7.5/10
5,146
58 user 22 critic

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)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A financier from New York rules his numerous family, consisting of his wife and his four sons, with the meticulousness of a bookkeeper.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor
Sergeant York (1941)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A hillbilly sharpshooter drafted in WW1 despite his claim to be a pacifist, who ends up becoming a war hero.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie
Dodsworth (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas
Kings Row (1942)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The dark side and hypocrisy of provincial American life is seen through the eyes of five children as they grow to adulthood at the turn-of-the-century.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan
The Heiress (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An army major, himself guilty of cowardice, is asked to recommended soldiers for the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Mexican Border Incursion of 1916.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth, Van Heflin
Shenandoah (1965)
Drama | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During the Civil War, a Virginia farmer and his family vow to remain neutral but one of the sons is captured by Union soldiers, sending the farmer to his rescue.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett
Kitty Foyle (1940)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A hard-working, white-collar girl from a middle-class family meets and falls in love with a young socialite, but she soon clashes with his family.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the famed baseball player, Lou Gehrig.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Babe Ruth
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Character study of a Doctor who saves a local criminal from a mob who are trying to hang him, but then tries to control the life of the young man, realizing that he can exploit his secret.

Directors: Delmer Daves, Karl Malden, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, Karl Malden
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In Australia's Outback during the early 20th century the impoverished Carmody family lives a nomadic life out of their wagon but the mom and son want to settle while the dad is against it.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Edit

Cast

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

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 | Romance | War | Western

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Cooper developed a paternal relationship with Anthony Perkins, who was dating Cooper's daughter, Maria, at the time. He gave the younger actor career advice and spent time working on their scenes together. The relationship cooled when Perkins and Maria broke up. Later Cooper would say Perkins was callow. "I think he'd do well to spend a summer on a ranch. It would toughen him up and he'd learn a lot from another kind of people." See more »

Goofs

The Minneapolis steam engine at the fair is too new for a Civil War movie. 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 Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Friendly Persuasion (Thee I Love)
(1956)
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Sung by Pat Boone
Dot Recording Artist
sung during the opening credits and at the end
Played often in the score and occasionally sung by a chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


27 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?