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Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance, War | 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.

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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:

Anthony Perkins, the most exciting screen discovery since James Dean! 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

The film premiered at the Radio City Music Hall November 1, 1956. William Wyler had asked Allied Artists to book the theatre, but nobody at the studio knew how to go about that, so he took the film to New York himself and screened it for the theatre's management to secure the booking. 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

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Coax Me a Little
(1956)
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Funny as well as dramatic story about a Quaker family caught up in the American Civil War
20 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

This is the interesting and solidly performed story of a family of Quakers in Southern Indiana in 1862 . This religious sect is strongly opposed to violence and war . The official name of the Quaker religion is Society of Friends , members of the faith are called Friends and nicknamed Quakers ; the book written by Jessamyn West is called "The Friendly Persuasion", meaning the faith , which more specifically refers to the Quakers' way of communicating. It concerns about "Jess Birdwell" (Gary Cooper , he initially turned the film down because he didn't believe the American public would accept him as Quaker , and role was originally intended for Bing Crosby) is the patriarch of a family of Quakers , a Christian sect that refuses to take part in wars . His son "Josh" (Anthony Perkins) wishes to adhere to pacifism but worried he's using his religion to hide his cowardice , he then enlists the army , causing angry on his mother (Dorothy McGuire , though Katharine Hepburn turned down the role and Jean Arthur was considered to play her) . Their children are very special : the little boy Jess Jr. (Richard Eyer) lives in conflict with the goose "Samantha" . And "Mattie" (Phyllis Love) falls in love with an Union soldier, "Gard Jordan" (Peter Mark Richman) . As Jess/Gary Cooper (before Cooper became involved Montgomery Clift was offered the role of Birdwell, but turned it down) along with his family attempt to remain to its ideals , despite the Civil War which touches their farm life .

This enjoyable film packs comedy , religious and familiar life , sense of mood , spectacular battles and lots of reflection . As it deals with the conflict between maintaining a religious belief and reality when takes place a bloody war ; as the flick utterly catches up the spectator in the family's troubles . This earnest picture captures a tender humor and mirth which pervades the whole story ; in addition , at the end occurs a stirring climax . Agreeable screenplay , originally released without screen writing credit due to blacklisting of Michael Wilson; credits restored in 1996 . Spectacular battle depicted in the film based on facts, as the final is very exciting , it was against the Confederate raiders led by General John Hunt Morgan ; on July 9, 1863, 450 members of the Indiana Home Guard met John Hunt Morgan's raiders in battle south of the town of Corydon, Indiana . Gary Cooper as a devout Quaker father and Dorothy McGuire as his wife are very well as the parents ; furthermore , Anthony Perkins is nice as the son fearing being taken for a coward . Good support cast such as Robert Middleton , Peter Mark Richman , Richard Hale , Russell Simpson and uncredited , almost extras : Robert Fuller , William Schallert , John Dierkes , Joe Turkel and Doug McClure . Spectacular and glowingly gorgeous scenarios , including amusing race horses . Colorful and glimmer cinematography by Ellsworth Fredericks in De Luxe Colour Photography . Sensitive as well as moving musical score by the classical composer Dimitri Tiomkin .

The motion picture come out of a minor Hollywood studio , Allied Artists , was compellingly directed by the maestro William Wyler . Wyler was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema and the winner of three Best Director Academy Awards . Wyler was a great professional who had a career full of successes in all kind of genres as Film Noir : ¨Detective story¨ , ¨The desperate hours¨ , ¨Dead End¨ ; Western : ¨The Westener¨, ¨Friendly persuasion¨ , ¨Big Country¨ , but his speciality were dramas such as : ¨Jezebel¨ , ¨The letter¨ , ¨Wuthering Heights¨ , ¨The best years of our lives¨, ¨Mrs Miniver¨, ¨The heiress¨ , ¨the little Foxes¨ , ¨The collector¨ and Comedy as two films starred by Audrey Hepburn : ¨How to steal a million¨ and of course the immortal comedy-romance ¨Roman's holiday¨ . ¨Friendly persuasion¨ results to be a good film that catches up the audience . Rating : Better than average , worthwhile seeing .


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