The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

( 3 )

Overview

This meticulous and unusually long cinemadaptation of Sloan Wilson's best-selling novel The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit stars Gregory Peck as an ex-army officer, pursuing a living as a TV writer in the postwar years. Hired by a major broadcasting network, Peck is assigned to write speeches for the network's president Fredric March. Peck comes to realize that the president's success has come at the expense of personal happiness, and this leads Peck to ruminate on his own life. Extended flashbacks reveal that Peck...
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Overview

This meticulous and unusually long cinemadaptation of Sloan Wilson's best-selling novel The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit stars Gregory Peck as an ex-army officer, pursuing a living as a TV writer in the postwar years. Hired by a major broadcasting network, Peck is assigned to write speeches for the network's president Fredric March. Peck comes to realize that the president's success has come at the expense of personal happiness, and this leads Peck to ruminate on his own life. Extended flashbacks reveal that Peck had experienced a torrid wartime romance with Italian girl Marisa Pavan, a union that produced a child. Peck is torn between his responsibility to his illegitimate son and his current obligations towards his wife Jennifer Jones, his children, and his employer. Among the many life-altering decisions made by Peck before the fade-out is his determination to seek out a job that will allow him to spend more time with his family, even if it means a severe cut in salary. The superb hand-picked supporting cast of The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit includes Ann Harding as March's wife, Keenan Wynn as the man who informs Peck that he'd fathered an Italian child, Henry Daniell as a detached executive, and an unbilled DeForrest Kelley as an army medic who gets to say "He's dead, captain"!
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Sloan Wilson’s bestselling novel about a Madison Avenue advertising executive searching for meaning in his life certainly inspired writer-director Nunnally Johnson, whose 1956 film adaptation actually improves upon the source material. Gregory Peck, who was always best in roles that reflected his socially conscious views, nailed the characterization of a hard-charging professional forced to reevaluate his priorities and choose between business success and the happiness of his family. A strong subplot, involving the married adman’s illicit affair with an Italian beauty during his combat service in WWII, gives costar Jennifer Jones ample opportunity to shine as the wounded wife tempted to leave her husband when she learns that he has an illegitimate child living in Italy. Reserved, perhaps even repressed, Jones’s wife is the classic '50s suburban homemaker, and her palpable heartbreak makes this element of the film especially moving. Marisa Pavan is enormously appealing as the object of Peck’s marital transgression. In the Madison Ave. part of the story, Fredric March excels as the dynamic broadcasting tycoon whose approval is highly coveted by Peck’s character and his co-workers. Although the 1950s was a period in which Hollywood generally reinforced traditional values, filmmakers occasionally dared to make movies that suggested the American Dream wasn’t always what it was cracked up to be. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit took the subject head-on, and in so doing became one of the decade’s most memorable pictures.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
If the passage of time has blunted the edge of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, it still holds more than enough rewards to bear watching. Chief among these is Gregory Peck's sterling performance in the title role. Peck was a tremendous talent but in some ways limited; there was a stolidness, sometimes a stodginess to his persona that got in the way of making him totally believable when he tried to stretch himself too much. That's not a problem here, as the role fits him as if it had been tailor-made for him. Peck's particular brilliance lies in the quiet strength that is so much a part of him and the way in which he uses subtle changes in that quietness to signal mammoth emotions. He's given ample opportunity to do so here, and the results are enthralling. Although co-star Jennifer Jones is disappointing (a fact that mars the effectiveness of the film), he gets extremely solid support from Marisa Pavan, Fredric March, Lee J. Cobb, Keenan Wynn, and just about everyone else in the film. (There's particularly fine work from Ann Harding, who seems especially in tune with the Peck manner of acting.) There's also some brilliant dialogue and character sketching from Nunnally Johnson, who also directs with a sure hand. Unfortunately, there are also a few sections where the screenplay stacks the deck a little too obviously, and when the tone gets a little preachy; it's also undeniable that a good 20 minutes could and should have been chopped away. That said, Flannel is still a powerful film with an exceptional performance from its star.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/1997
  • UPC: 086162173738
  • Original Release: 1956
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gregory Peck Tom Rath
Jennifer Jones Betsy Rath
Fredric March Ralph Hopkins
Marisa Pavan Maria
Lee J. Cobb Judge Bernstein
Ann Harding Mrs. Hopkins
Keenan Wynn Caesar Gardella
Gene Lockhart Bill Hawthorne
Portland Mason Janie
Arthur O'Connell Walker
Henry Daniell Bill Ogden
Joseph Sweeney Edward Schultz
Sandy Descher Barbara
Mickey Maga Pete
Kenneth Tobey Mahoney
Ruth Clifford Florence
Geraldine Wall Miriam
Jerry Hall Freddie
Frank Wilcox Dr. Pearce
Nan Martin Miss Lawrence
Leon Alton Cliff
Phyllis Graffeo Gina
Dorothy Adams Mrs. Hopkins' Maid
Dorothy Phillips Maid
Mary Benoit Secretary
King Lockwood Business Executive
Lomax Study Elevator Operator
Renata Vanni Italian Farm Wife
Mario Siletti Carriage Driver
Lee Graham Crew Chief
Michael Jeffrey Mr. Sims
Robert Boon German Soldier
Alexander Campbell Johnson
Tristram Coffin Byron Holgate
John Crawford Italian Boy
Paul Glass
Harry Lauter
Jack Mather Police Sergeant
William "Bill" Phillips Bugala
William Phipps Soldier
Otto Reichow
Jim Brandt
Raymond Winston
Gigi Perreau Susan Hopkins
Connie Gilchrist Mrs. Manter
DeForest Kelley Bit
Roy E. Glenn Sr. Master Sergeant Matthews
Technical Credits
Nunnally Johnson Director, Screenwriter
Alfred Bruzlin Sound/Sound Designer
Charles G. Clarke Cinematographer
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer
Ray Kellogg Special Effects
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Harry M. Leonard Sound/Sound Designer
Ben Nye Sr. Makeup
Stuart A. Reiss Set Decoration/Design
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Jack Martin Smith Art Director
Dorothy Spencer Editor
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

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3 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    gregory peck shines

    great movies can be defined by wanting to watch them again. this movie also has a good cast & is a classic worth owning & sharing with family

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Really about adapting to life after the horrors of war.

    Gregory Peck displays what we now call classic symptoms of PTSD, this years before the official diagnosis. How he comes to terms with his experiences in WWII are as relevant today as in 1950's. Certainly there is more going on in this film, but it is worth watching for this aspect alone.

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

    Posted July 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews