A magazine writer poses as a Jew to expose anti-Semitism.
A magazine writer poses as a Jew to expose anti-Semitism.
When I first moved to Toronto I ended up living in the Gay Village. I felt quite safe there to walk to and from friends' homes late at night. The neighbourhood was always bustling and it was refreshing to not get any 2nd looks and whistles. But there was one day, I recall it like it was yesterday, where I had a thought that made my heart sink. There had been a few 'gay bashings' (I hate that expression) in The Village months before I moved there, and I remember thinking that it wouldn't happen to me because all I had to say was that I wasn't gay. That stopped me in my tracks and shook me to the core.…
Elia Kazan's Best Picture-winning "Gentleman's Agreement" presents an observation of American antisemitism and a critique of those passive in its, or any racial hate's, presence. A powerful but stagy drama, the film may feel heavy-handed if removed from its post-World War II context. However, that in no way makes its searing message any less clear.
Focusing on a magazine writer assigned to draft an article series about antisemitism, the film watches as the writer claims to be Jewish in order to experience bigotry first hand. From insidious glances to outright exclusion, the writer suffers the emotional and psychological effects of hate in this compelling and still timely story.
The drama stems mostly from dialogue and low-key action, but Kazan keeps…
"I've come to see lots of nice people who hate it and deplore it and protest their own innocence, then help it along and wonder why it grows." ~ Phil Green
When widowed journalist Philip Schuyler Green (Gregory Peck) moves from California to New York City to work for Smith's Weekly, he's full of hope. It means a new start for him, his son Tommy (Dean Stockwell) and the boy's grandmother Mrs. Green (Anne Revere). However, Green gets tossed a curve when he learns his first assignment from editor John Minify (Albert Dekker) is to write a story about antisemitism from a fresh perspective.
Coming up with an angle seems to stymie Green until he recalls his friend Dave Goldman…
Performances : 7.3/10
Story : 8.4/10
Production : 7/10
Overall : 7.57/10
Sure, Gentleman's Agreement has its fair share of awkward, racially overcharged moments, but there are even more impressive moments. Powerful moments. Moments that made me seriously fucking happy that we've (for the most part) evolved out of a society like this, at least in my neck of the woods.
Gregory Peck is occasionally wonderful and occasionally just bad. I'm not sure what was going on there. Celeste Holm, on the other hand was fantastic in every scene. She stole the film, honestly. The same can't be said for Dorothy McGuire who, unfortunately, brought down most of her scenes.
On the whole it's a well paced, interesting look at…
Elia Kazan is my favorite film director, but this rigid, too-gentle message movie will never be my favorite of his, or so it seems.
Gregory Peck stars as a valued journalist who gets a better job in a New York magazine, so he moves there with his health-challenged mother and his 10-year-old son. Also, the widower gets a new girlfriend just on arrival. What he doesn't find is the right angle from which to attack the antisemitism-themed series of articles his editor has asked him to do almost before the movie had begun. Suddenly, Peck is striken by the right idea. Not a very original one, in the sense it is the same idea he had for every assignment completed…
Undoubtedly an important film, but not one I cared much for.
WHAT ABOUT ANNE
But what about Anne.
am....am i a Kathy? the overdramatic actions killed me, but phil’s character was solid throughout. he’s pretty hot too
but the biggest question: what about anne??
This film was way ahead of its time and is easily one of the more underrated Best Picture Winners. Elia Kazan handles the social issues concerning anti-semitism in the 1940s very eloquently in this movie and he doesn’t pull any punches, many of the film’s main points are still relevant today. Gregory Peck gives a captivating performance in the lead role and everyone else does an outstanding job as well.
In mid 2006, I asked to borrow some B&W film DVDs from old friend Rob, after re-watching 'The Maltese Falcon' and being knocked out yet again by the utter wikked-excellence of that Noir classic.
I had not strived to watch very many older classics to that date and felt that it was overdue that I should see more.
He asked if he could watch some of these with me instead of just passing the disks my way.
Starting with the enthralling masterpiece Sunset Boulevard, we set down once nearly every week following.
There was no set criterion to determine the movies we watched, save that they be black & white and in the 'vintage' classification.
Rob coined for this…
More woke than I expected it to be. It actually does a pretty good job of calling out even the subtler forms of bigotry.
The acting was unconvincing, and the message of the film —"this could be everyone's century"— is glib and sweet enough to give somebody a cavity. The dilemma between Gregory Peck's and Dorothy Maguire's characters could have been intriguing but it is so bogged down by a too-sappy-for-words love story that it never gets the chance. I can see that back in 1947 this film would have been daring, which is probably why it won the Best Picture Oscar. But the historical value of the film did not save it for me. By the standards of what makes a classic, this film never manages to be more than mediocre.
Gentleman’s Agreement is a powerful reminder, even to this day some 71 years after its release, that prejudice and racism are unfounded and harmful even if done in minor ways.
The film tackles the issue of anti-seminism in 1947 America at a time when such an issue was believed only to be a problem in Europe. It also tackles the issues one year before the HUAC committee started looking into communism (or anything un-American) within the ranks of Hollywood actors and writers. Gentleman’s Agreement was timely then, and it is timely now. Especially after recent anti-semitic acts like the mass shooting in Pittsburgh.
I was honestly surprised at how forthrightly the script addressed multiple aspects of racism at a time…
Gregory Peck was such a great actor!
NeverTooEarlyMP 4,822 films
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!