IMDb > Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
Gentleman's Agreement
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Gentleman's Agreement (1947) More at IMDbPro »

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Gentleman's Agreement -- A writer passes himself off as Jewish to pen a series of articles on anti-Semitism, and what he learns opens his eyes to the bigotry in the world around him.

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   9,873 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Laura Z. Hobson (novel)
Moss Hart (screen play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Gentleman's Agreement on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1948 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Moral Milestone for Hollywood See more (110 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gregory Peck ... Philip Schuyler Green

Dorothy McGuire ... Kathy Lacy

John Garfield ... Dave Goldman

Celeste Holm ... Anne Dettrey

Anne Revere ... Mrs. Green

June Havoc ... Elaine Wales

Albert Dekker ... John Minify

Jane Wyatt ... Jane

Dean Stockwell ... Tommy Green
Nicholas Joy ... Dr. Craigie

Sam Jaffe ... Professor Fred Lieberman
Harold Vermilyea ... Lou Jordan
Ransom M. Sherman ... Bill Payson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monya Andre ... (uncredited)
Louise Buckley ... Mother (uncredited)
Patricia Cameron ... (uncredited)
Jack Conrad ... Bellboy (uncredited)
Curt Conway ... Bert McAnny (uncredited)
Olive Deering ... First Woman (uncredited)
Irene Dehn ... (uncredited)
Jane Earle ... Child (uncredited)
Morgan Farley ... Resort Clerk (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Grace Field ... Old Lady (uncredited)
Helen Gerald ... Page Girl (uncredited)
Fred Godoy ... (uncredited)
Wilton Graff ... Maitre d' (uncredited)
Jane Green ... Second Woman (uncredited)

Virginia Gregg ... Third Woman (uncredited)
Tom Handley ... (uncredited)
Joe Haworth ... Bellboy (uncredited)
Hallene Hill ... Old Lady (uncredited)
Edna Holland ... (uncredited)
Art Howard ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Bert Howard ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Mauritz Hugo ... Guest at Anne's Party (uncredited)
Boyd Irwin ... (uncredited)
Robert Karnes ... First Ex-GI in Restaurant (uncredited)
Leo Kaye ... Porter (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Nightclub Table Extra (uncredited)
Victor Kilian ... Olsen (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Raymond Largay ... (uncredited)
Gustave Lax ... Waiter (uncredited)
George Leigh ... (uncredited)
Lewis Leverett ... Father (uncredited)
Arthur Little Jr. ... (uncredited)
Kathleen Lockhart ... Mrs. Jessie Minify (uncredited)
Louise Lorimer ... Miss Miller (uncredited)
Lee MacGregor ... Bellboy (uncredited)
Adrienne Marden ... (uncredited)
Marion Marshall ... Guest (uncredited)
Noel Mills ... Mother (uncredited)
Marlyn Monk ... Receptionist (uncredited)
Henry Mowbray ... (uncredited)
Howard Negley ... Joe Tingler (uncredited)

Gene Nelson ... Second Ex-GI in Restaurant (uncredited)
John Newland ... Bill (uncredited)
Stella Rae ... Old Lady (uncredited)
Herbert Ratner ... Father (uncredited)
Pattie Robbins ... Receptionist (uncredited)

Roy Roberts ... Mr. Calkins (uncredited)
Wallace Scott ... Bellboy (uncredited)
Larry Steers ... Hotel Lobby Extra (uncredited)
Amzie Strickland ... Guest at Anne's Party (uncredited)
Laura Treadwell ... (uncredited)
Robert Warwick ... Irving Weisman (uncredited)
Jesse White ... Elevator Starter (uncredited)

Frank Wilcox ... Harry (uncredited)
Barbara Woodell ... (uncredited)
Mary Worth ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Elia Kazan 
 
Writing credits
Laura Z. Hobson (novel "Gentleman's Agreement")

Moss Hart (screen play)

Elia Kazan  screenplay revision (uncredited)

Produced by
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
 
Cinematography by
Arthur C. Miller (director of photography) (as Arthur Miller)
 
Art Direction by
Mark-Lee Kirk 
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Set Decoration by
Paul S. Fox (set decorations)
Thomas Little (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Kay Nelson 
 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Raymond A. Klune .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Saul Wurtzel .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Don B. Greenwood .... property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Alfred Bruzlin .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Matt Hovland .... foley mixer (2009 Restoration)
 
Visual Effects by
Fred Sersen .... special photographic effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Sam Benson .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Harmon Jones .... editorial supervisor
Lyman Hallowell .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Edward B. Powell .... orchestral arrangements (as Edward Powell)
 
Other crew
Darryl F. Zanuck .... presenter
Michael Audley .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Martha Manor .... stand-in (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Laura Z. Hobson's Gentleman's Agreement" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
118 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Brazil:Livre | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:S | Spain:13 | Sweden:Btl | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1990) | USA:Approved (PCA #12488) | West Germany:12 (f) (w)
Filming Locations:

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 - Miss), who advocated sending all African-Americans back to Africa; Rep. John Rankin (D - Miss), 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:
Factual errors: 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:
Phil Green:So far I've been digging in facts and data-I've sort of been ignoring feelings.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in First Daughter (2004)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
33 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
A Moral Milestone for Hollywood, 7 April 2004

20th Century Fox currently is releasing a new "Studio Classics" DVD series, each a famous film from the past packaged with often compellingly interesting special features. Few releases are more important than 1947's Academy Award winning "Gentleman's Agreement," a for-the-times daring expose of anti-Semitism, a prejudice rarely if ever before that year acknowledged in film.

Laura Z. Hobson, an accomplished novelist, wrote the book of the same title and it sold well. Hobson unveiled the so-called "Gentleman's Agreement" whereby Jews were excluded from professions, clubs, resorts and employment and residency opportunities as well as simple social associations by a silent compact by mainly white Christians to engage in exclusionary practices. While discrimination against blacks was mandated by unambiguous law supported by inflexible government authority, the relegation of Jews to often second-class status in the dominant Christian community was by deception, denial and deceit.

A Christian, Darryl F. Zanuck was one of the few true Hollywood moguls who wasn't Jewish. He was also intensely offended by bigotry of any kind. Hobson's novel, of no interest to Jewish producers who preferred to live in their own world which consciously often aped the society from which they were barred, was his to buy for the screen. He did so for $75,000 and he set out to find a first-class crew to make the film.

Elia Kazan signed on to direct (and to revise the screenplay after Moss Hart finished it). Gregory Peck, already a box office idol, was chosen to play Philip Schuyler Green, a widower with a young boy (played by Dean Stockwell). Dorothy McGuire is Green's troubling love interest, Kathy Lacey. John Garfield, one of the many Hollywood denizens who changed their names to avoid being typed as Jewish, is Army Corps of Engineers captain Dave Goldman. Celeste Holm won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Anne Dettrey. Anne Revere, soon to lose twenty years of productive life because of the Blacklist, is Green's wise mom. June Havoc is Green's secretary, Elaine Wales, who in the film changed her name to get work, her real name being clearly Jewish. Lastly, Albert Dekker is magazine publisher John Minify, a man determined to expose to the light of day the insidious anti-Semitism of his social and economic universe. Unfortunately he's a bit naive about what goes down in his own shop.

This is a message film, direct and uncompromising. Agreeing to write a series exposing anti-Semitism, Green struggles to find a theme while falling in love with the divorced Kathy. His brilliant concept is to pretend to be a Jew and to record how others respond to him, a clearly well-educated, socially competent man, in that guise. His childhood buddy, Goldman, tries to warn him off but Green is determined.

Stridently polemical, the movie traces the growing number of incidents where Green is slighted because of his announced religion. From a building superintendent who doesn't allow a Jewish name on a lobby mailbox to a haughty resort manager of a "restricted" facility (the code word of the time for exclusion of Jews and blacks), Green gets a rapid course in the crude discrimination lurking behind most doors including the high society of his new beloved.

Green's son, told not to reveal that he and his dad aren't Jewish, runs into his own cruel rejection by classmates. Peck's Green lacks the depth of understanding of a child's vulnerability that his Atticus Finch later displays in "To Kill a Mockingbird." The boy is basically told that the other kids are wrong, we're right and that's that. Too simplistic even for this movie. Green is adamantly and unwaveringly sure of himself and woe betide any who do not share his abhorrence at any manifestation of discrimination, starting with Kathy.

The romance between Green and Kathy is as back-and-forth as any Hollywood potboiler, the difference being that their arguments and falling-outs revolve entirely over Kathy's inability to grasp the absolute righteousness of her fiance's crusade. The dispute is artificial and wearying to some degree and I rooted for Celeste Holm's lovely, witty and totally tolerant Anne, a fashion editor with attitude, as the top gal in the film. I would have married her in a New York minute!

Younger audiences today may well dismiss "A Gentleman's Agreement" as formulaic and preachy but they do not understand the nature of the tragedy, and that it was, that afflicted America at the time. The war had been won, the Cold War was getting into high gear and Nazi criminals were on trial in various European courtrooms. The reality of the concentration camps was known to all but already many had accepted the belief that only some Germans and their allies were actual murderers. Holocaust studies had not begun.

The period of "A Gentleman's Agreement" was a time in which many top colleges and universities that didn't ban Jews entirely had what are now acknowledged as "Jew quotas." Many Jewish doctors didn't enter that profession because that's what their moms wanted but due to the near blanket exclusion of Jews from engineering schools. Architecture schools also had a low quota for Jews (Louis Kahn's experiences are recounted in the current and outstanding documentary, "My Architect"). Whole communities lived by a sub rosa agreement never to admit Jews (and blacks), often solidifying their intent by restrictive covenants that courts enforced). What added to the awfulness of the prejudice is that communities comprised of Jews usually excluded blacks and other non-whites. No Caucasian group, whatever their religion, deserves exoneration for the acts they practiced against minorities. Blacks get no mention in this movie but lynchings were still in vogue-let's not forget that.

For many Americans harboring anti-Semitic beliefs, the bestiality of the Nazis was far more troubling than the fate of millions of their innocent victims, Jewish or not. Decrying Auschwitz in no way caused them to re-think less lethal but highly pervasive discrimination that they practiced or, as the film shows, disliked but nonetheless condoned without protest.

In that sense "A Gentleman's Agreement" was Hollywood's, actually Zanuck's, wake-up call. The politics of the producer, director, screenwriter and much of the cast aren't hidden. Several references to Bilbo and Rankin, two of the most evil racists and bigots ever to pollute Congress's halls, are as direct and clear as the sharp DVD images. And it's no surprise that virtually everyone associated with this film went on to be called by the House Un-American Activities Committee to be questioned about ties to communism (John Garfield died at age 39 of a heart attack the night prior to a second command appearance before that run-amuck committee). That committee hunted communists publicly but pursued a barely hidden anti-Semitic agenda and Hollywood provided plenty of potential victims.

The special features on this disc include a short documentary on its genesis and the subsequent reaction to the film as well as interviews with several stars including the still imposing Celeste Holm. Zanuck and Kazin deserved their Oscars as did Ms. Holm.

"A Gentleman's Agreement wasn't the only film to highlight anti-Semitism at that time. In fact it wasn't the first such film of 1947. Released shortly earlier, "Crossfire" starring Robert Ryan is a film noir capturing the violent bigotry of a thug who kills a Jewish victim for little better reason than his religion. An exciting film in its own right, its importance is secondary to Zanuck's which blew the lid - almost literally - off a brand of discrimination indulged in by educated and affluent Americans who would never commit assault or murder against anyone because of their race or religion.

Hollywood's Jewish moguls must have been surprised at the success of Zanuck's movie which in a small but real way began rolling back the kind of anti-American bigotry that the congressional committee investigating Tinseltown not only didn't care about: they shared it.

10/10 (for its historical impact and lasting value)

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