7.4/10
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121 user 63 critic

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
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Tommy Green
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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

Many were concerned that this film would somehow lend credence to the bizarre belief among the political right that "Jewish-friendly" films and novels from the time were inspired by communism, or were intentionally made as Communist propaganda. That fear was legitimized somewhat when many of the people involved with the film were brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) -- which was tasked with uncovering "Communist subversion" in the entertainment industry -- including Darryl F. Zanuck, Anne Revere, (perhaps most notoriously) Elia Kazan and John Garfield. Garfield was brought before HUAC twice, was blacklisted, taken off the blacklist and put back on it again; it was believed that the stress of these experiences led to the heart attack that killed him at the age of 39. 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

Professor Fred Lieberman: Millions of people nowadays are religious only in the vaguest sense. I've often wondered why the Jews among them still go on calling themselves Jews. Do you know, Mr. Green?
Phil Green: No, but I'd like to.
Professor Fred Lieberman: Because the world still makes it an advantage not to be one. Thus it becomes a matter of pride to go on calling ourselves Jews.
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Connections

Referenced in American Masters: None Without Sin (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

It's simultaneously a classic and a bad picture
16 March 2004 | by (arlington, va) – See all my reviews

On the one hand, Gentleman's Agreement has a highly enlightened prejudice, even today, let alone 1947. Gregory Peck plays a journalist who decides to pretend to be Jewish so he can attain a real-life perspective on anti-semitism. Peck's transformation from a determined writer looking for an edge to a crusader against prejudice is nothing short of profound. The twist of course is that Peck gets lost in the assignment, starts seeing himself as a Jew and struggles to maintain his composure amid all the anti-semitism he experiences. Considering that, it's a shame that the film's abilities to tell a story lag so far behind the movie's depth and boldness. There's a lot of emphasis on the romance between Peck and his editor's niece, which is pretty overdone for a pair who has as little chemistry as McGuire and Peck. I think the worst part of that is hearing Gregory Peck referring to McGuire's character as "my girl" like he's in middle school, especially considering I've always associated Peck with characters of tremendous maturity. Additional randomness comes from the fact that the film also focuses on Peck's relationship with his ailing mother, which doesn't have much to do with the central plot at all. What seemed to be an attempt to give a more well-rounded view of the character, the story felt bogged down by those elements. Still, a worthwhile movie, overall, *** out of ****


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