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Gentleman's Agreement (1948)

Gregory Peck , Dorothy McGuire , Elia Kazan  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Celeste Holm, Anne Revere
  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Writers: Elia Kazan, Laura Z. Hobson, Moss Hart
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 1999
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000K3CT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,799 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gentleman's Agreement" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

A reporter who is assigned to write a series of articles on anti-Semitism pretends to be Jewish in order to experience the degree of racism that exists. It doesn't take long for him to discover the true depths of bigotry and hatred.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GUILTY April 5, 2005
Format:DVD
It happens all the time. Someone tells a joke--or perhaps you tell one yourself. Just a little joke about "those people." I've done it, and very likely you have done it too. But it's really okay. We're not prejudiced, and we're not hurting any one. It's just a little private laugh between friends.

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.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing Study of Anti-Semitism July 2, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This study of anti-semitism in post WWII American society won academy awards for best picture, best director (Elia Kazan), and best supporting actress (Celeste Holm). It's somewhat dated, and parts of the script come off more as speech-making than actual dialogue, but it's still a good cinematic examination of this important issue. Gregory Peck stars as a magazine writer who poses as a Jew in order to attain an in-depth 'angle' on his assignment. The prejudice that he encounters as a result of his research affects the life of his son, played by a very young Dean Stockwell, and his budding romance with his boss's niece, played by Dorothy McGuire, who learns that she's not as liberal as she thought. The supporting cast is outstanding, notably Anne Revere as Peck's compassionate, no-nonsense mother, Albert Dekker as a tough, plain-spoken magazine boss, Oscar winner Celeste Holm as a writer with keen insights into human foibles, and, especially, John Garfield as Dave Goldman, Peck's long-time friend who's just back from WWII service. He passes on insights to Peck drawn from a lifetime of personal experience, and his performance, is, for me, the soul of the film. This may not be the definitive film on anti-semitism, but it's still a rewarding experience for anyone interested in seeing a well-written and superbly acted film dealing with a serious social problem.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM, THORUGHLY RECOMMENDED. January 17, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
It's a great film, superbly acted all the way by an excellent cast (specially Anne Revere and Celeste Holm), serious viewing, some very good dialogues and wisecracks, the latter by the great Celeste Holm. My only regret, focusing not in the main antisemitic issue of the film but in the "romantic relationships" shown in the movie, is the ending...Peck should have chosen the sincere, sophisticated, wisecraking blonde, not the inane, wishy washy, stuffy and complicated socialité. It seems that in those conventional days, characters like the one played by Miss Holm, independent women of the world with careers, self-assured, with opinions of their own....were not meant to be the heroines, nor to get the hero at the end...because of the way of life they had chosen, they were condemned ("cinematically" speaking) to eternal singlehood, 'cos that way of being didn't fit with the ideal of married or unmarried (goodness!) so-called "ideal" couples....maybe in 1932 this wouldn't have been so...(for more information read Mick LaSalle's excellent "Complicated Women" and compare this to movies of that era focusing on couple's relationships like "The Animal Kingdom" (1932), "The Divorcée" (1930) or even "Design for Living", the latter a sort of "threesome" predecessor of Gregg Araki's 1999 "Splendor").
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb DVD presentation of classic film April 8, 2004
By DBW
Format:DVD
Kudos to Fox Home Entertainment for a very satisfying DVD presentation of "Gentleman's Agreement," the 1947 Best Picture Academy Award winner. The film itself is deserving of all of the accolades it received, both upon its initial release, and in all the years since.
I'm assuming that most of the people considering a purchase of the DVD have already seen the movie, so I'd like to focus here on the incisive commentary by Richard Schickel, long-time film critic for Time magazine. Stars June Havoc and Celeste Holm are also heard on the track, recorded separately, and while their remarks are interesting, this is Schickel's showcase, and he runs with it.

As it happened, I wound up listening to this commentary over the course of three nights. This kind of gradual exposure allowed me to really absorb Schickel's observations.
The critic is no sycophantic fan of "Gentleman's Agreement." While he admires its aims, and much of its execution (primarily the achievements of director Elia Kazan), he has some reservations about the script, and some of the acting.
He demonstrates a complete understanding of the conventions of 1940s studio filmmaking, but doesn't always accept the necessity that "Gentleman's Agreement" had to adhere to those norms. I didn't always agree with Schickel's criticisms of the film, but they certainly made me think, and I never found them off-putting.
Schickel wisely underscores the contribution of John Garfield, whose training in The Group Theater gave him a more realistic acting style than anyone else in the film. "Garfield seems to be acting in an entirely different movie," Schickel says, and it is not a criticism.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
One of the best ever
Published 10 days ago by Avi Kotkowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Watched it a bunch ready
Published 1 month ago by Joan h Riley
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Gregory Peck writes an article and live the life of his story. He goes through bigotry, insults,and all things when he pretends to be some one else. Good story
Published 1 month ago by monica lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie of history of the time
Excellent movie of history of the time. If you don't have a past. You will never have a future. Every generation starts with a past that gets them to the future. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kathy Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great old movie.
Published 2 months ago by Robert D Norris
3.0 out of 5 stars A dull, preachy, awkward, and stilted melodrama
Read the two-star reviews, and you'll know pretty much what I think, but I give it 3 stars because of the difficult topic that is dealt with. Read more
Published 2 months ago by T. E. La Tour
5.0 out of 5 stars What's Left to Say
Stellar performances by the so many great actors. It has it all. The aftermath of wartime adjustment; bigotry at its height; divorce; love; and childhood complications. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I have enjoyed the "older" movies all my life. I would recommend this to anyone interested in old movies. Read more
Published 3 months ago by S. D. Kilfoyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Gregory Peck at his best
A story about anti Jewish sentiment and one man's attempt to overcome it and the pressure it puts on himself and his family.
Published 3 months ago by Richard Martinez
3.0 out of 5 stars Film addresses anti-semitism
I thought the film highlighted anti-isemitism well. I like the actor Gregory Peck; he never disappoints. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alice Apol
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