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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Business vs. Family
Gregory Peck stars as a Madison Avenue executive whose life reaches several crises at once. His wife, Jennifer Jones, is pushing him to make more money and to be more successful, but without losing his ideals or honesty in a business that values neither one of those. His experiences in World War II are coming back to haunt him, and his ownership of his grandmother's...
Published on June 3, 2001 by James L.

versus
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars grey flannel
One of the most interesting movies of the 50s, and one which accurately portrays the rarely-approached subject of ordinary men trying to fit in their contemporary workplace. Peck is a little miscast (too tall and striking to possess the "ordinary" quality necessary for the role) and Jennifer could be a little more varied in her characterization (she needs a...
Published on July 22, 2003 by Robert M. Barger


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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Business vs. Family, June 3, 2001
Gregory Peck stars as a Madison Avenue executive whose life reaches several crises at once. His wife, Jennifer Jones, is pushing him to make more money and to be more successful, but without losing his ideals or honesty in a business that values neither one of those. His experiences in World War II are coming back to haunt him, and his ownership of his grandmother's house is being challenged by her former servant. Fredric March co-stars as his new boss, a man who put his business before his family, a decision whose consequences he must now live with. There are a lot of lofty ideas being bounced around in this story, and they tend to center around the importance of family and being true to one's self and ideals. Peck is his usual solid self, probably the perfect choice for this kind of role. Jones gets the big emotional scene in the film, and she plays it to the hilt. March gives a very moving, sympathetic performance, while Ann Harding as his distant wife has a couple of good scenes. Although this is very much a film of the Fifties, the basic message of the movie still has its impact today. It's honestly presented, well acted and written, and well worth watching.
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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Whiter Shade of Grey, March 16, 2005
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Catch the anonymous face in the crowd and consider the bright lights and dark shadows of that fellow's existence. This is Peck's performance in The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit and he is brilliant. Several reviewers have noted "the Look" of the film and its quintessential Fifties style. This is true, I felt I was gaining a peak at a long lost world: Post-war America, advancing economically, but struggling morally. The flashbacks make this half a War movie and give it a shared history with its adult intended audience. This was a time when adult movies did not mean pornography, but dealt with mature themes such as honesty in relationships and integrity in your profession.

Gregory Peck has some great scenes, many in which he doesn't seem to do much. The look on his face on the train when the man in the coat in front of him triggers a repulsive memory from the war is worth pages of dialogue. The uncomprehending shock from when he accidentally kills his best friend is a real tearjerker. I don't know what other American actor at this time could be so effective.

The plot was a surprise to me, I really had no idea this was such an engaging story. The title implies a dull, plodding story, and I have to admit little prior knowledge about this movie except its one of those I'd always heard about. This has got to be one of the best movies out of the Fifties and that is saying a lot. There is poignancy, humor (the kids always glued to the TV and oblivious to the real drama around them), and above all, a slice of life that is absorbing and realistic. This is definitely an overlooked gem needing full DVD glory. Have the popcorn ready, once you start it, you won't want to get off the couch.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best, April 25, 2003
By 
Valerie (Arlington, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This movie showcases great acting, great writing, and a serious, yet entertaining theme. It grapples with serious issues of family,business,ethics,past mistakes, and painful memories in a truly engaging manner. Though it is deeply rooted in the post-WWII fifties, the ideas are timeless. It is at once realistic and redemptive. Watch it with someone you love-it will be a movie you'll both enjoy.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars grey flannel, July 22, 2003
One of the most interesting movies of the 50s, and one which accurately portrays the rarely-approached subject of ordinary men trying to fit in their contemporary workplace. Peck is a little miscast (too tall and striking to possess the "ordinary" quality necessary for the role) and Jennifer could be a little more varied in her characterization (she needs a "light" moment or two) but they are both as usual fun to watch.
Peck's interview lunch is one of the best scenes, as is Ann Harding's plea to Frederich March. The other reviewers have not mentioned how the color and Cinemascope really add to the feel of the Fifties , and this cannot be stated enough - see it on a big-inch TV if possible. I think the wardrobe is one of the best in cinema history - it looks exactly as if it came off the racks of the department stores during the period. A great story, and one which anyone who has been employed in the business world as a white-collar worker, and who has aged thru their thirites, will identify with. Recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manhattan and Connecticut commuters in the 1950s, November 4, 2005
This review is from: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (DVD)
THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT (1956) is writer/director Nunnally Johnson's ambitious film version of the popular 1953 best-seller by Sloan Wilson. It is set in suburban Connecticut and Rockefeller Center, linked by trains full of commuters. One of those commuters is Gregory Peck, who does advertising for one of the big television networks run by his boss, Fredric March. Johnson is setting up contrasts here. Peck is married to Jennifer Jones and has three kids; March is married to 1930's actress Ann Harding and has a daughter named Susie. Both March and Jones seem unhappy at home, happier at work. But Peck is haunted by his past, in the Army in the Pacific in 1945 after World War Two is over in Europe. Peck has an affair with lovely Marisa Pavan, who gives birth to his child. What Peck will do with that Italian child covers the last half hour of the movie.

I like the film a lot because it gives us the clothes and cars and job world of my early childhood in the suburbia of 1950's San Francisco. And the cast is incredible, including Lee J. Cobb, Henry Daniell, Arthur O'Connell, Gene Lockhart, and Keenan Wynn. The brilliant use of CinemaScope, almost all in long shot with characters standing or sitting at opposite ends of the wide screen, is by Charles G. Clarke. A magnificently knowledgeable audio commentary has film scholar James Monaco comparing movie and book constantly, often talking about his own life during this early 1950's period, the cars his father owned and the hats worn, and the stunning use of CinemaScope for a movie that simply could not withstand pan and scan treatment. Maybe that is why it is not shown that often on TV, wonders Monaco; the only network that would always run it letterboxed, Turner Classics, does not own this Fox movie. Thank God for DVD.

THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT runs a long 153 minutes, but maintains interest throughout and was a pet project of producer Darryl F. Zanuck. This is from an era when a high-powered Production Chief could dictate that a movie run long to do justice to a long novel. Monaco keeps saying that Jones' wife character is much nicer in the book and does not harp all the time on the quality of life she and Peck have in Connecticut. She seems only a bit too unpleasant on screen for me, and the house they move out of is quite beautiful to me also. That is a director's choice-or maybe Zanuck's choice. Monaco also mentions the kids watching TV a lot in a darkened living room as not being in the book. This is contrasted against a television network office at Rockefeller Center that only has two TV monitors and not the logical three, something I never would have picked up on, like a man wearing the wrong hat or driving the wrong year model car. It is a very illuminating audio commentary by a movie lover and knowledgeable reader for a very good movie. (REVIEWED ON LETTERBOXED DVD.)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MOVIE FOR ADULTS, ABOUT ADULTS�HOW RARE, July 2, 2002
In today's movies, the characters move about like amoeba, seeking pleasure, without morals or
conscience. But here you find a man trying to do the right thing, a concept Hollyweird has
forgotten about. It's not for children or morons. It's for people who can feel, can think, can
empathise. Very moving, too, in a way today's movies rarely achieve.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long....But Entertaining, April 13, 2002
By 
David Von Pein (Mooresville, Indiana; USA) - See all my reviews
Very intriguing, multi-layered drama starring Gregory Peck as a simple man trying to deal with life's problems. Stellar cast features three of my favorites---Peck, Lee J. Cobb, and Fredric March. How can you go wrong with names like these?!
A tad on the lengthy side (at slightly more than 2-and-a-half hours), but worth the excursion.
Mr. March is a standout here (IMO), as the head of a major TV network which employs Peck. March's role here puts me in mind of a similar character he portrayed two years earlier in "Executive Suite". He is much more likable, however, in this film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seemingly realistic movie that wrestles with plenty of tough issues rarely dealt with in 1950's films., October 10, 2005
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This review is from: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (DVD)
This review is for the 2005 Twentieth Century Fox DVD.

The movie is set in the mid-1950's where Gregory Peck stars as Tom Rath, a former World War II army captain, who now has a white-collar job in New York and has three kids, a home in a small town, with a caring, but socially ambitious wife. Like all family men, Tom is pursuing "the American dream" but the reality is that there are plenty of obstacles. Overall, the home life seems good, but in spite of having a pretty good job, a better one would solve a lot of financial issues on the home front. Tom eventually takes on a new job working on Madison Ave. His boss is an extremely successful businessman, but his home life is in shambles. Tom has to walk a fine line between appeasing his new boss who seems lost in a new project and being a productive worker who gets results. Also, something from Tom's past turns up unexpectedly and that's another issue that he has to deal with. This sets up the rest of the movie with many issues for Tom and the people in his life to deal with.

`The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit' is a hard hitting commentary of life in the 1950's that historically seemed like an age of wholesomeness, prosperity and social bliss. In an era of "Father Knows Best" and "Ozzie & Harriet" where the only problems in the world seemed to be naïve kids getting into harmless trouble, but without exception, always received brilliant guidance with the wisdom and understanding of the seemingly perfect parents. But in addition to a thorough examination of middle class life in the 1950's, a significant portion of this movie focuses on an army captain's social and combat life in World War II. Unlike a typical WWII film where the good guys win, the bad guys lose, and main character is a hero, this film ventures in a completely different direction and deals with the consequences of a soldier's indiscriminant actions plus acknowledges the disturbing mental anxiety that person carries with him due to action in combat. In short, this film shows a dark side to all the pretentiousness of 1950's life in America. Even though it's over 2-1/2 hours long, it's an excellent movie that pushes a lot of buttons and with plenty of realistic social commentary without being exploitive or preachy.

As for the DVD, the color widescreen presentation is superb. The colors are bright and vivid with no signs of deterioration or stray artifacts. The DVD bonuses include commentary by author and publisher James Monaco, plus some minor features such as a trailer and some still photos.

Movie: A-

DVD Quality: A+
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much more entertaining than the rather dull-sounding title implies, April 3, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (DVD)
Lushly photographed and intelligently scripted, "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" is an engaging and often bracing look at one man trying to make it in the world, both on a personal and professional level. As pointed out by one or two other reviews on this site, the issues faced by Gregory Peck's character aren't too different than those faced by any working man or woman today.

The one difference is that Mr. Peck's character is still very much affected by the ominous looming in the recent past of the most dramatic event of the twentieth century up to that point, World War II. He at one point asks himself how it's possible for a man to see and take part in all manner of horrendous activities during that war and then go back to quietly taking the train to work while reading the morning paper. That line of thinking still resonates today, and it certainly adds a layer of complexity to a movie that's already interesting just dealing with the handful of relatively minor domestic and business issues that form its centerpiece.

To quibble a bit, the movie takes a little more time than it really needs to cover its subject matter, but on DVD that isn't much of a problem. Just take a short break here and there and you'll do just fine. The movie isn't an ordeal at all to get through. Just sit back and enjoy the classy script, acting, and direction, and the excellent widescreen image, which was recently restored.

But before I conclude, let me throw out a quick question to all you amateur psychologists and armchair critics out there: how come in every scene involving the children playing together or talking to their parents, the otherwise cheerful kids bring up the subject of dying, death, and/or getting killed? It's not just one or two times, but every time there's an extended scene with the kids. I found that interesting, so I just thought I'd put the question out there. See, now you have yet another reason to see the film!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life in the 20th Century, April 20, 2001
By A Customer
The complexity of life in the mid-20th century is subtly displayed in this reflection on the cross-currents of life. Ironic elements -- the central character joining a broadcasting company while his kids are glued to the tube -- and character studies including a 1950s wife that is a partially reformed Lady MacBeth provide low-keyed commentary not common in today's films. I use this in a univesity class on organizational theory and leadership, pairing it with literature of the era. It engages students in discussion of roles, role conflict, leader behavior, etc. Student reactions to customs (smoking in the office, cocktails, rather sexist comments) and the treatment of diversity, 50s style, is particularly fascinating. Non-white Americans and international students question many conventions that are otherwise accepted without question, even today. For contemporary contrast, see Michael Douglas in "Falling Down."
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The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Nunnally Johnson (DVD - 2005)
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