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Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, War, Western  |  25 November 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,629 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 19 critic

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



(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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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
Joel Fluellen ...
Theodore Newton ...
Major Harvey
John Smith ...
Caleb Cope
Edna Skinner ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Try FRIENDLY PERSUASION: It's Powerful! See more »


Drama | 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?


Getting Samantha the Goose (played by three different geese) to bite Richard Eyer's posterior on cue was a major challenge. To protect the child, the costumers sewed extra padding into the seat of his pants, but nothing they tried, including a lettuce leaf hidden between his legs, got the goose to approach when required. Finally, the goose was attached to a wire pulley and given mild electric shocks to get him to go after the child. See more »


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 »


Rebel soldier: Peach pie!
Little Jess Birdwell: It's rattlesnake pie.
Rebel soldier: Best rattlesnake pie *I* ever tasted.
See more »


Version of Friendly Persuasion (1975) See more »


Coax Me a Little
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

Quakers handling the Civil War
26 October 2003 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

"Friendly Persuasion" is the second best movie about the Civil War. "Gone With The Wind" is the first. This movie is about the Quakers living in Indiana in 1862 and how they are trying to cope with the Civil War. They live a peaceful life until the war happens in their backyard and they must decide whether to fight or follow their religion and sit back.

The Quaker family consists of: Jess Birdwell, head of the family (Gary Cooper); his wife, Eliza, a Quaker minister (Dorothy McGuire); two sons, and a daughter. The rest of the cast was perfect. This is my favorite of Gary Cooper's movies. The whole family can enjoy it.

The movie received many Academy Award nominations except for Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire as best actor and best actress. My favorite character is the Widow Hudspeth (Marjorie Main). Widow Hudspeth is similar to Ma Kettle. It must have been hard for Gary Cooper to keep a straight face when working with Marjorie Main. They were both funny and delightful together. Ms. Main made one more movie and retired in 1957; she refused to do television because the pace was too fast.

19 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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