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Gentleman's Agreement

168 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A journalist assigned to write a series of article on anti-semitism. Searching for an angle, he finally decides to pose as a Jew-and soon discovers what is to be a victim of religious intolerance.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary by Celeste Holm, June Havoc and Film Critic Richard Schickel
  • AMC Backstory Episode
  • 2 Fox Movietone Newsreels
  • Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

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: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: 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: January 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006RCO2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,240 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gentleman's Agreement" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Bill Saffell on 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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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Silva on 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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William Hare on January 3, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
A little less than a decade earlier Twentieth Century Fox boss Darryl F. Zanuck tackled the subject of lynch law injustice in "The Ox Bow Incident." In 1948 he battled anti-Semitism with equally brilliant results in "Gentleman's Agreement," which starred Gregory Peck and was directed with a stellar hand by Elia Kazan.
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.
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