Friendly Persuasion

( 4 )

Overview

Adapted from the best-selling novel by Jessamyn West, Friendly Persuasion is set in Southern Indiana in the early days of the Civil War. Gary Cooper plays Jess Birdwell, patriarch of a Quaker family which does not believe in warfare. Birdwell's son Josh Anthony Perkins wishes to adhere to his family's pacifism, but is afraid that if he doesn't sign up for military service, he'll prove to be a coward. Josh joins the Home Guard, which disturbs his mother Eliza Dorothy McGuire. But Jess Birdwell realizes that his ...
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Overview

Adapted from the best-selling novel by Jessamyn West, Friendly Persuasion is set in Southern Indiana in the early days of the Civil War. Gary Cooper plays Jess Birdwell, patriarch of a Quaker family which does not believe in warfare. Birdwell's son Josh Anthony Perkins wishes to adhere to his family's pacifism, but is afraid that if he doesn't sign up for military service, he'll prove to be a coward. Josh joins the Home Guard, which disturbs his mother Eliza Dorothy McGuire. But Jess Birdwell realizes that his son must follow the dictates of his own conscience. Josh proves his courage to himself when he is wounded during a Rebel raid, while the elder Birdwell is able to stay faithful to his religious calling by not killing a Southern soldier when given both a chance and a good reason to do so. Allegedly, writer Jessamyn West nearly scotched her deal with producer/director William Wyler and distributor Allied Artists when Gary Cooper, taking his fans into consideration, insisted upon including a scene in which he forsakes his pacifism and takes arms against the Rebels. If true, then wiser heads prevailed, since no such scene exists in the final release print. Though uncredited due to his status as a blacklistee, Michael Wilson wrote the screenplay for Friendly Persuasion--and even won an Oscar nomination. Also nominated was the film's chart-busting theme song, "Thee I Love" by Dmitri Tiomkin and Paul Francis Webster. The story was remade as a 2-hour TV pilot film in 1975.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Friendly Persuasion is a charming, sensitive tale of a family of Quakers that attempts to maintain their pacifist ideals amid the turmoil of the U.S. Civil War. Best-known for playing quiet, understated characters who use violence when pushed too far, Gary Cooper gets the opportunity to explore a more peaceful resolution -- though the film occasionally suggests that no person can be completely pacifistic. The tech credits are solid, as should be expected for a film directed by William Wyler; of particular note are Dimitri Tiomkin's score and Dorothy Jeakins's costume design. Though the film tends to exaggerate Quaker speech, the performances are convincing, and the screenplay (by blacklisted Michael Wilson) does a good job of transferring Jessamyn West's story to the screen. The film received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, though it did not win in any category.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/13/1998
  • UPC: 085391669333
  • Original Release: 1956
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Presentation: Remastered
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Cooper Jess Birdwell
Dorothy McGuire Eliza Birdwell
Anthony Perkins Josh Birdwell
Marjorie Main Widow Hudspeth
Robert Middleton Sam Jordan
Richard Eyer Little Jess
Phyllis Love Mattie Birdwell
Mark Richman Gard Jordan
Walter Catlett Prof. Waldo Quigley
Richard Hale Elder Purdy
Joel Fluellen Enoch
Theodore Newton Army Major
John Smith Caleb
Mary Carr Emma, Quaker Woman
Edna Skinner Widow Hudspeth's Daughter
Marjorie Durant Widow Hudspeth's Daughter
Russell Simpson Elder
Charles Halton Elder
Everett Glass Elder
James Anderson Poor Loser
Chuck Courtney Reb Courier
Harry Hines Barker
Earl Hodgins Shooting Gallery Operator
Donald Kerr Manager
Norman Leavitt Clem
John M. Pickard Ex-Sergeant
Ivan Rasputin Billy Goat
Henry Rowland O'Hara
Joe Turkel
Steve Warren Haskell
John Parker Compton Rebel Lieutenant
John Craven Leader
James Dobson Rebel Soldier
Richard Garland Bushwhacker
Jean Innes Mrs. Purdy
Tom Irish Young Rebel
Mary Jackson Country Woman
Frank Jenks Shell Game Man
Diane Jergens Young Girl Elizabeth
Helen Kleeb Old Lady
Nelson Leigh Minister
Ralph Sanford Businessman
William Schallert Young Husband
James Seay Rebel Captain
Frank S. Hagney Lemonade Vendor
Technical Credits
William Wyler Director, Producer
Robert Belcher Editor
Edward A. Biery Editor
Ellsworth Fredericks Cinematographer
Gordon R. Glennan Sound/Sound Designer
Edward S. Haworth Art Director
Bert Henrikson Costumes/Costume Designer
Dorothy Jeakins Costumes/Costume Designer
Austen Jewell Asst. Director
Joe Kish Set Decoration/Design
Emile LaVigne Makeup
Augie Lohman Special Effects
Robert Swink Editor
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer
Paul Webster Songwriter
Jessamyn West Consultant/advisor
Michael Wilson Screenwriter
Robert Wyler Associate Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful!!!!

    I'm sorry to see the first review. My copy of this DVD is perfect, no problems whatsoever.
    This is a charming clean movie that men and women alike will enjoy....my all time favorite. Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire are magic in this one. The rest of the cast including Anthony Perkins are wonderful also. Full of laugh out loud humor with serious historic undertones, love, action, and thought provoking dialogue. You won't be disappointed and will cherish it as part of your DVD collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A friendly caution for thee

    Friendly Persuasion has always been one of my favorites. I have had a VHS version for sometime and play it every other year or so, I don't want to ware it out. The movie is filled with humor, romance, adventure and is a sure hit with any member of the family. The DVD version is, as far as I can tell, an unabridged version of the original and it is in wide screen. The video quality is outstanding, even on my older 27 inch reciever. Unfortunately, the sound tract is botched! The sound wavers like the film can't get up to steady speed. The voice dialog does not seem to be affected, however, Pat Boone's golden redition of Friendly Persuasion is definately a disaster. Other parts of the musical score exhibit the same problem. If the sound track was right, I would give two more stars to this DVD's rating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews