Gentleman's Agreement

Gentleman's Agreement

4.3 8
Director: Elia Kazan

Cast: Elia Kazan, Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield

     
 

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Adapted by Moss Hart from the novel by Laura Z. Hobson, this film stars Gregory Peck as recently widowed journalist Phil Green. With a growing son (Dean Stockwell) to support, Green is receptive to the invitation of magazine publisher John Minify (Albert Dekker) to write a series of hard-hitting articles on the scourge of anti-Semitism. In order to glean his… See more details below

Overview

Adapted by Moss Hart from the novel by Laura Z. Hobson, this film stars Gregory Peck as recently widowed journalist Phil Green. With a growing son (Dean Stockwell) to support, Green is receptive to the invitation of magazine publisher John Minify (Albert Dekker) to write a series of hard-hitting articles on the scourge of anti-Semitism. In order to glean his information first hand, Green decides to pose as a Jew. As the weeks go by, Green experiences all manner of prejudice, the most insidious being the subtle, "gentleman's agreement" form of bigotry wherein anti-Jewish sentiments are merely taken for granted. Green's pose takes a toll on his budding romance with Minify's niece Kathy (Dorothy McGuire), who comes to realize by her own example that even those who insist that they harbor no anti-Semitic feelings are also capable of prejudice. Watching from the sidelines is Green's lifelong Jewish friend Dave (John Garfield, in what may be his best performance), who despite his inherent rage over the iniquities of racism has learned to be philosophical about the failings of his fellow man-but not to the extent that he's willing to give up the fight against blind hatred. Though warned by several Jewish film moguls that to produce the film would merely "make trouble," 20th Century-Fox chieftan Daryl F. Zanuck (who was not himself Jewish) saw the project through to its conclusion. The wisdom of Zanuck's decision was proven when Gentleman's Agreement not only made a fortune for Fox, but also won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Elia Kazan) and Best Supporting Actress (Celeste Holm).

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Gentleman's Agreement is more interesting in historical perspective than for the qualities it places on the screen. Before World War II, there was an unspoken rule in Hollywood that anti-Semitism could only be hinted at or passingly referred to, even when the film was about an act of anti-Semitism. For example, watch the 1937 Oscar-winning Best Picture The Life of Emile Zola and see if you would notice that Captain Dreyfus, the French soldier who is wrongfully convicted, is Jewish. Gentleman's Agreement broke the barrier and allowed films to admit that racial and ethnic prejudice is more active in our society than we may want to admit. Most likely because it was breaking new ground with small, careful, deliberate steps, Gentleman's Agreement does not play as well nowadays. The characters are one-dimensional and do the sorts of things that you could easily predict that they would do. On the plus side, the performances within those one-dimensional characters are quite good, especially those of Gregory Peck and Celeste Holm, who won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. While Hollywood would go on to make better and more insightful movies about anti-Semitism, Gentleman's Agreement is important for daring to tackle the subject first. It is a solidly made, well-crafted film, and if it seems tame or weak by today's standards, then that is because we, both as a society and as individuals, know and understand much more today than we did in 1947.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/15/2013
UPC:
0024543838678
Original Release:
1947
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:58:00
Sales rank:
36,401

Special Features

Commentary by June Havoc, Richard Schickel and Celeste Holm; Hollywood backstories: "Gentleman's Agreement"; 2 Fox movietonews reels; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gregory Peck Phil Green
Dorothy McGuire Kathy Lacey
John Garfield Dave Goldman
Celeste Holm Anne Dettrey
June Havoc Miss Wales
Dean Stockwell Tommy Green
Wilton Graff Maitre d'
Anne Revere Mrs. Green
Albert Dekker John Minify
Sam Jaffe Prof. Lieberman
Curt Conway Bert McAnny
Morgan Farley Clerk
Nicholas Joy Dr. Craigle
Victor Kilian Olsen
Kathleen Lockhart Mrs. Minify
Louise Lorimer Miss Miller
Howard Negley Tingler
John Newland Bill
Roy Roberts Mr. Calkins, Hotel Manager
Ransom Sherman Bill Payson
Harold Vermilyea Jordan, Personnel Manager
Robert Warwick Weisman
Frank Wilcox Harry
Jane Wyatt Jane Lacey
Olive Deering Actor
Virginia Gregg 3rd Woman
Gene Nelson 2nd Ex-G.I
Jesse White Elevator Starter
Robert Karnes 1st Ex-GI in restaurant
Marion Marshall Guest
Mauritz Hugo Columnist
Olive Carey 1st woman
Jane Green 2nd woman
Marilyn Monk Receptionist

Technical Credits
Elia Kazan Director
Moss Hart Screenwriter
Harmon Jones Editor
Mark-Lee Kirk Art Director
Arthur C. Miller Cinematographer
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer

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