Gentleman's Agreement [Blu-ray]
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Based on the celebrated but now sadly neglected novel by Laura Z. Hobson, GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT is a story about the little jokes that people tell because they want to fit in--and the jokes that people let pass because they don't want to make a scene. And it is about the way in which such incidents enable still darker prejudices that strike directly at the heart of all the people we make the little jokes about.
Philip Schuyler Green has been employed to write an expose of anti-Semitism in post-WWII America--and he has an inspiration. He will pretend to be Jewish himself and experience anti-Semitism first hand. But the little jokes are soon followed by little patronizations, the patronizations give way to ill-concealed racism and religious prejudice, and what began as a magazine job begins to shake Green to his very foundations. It will threaten his friendships, his relationship with the socialite he hopes to marry, the well-being of his mother, and ultimately the safety of his child.
Critics are fond of pointing out that the film is flawed. That is true enough: the first quarter hour feels a bit slow, leading man Gregory Pecks seems to lack conviction in his earliest scenes, and the script often calls upon its characters to philosophize in an unlikely way; the last scene in the film also rings false.Read more ›
Peck plays a New York magazine writer who decides to do a comprehensive study of what it is like to live as a Jew. One of the film's most powerful scenes occurs when Peck, giving the name he is using for his investigation, Green, is turned away when he seeks to register at a prominent hotel, with a policy of turning away Jews. He learns much as well about the struggle of Jewish Americans in interacting with his friend John Garfield, an Army officer with much insight to reveal.
His involvement in the controversial experiment and ultimately expose causes Peck problems with his girlfriend Dorothy McGuire. Eventually she sees the light and recognizes an important truism as she states that at least in the cases of anti-Semitic bigots one knows where one stands. She observes the more outwardly subtle problem of people on the one hand proclaiming themselves as liberal and without prejudice, but also playing it safe and refusing to stand up for injustice when it occurs, such as when anti-Jewish jokes are told at cocktail parties or slights are observed which stem from bigotry and nothing is said.
"Gentleman's Agreement" was a bold step forward for Hollywood in facing up to realities in post-World War Two America. Zanuck and Kazan would also tackle the subject of race in the sensitively done "Pinky" with Jeanne Crain one year later in 1949. Crain is a young woman with African American blood who attempts to pass for white in a society affected by racism.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent movie. It is somewhat dated. I believe it is film noir. After World War II, it appears to me that there were a number of novels written concerning anti -... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Francis C. Donnelly
A very bad film. When the studios turned yellow or coward in some themes because HUAC. Very false film. Watch Crossfire (1946) by Edward Dmytryk to comparison. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Victor Diaz Murillo
this was such a great movie! me and my hubby watch it together!Published 2 months ago by John M. Schiavone
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