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Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance, War | 25 November 1956 (USA)
1:52 | Trailer

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The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.



(book), (screenplay)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Little Jess Birdwell
Phyllis Love ...
Mattie Birdwell
Gard Jordan (as Mark Richman)
Professor Quigley
Joel Fluellen ...
Theodore Newton ...
Major Harvey
Caleb Cope
Opal Hudspeth
Marjorie Durant ...
Pearl Hudspeth
Frances Farwell ...
Ruby Hudspeth


The story of a family of Quakers in Indiana in 1862. Their religous sect is strongly opposed to violence and war. It's not easy for them to meet the rules of their religion in everyday life but when Southern troops pass the area they are in real trouble. Should they fight, despite their peaceful attitide? Written by Olaf Mertens <olafbahg@w210zrz.zrz.tu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When You Looked At Jess Birdwell YOU LOOKED UP See more »


Drama | Romance | War | Western


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 November 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Birdwell Goes to Battle  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(as De Luxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Doug McClure. See more »


When Josh leaves the house to fight off the Confederate raiders, he is carrying a small rifle, similar to a carbine. When he is at the river, he has a large musket. See more »


Jess Birdwell: I'm just his father, Eliza, not his conscience. A man's life ain't worth a hill of beans except he lives up to his own conscience.
See more »


Featured in Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) See more »


Coax Me a Little
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
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User Reviews

"Come and go with me, for thee I love..."
5 June 2004 | by (Cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Gary Cooper shines as a Quaker alongside a resolute and opinionated Dorothy McGuire as his "congregation elder" wife. They live in the rural "North" at the outbreak of the Civil War, raising 2 eligible teenagers (a boy and a girl), as well as a 10 year old boy. The emminent Civil War has the Quaker community divided on the issue of pacivism. Several "older men" in the congregation quickly turn coats, urging Cooper to join them in fighting the Rebels who plunder and burn Northern villages and kill women and children. When put to the true test, it is Cooper who proves to be the "true Christian".

A love story between the teenage girl and her soldier suiter is a beautiful bonus. The entire cast is excellent, and the timeless theme song by Pat Boone puts the icing on the cake. This is a 5-star classic. You'll want to watch "Friendly Persuasion" again and again.*****

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