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Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | February 1948 (USA)
A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screen play)
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Jane
...
Tommy Green
Nicholas Joy ...
Dr. Craigie
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Professor Fred Lieberman
Harold Vermilyea ...
Lou Jordan
Ransom M. Sherman ...
Bill Payson
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Storyline

Philip Green is a highly respected writer who is recruited by a national magazine to write a series of articles on anti-Semitism in America. He's not too keen on the series, mostly because he's not sure how to tackle the subject. Then it dawns on him: if he was to pretend to all and sundry that he was Jewish, he could then experience the degree of racism and prejudice that exists and write his story from that perspective. It takes little time for him to experience bigotry. His anger at the way he is treated also affects his relationship with Kathy Lacy, his publisher's niece and the person who suggested the series in the first place. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Laura Z. Hobson's Gentleman's Agreement  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie mentions three real people well-known for their racism and anti-Semitism at the time: Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-Mississippi), who advocated sending all African-Americans back to Africa; Rep. John Rankin (D-Mississippi), who called columnist Walter Winchell "the little kike" on the floor of the House of Representatives; and leader of "Share Our Wealth" and "Christian Nationalist Crusade" Gerald L.K. Smith, who tried legal means to prevent Twentieth Century-Fox from showing the movie in Tulsa. He lost the case, but then sued Fox for $1,000,000. The case was thrown out of court in 1951. See more »

Goofs

When Phil is taking Tommy to meet his (Phil's) mother at Saks Fifth Avenue, they stop in front of the statue of Atlas outside Rockefeller Center. In the shot of the two of them talking, with Fifth Avenue in the background, Saks is directly behind them, diagonally across the street on the right, with St. Patrick's Cathedral on the left. But when Phil looks at his watch and tells Tommy they'd better leave to meet grandma, the two hurry off back north along Fifth Avenue - in the completely opposite direction of the plainly visible Saks. See more »

Quotes

Tommy Green: Grandma said to wake you.
Phil Green: It's late, isn't it?
Tommy Green: Yeah. Here's your bathrobe.
Phil Green: I don't want it.
Tommy Green: Put it on, I said!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 71st Annual Academy Awards (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Heavy-handed, but not ineffective
18 October 2003 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Certainly the preachiest film ever to win Best Picture, and almost the preachiest film ever to be made, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Gentleman's Agreement isn't a good movie. In fact, I thought it was a fine film and an important one. It's heavy-handedness is mostly evened out by a lot of good dialogue, good filmmaking, and exceptional performances. I'll start there. I thought every principal actor succeeded with flying colors; even when they have to deliver awful and obvious message speeches, they almost always ended up making that writing sound a lot better than it was. Gregory Peck gives one of his very best performances. I'm glad to see him give this performance, too, after being stupefied by that wooden performance in the same year's The Paradine Case. The script does well with the character of Phil Green. When he begins his quest to discover the anti-semitism around him, he is involved very impersonally. It's a job, a job he doesn't really want to do, a job he doesn't even know how to do. And when he gets his big idea, to pretend he's Jewish himself, it seems almost arrogant. How dare he, I thought. But, through the film, he does get personally involved, so deeply involved that the insults and jokes and so forth become personal attacks. I doubt he ever expected that it would hurt so much. In comparison to the other film about anti-Semitism in 1947, Crossfire, also nominated for Best Picture, Gentleman's Agreement certainly does not hold up in terms of filmmaking and artistry. However, which film do you think had more of a chance to make a difference? Where Gentleman's Agreement succeeds, and Crossfire fails, is its ability to make the audience look inside themselves. Sure, it has to hit its audience with a sledgehammer before they look inside themselves to find their own prejudices and shortcomings, but I really think it works.


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