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Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance, War | 25 November 1956 (USA)
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:
...
...
Eliza Birdwell
...
...
...
Sam Jordan
Phyllis Love ...
Mattie Birdwell
...
Gard Jordan (as Mark Richman)
...
...
Purdy
Joel Fluellen ...
Enoch
...
Major Harvey
...
Caleb Cope
...
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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance | 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,000,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more 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

Gary Cooper originally did not want to play a father of grown children. This was despite the fact that he was 55 in real life. Ironically, many critics in 1956 felt he looked too old to play Jess Birdwell. See more »

Goofs

When Jess places the butt of the rifle on the ground after letting the Confederate soldier go, the trigger is on the side closest to him in the long shot. In the close shot, the trigger is on the side of the rifle away from him. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Mocking Bird in a Willow Tree
(1956)
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

Quite Satisfying, With Thoughtful Drama & Many Good Lighter Moments
22 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

This fine adaptation of "Friendly Persuasion" is quite satisfying, with thoughtful drama that takes place in an interesting and believable setting, plus many good lighter moments. Though the story ultimately focuses on just a couple of the characters' concerns, along the way it provides an effective overview of their lives as a whole.

Gary Cooper is surprisingly believable in a somewhat atypical role as a Quaker father. Dorothy McGuire is well-cast as the sometimes fretful mother, and Anthony Perkins works very well as the son torn between his family and what he perceives as his duty. Walter Catlett is a bit over-the-top as the organ salesman, but he is entertaining, and his character is used well. In fact, the subplot with the organ is an interesting contrast with the main plot about the war, mirroring a couple of the same themes in a much less consequential context.

The setting in the American Civil War is well-conceived, and the family's dilemmas are portrayed sympathetically and convincingly. It is such a nice contrast with the type of movie that has to make its points through heavy-handed, contrived events, and it offers some worthwhile thoughts without pretending to offer easy, superficial answers.

Besides all that, it's a thoroughly enjoyable movie because of the many lighter, amusing moments. Director William Wyler and the cast work them in nicely with the more serious material, and the film maintains a harmonious balance throughout. It all makes for a very worthy and memorable picture.


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