convince his incredulous wife, a disbelieving media, a coalition of religious experts, and just plain folks that he exists -- and, most importantly, all who need to appreciate that God gave them everything they'd ever need to make life work. It's simply up to them to see it through.
Is It Any Good?
This ultimate "what if?" movie is a small comic gem pitting 80-year-old George Burns, playing his version of God, against a world that seems to have forgotten its own simplicity. The film doesn't ask its audience to believe in a supreme being; it only wants to urge the audience to pretend for a moment that there is one. Of course, a few of the jokes and cultural references are dated since the film was made in 1977, but just as many are spot on for 21st-century tastes. It's uncanny how in 1977, the planet, at the hands of its human residents, was known to be an endangered species, and the idea is still controversial. Paul Sorvino's over-the-top parody of a mega-church pastor is particularly hilarious and will resonate as well. George Burns had a career spanning 75 years -- from vaudeville to radio to television and movies. Oh, God! is a wonderful introduction for new audiences to this unique entertainer. An original, warmhearted movie with wonderful messages for families.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the fact that though this is a comedy, the messages are heartfelt and valuable. It was released in 1977; which of the ideals is still relevant? Do you agree with the notion "We've been given everything we need. Now it's up to us to make the world work"?
This movie has been described as "comedy," "fantasy," and "science fiction." Which of these genres fits best? How do the three work together to create something entirely original?
What is a parody? Which character in Oh, God! is a parody? What do the writing and the actor's performance tell you about the filmmakers' attitude toward this character?
- In theaters: October 7, 1977
- On DVD or streaming: July 2, 2002
- Cast: George Burns, John Denver, Teri Garr
- Director: Carl Reiner
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: March 30, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Best Family Comedy Movies
Best Classic Comedy Films
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate