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Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Unrated | | Drama, War, Western | 25 November 1956 (USA)
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The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.

Director:

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Richard Eyer ...
Little Jess Birdwell
Robert Middleton ...
Phyllis Love ...
Mattie Birdwell
...
Gard Jordan (as Mark Richman)
Walter Catlett ...
Professor Quigley
...
Purdy
Joel Fluellen ...
Theodore Newton ...
Major Harvey
John Smith ...
Caleb Cope
Edna Skinner ...
Opal Hudspeth
Marjorie Durant ...
Pearl Hudspeth
Frances Farwell ...
Ruby Hudspeth
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Jess is a big man and he walks the Indiana earth in a big way... a man of few words and many strengths... a man born with the gift of laughter and the knack for love, a power for good, a man who doesn't hold with killing. But now Jess faces a big decision -- to keep faith with what he lives by -- or to fight for what he loves... Only so great a theme could make so great a motion picture! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War | Western

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Birdwell Goes to Battle  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(as De Luxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane Wyman turned down the role of Eliza Birdwell, as she wanted to focus on Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre (1955). See more »

Goofs

When the two Rebel scouts come upon the creek, and one of them rides into the water, the light from a reflector panel becomes clearly visible across his face. See more »

Quotes

Josh Birdwell: I don't want to die. I don't think I could kill anyone if I tried. But I have to try, so long as other people have to.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Newhart: Unfriendly Persuasion (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Marry Me, Marry Me
(1956)
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Marjorie Durant (uncredited), Frances Farwell (uncredited), Edna Skinner (uncredited) and Gary Cooper (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An exceptional film!

Wyler's "Friendly Persuasion" and "The Big Country" entitle an authentic and significant theme which is somewhat expressed in stronger terms in "Friendly Persuasion" but which meet with the impressive "The Big Country."

The story is simple, lovely and sensitive...

Gary Cooper, head of a Quaker family, is a loving husband and a caring father who has to consider his position at the outbreak of the Civil War in Southern Indiana... Cooper believes - as a father - that a man must be guided by his own conscience...

Anthony Perkins takes the part of Cooper's son which he plays beautifully... He is the 'peace-loving' young man who does not believe in fighting... He is like his mother shattered and teared apart by the events, but also feeling uncertainty about his capacity to meet danger without giving way to fear... Perkins sees that he has to convince himself that he is not a coward, so he becomes a member of the Home Guard, ready to defend the community...

Dorothy McGuire emits pleasant emotions as the Quaker mother, projecting inner beauty to her family...

Sentimental and well done, "Friendly Persuasion" is superbly acted and directed, beautifully shot in color... The film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound Recording and Best Song...


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