7.4/10
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118 user 61 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
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

In September 1948, the film was rejected for showing in Spain. The New York Times reported that the ban was instigated "by order of the ecclesiastical member of the Film Censorship Board on moral grounds. According to a source close to the board, the banning order stipulated that while it was a Christian duty to 'stimulate love among individuals, societies, nations and peoples,' this should not extend to Jews." The report listed six points or "theological errors" of the film that warranted the ban, including that the film declared "that a Christian is not superior to a Jew" and that the film asserts that "for many Jews it is a matter of pride to be called Jews. Pride of what? The pride of being the people who put God to death? Of being perfidious, as they are called in Holy Scripture?" On October 3, 1948, according to Hollywood Reporter, the President of the Board of Film Censors in Madrid, Gabriel Garcia Espina, called the statement reported in New York Times to be a "calumny" and that the film was, in fact, banned because anti-Semitism was not an issue in Spain. Espina stated, "There is no racial problem in Spain. We do not know here the conflict of Semitism or anti-Semitism. And precisely because of the beautiful and traditional Spanish idea of human freedom, these anguishing racial differences that have disturbed so much, and apparently do disturb, the lives of the peoples, are alien to us and we want them to continue being alien to us." The film, however, was approved for showing in Spain on January 12, 1949 under the title La Barrera Invisible. 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

Mrs. Green: Are you very disappointed, Phil?
Phil Green: Yes, I am. I was almost sure he'd hand me the Stassen story or Washington. Oh, I wasn't looking for an easy one, Ma, but I did want something I could make good on. I'd so like the first one here to be a natural. Something I know they would read.
Mrs. Green: Oh, you mean, there's enough anti-Semitism in real life without people reading about it?
Phil Green: No, but this one's doomed before I start. What can I say that hasn't been said before?
Mrs. Green: I don't know. Maybe it hasn't been said well...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Carnal Knowledge (1971) 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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