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 <email@example.com>
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 »
There was some criticism of the film, as it was felt to be pro-war. It was released at the time of the Suez Crisis and the Soviet invasion of Hungary. See more »
When Jess Birdwell sends the children upstairs after mother Eliza retires to the barn, he says, "up stairs to bed, all of thee!" In Quaker dialect, the pronoun thee is used as the objective case of thou, and is used only when addressing an individual. He should have said, "up stairs to bed, all of you!". See more »
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.
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A near perfect blend of casting, acting, direction and music
Nearly half a century old but a film with irresistible charm and atmosphere. Some might describe it as rather sickly sentimental at times, but William Wyler's touch is always assured and coaxes performances of great charm from all the principals. I saw the film for the first time in1957 and was immediately captivated by it. It has remained one of my favourite movies -and takes its place with such classics as "It's a wonderful Life" and "Casablanca" It was also the first time that I really noticed the music of Dimitri Tiomkin, who is now firmly established as my favourite film composer. He is the composer 'par excellence' in setting mood, and there is something haunting in his themes and melodies. Take away Tiomkin's soundtrack and you would destroy the film. Fortunately you can buy the CD of the soundtrack. Tiomkin also wrote the music to "It's a Wonderful Life", and "Gunfight at the OK Corral", which I find also strangely moving. Another feature of the film which adds to the overall charm is the inclusion of humorous touches such as Gary Cooper staring through two curtain hoops at the music booth at the county fair which gives him the appearance of wearing glasses. The strong storyline involves the viewer directly in that one realises the crucial choice involved in taking up arms to defend one's home or refusing to oppose the aggressor because the New Testament asks us to "turn the other cheek". So, what makes this film so memorable? I have spoken to people who think that this movie is "O.K" -"nothing special", and other such comments that suggest mediocrity. But to me , there is an atmosphere that is unforgettable- and thanks must go to the genius of Wyler, Tiomkin, Cooper and a host of talented craftsmen and women.
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