7.5/10
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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:

Pat Boone, the sensational Dot Recording artist, can be heard singing the big hit title-song, "Friendly Persuasion" 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The battle depicted in the film, against Confederate raiders led by Gen. John Hunt Morgan, is based on an actual battle. On July 9, 1863, (actually a year later than the date mentioned in the film) 450 members of the Indiana Home Guard met Morgan's raiders in battle south of the town of Corydon, Indiana (although not, as depicted in the film, at a creek crossing). The Home Guard held off the raiders for a half-hour, but the raiders numbered 2,400, and the Home Guard was eventually forced to retreat. The Morgan raiders occupied the town of Corydon for a single afternoon, during which time they looted stores in the town and forced several mill owners to pay cash ransoms in return for not burning their mills. At 5:00 pm the raiders moved on. During the battle the raiders suffered 11 men killed and 33 wounded, while the Indiana Home Guard lost only five men. See more »

Goofs

The Minneapolis steam engine at the fair is too new for a Civil War movie. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Waldo Quigley: I want you to know, sir, I honor your prejudices - -um, uh, convictions.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The A-Team: Semi-Friendly Persuasion (1984) 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 (Ohio) – 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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