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By Doug Brunell | January 8, 2004

At last, a film that finally teams up con artists with door-to-door religious pitchmen, and it’s hard to figure out just who is pulling the biggest scam!
“Small-Time Saints” is all about Oliver (Jeremy Rowley) and his attempts to get people to take a copy of the Book of Mormon. Joining him on his hapless quest is his brother Levi (Duncan Riley). Levi is more concerned with slinging slang and smokin’ than he is pushing God. It’s a frustrating life, but the boys soon meet Kit (Michael A. Shepperd), who is soliciting donations for some charitable auction. Kit is a con man, though, and his bible is “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Oliver needs a few pointers from Kit, and Kit likes having the boys along, so you expect some lessons in morality to be learned. There are, but not the clichéd ones we’ve all come to fear from these kinds of comedies.
The only fault one can find with this movie is that it is far too short. In this narrow time frame, however, directors Rob Butler and Jon Humphreys manage to squeeze in more characterization and clever laughs than other directors do in most full-length monstrosities. There is so much good material here that this almost seems like a teaser. I want to know more about Oliver, Levi and Kit. I want to learn the story behind the tap dancing thug of a man. Someone needs to get some wealthy nut on the phone and tell him to throw some money at these guys. (Or they could follow Kit’s lead and get some big “donations” in order to fund a feature-length film. Now that would be a scam worth running.)

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