IMDb > Friendly Persuasion (1956)
Friendly Persuasion
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Friendly Persuasion (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Friendly Persuasion -- A devout Southern Indiana Quaker family attempts to resist the call to arms during the Civil War, but their pacifism is sorely tested by the events that engulf them in this classic film.
Friendly Persuasion -- Trailer this motion picture from William Wyler


User Rating:
7.5/10   4,877 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
View company contact information for Friendly Persuasion on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 November 1956 (USA) See more »
The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"Come and go with me, for thee I love..." See more (56 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gary Cooper ... Jess Birdwell

Dorothy McGuire ... Eliza Birdwell

Anthony Perkins ... Josh Birdwell

Richard Eyer ... Little Jess Birdwell

Robert Middleton ... Sam Jordan
Phyllis Love ... Mattie Birdwell

Peter Mark Richman ... Gard Jordan (as Mark Richman)

Walter Catlett ... Professor Quigley

Richard Hale ... Purdy
Joel Fluellen ... Enoch
Theodore Newton ... Major Harvey

John Smith ... Caleb Cope

Edna Skinner ... Opal Hudspeth
Marjorie Durant ... Pearl Hudspeth
Frances Farwell ... Ruby Hudspeth
Samantha the Goose ... Herself

Marjorie Main ... The Widow Hudspeth
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

James Anderson ... Poor Loser Dunked by Jess (uncredited)

Edward Andrews ... Soldier (uncredited)
Irvin Ashkenazy ... Farmer (uncredited)
John Barton ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)
Nick Borgani ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)

Chet Brandenburg ... Quaker (uncredited)

Bob Burns ... Dancer at Carnival (uncredited)

Mary Carr ... Emma - Quaker Woman (uncredited)

Noble 'Kid' Chissell ... Barker (uncredited)

Edmund Cobb ... Operator (uncredited)
Bud Cokes ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)
Cecil Combs ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)
John Compton ... Rebel Lieutenant (uncredited)

Chuck Courtney ... Reb Courier (uncredited)

John Craven ... Band Leader (uncredited)

Billy Curtis ... Midget at County Fair (uncredited)

Charles Delaney ... Drinker (uncredited)
John Dierkes ... Farmer (uncredited)
James Dobson ... Rebel Soldier (uncredited)

Billy Engle ... Small Role (uncredited)

Duke Fishman ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)

Robert Fuller ... Youthful Soldier at Shooting Gallery (uncredited)
Ralph Gamble ... Medicine Man (uncredited)
Richard Garland ... Rebel Bushwhacker Grabbed by Jess (uncredited)
Slim Gaut ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)
Everett Glass ... Brother Amos - Elder (uncredited)

James Gonzalez ... Dancer at Carnival (uncredited)
Jim Goodwin ... Coward (uncredited)

Herman Hack ... Quaker (uncredited)

Frank Hagney ... Lemonade Vendor (uncredited)

Charles Halton ... Brother Cope - Elder (uncredited)
Ron Hargrave ... Farmer (uncredited)
Harry Hines ... County Fair Barker (uncredited)

Earle Hodgins ... Shooting Gallery Operator (uncredited)
Jean Inness ... Mrs. Purdy (uncredited)
Tom Irish ... Young Rebel (uncredited)
Jack Isbell ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)
Mary Jackson ... Country Woman (uncredited)
Michael Jeffers ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)

Frank Jenks ... Shell Game Man (uncredited)
Diane Jergens ... Elizabeth - Quaker Girl (uncredited)
Leroy Johnson ... Forager (uncredited)
Dick Johnstone ... Quaker (uncredited)
King Karlo ... Fire Eater (uncredited)
Don Kennedy ... Buster - Whacked by Eliza (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Billy Goat's Manager (uncredited)
Wright King ... Forager (uncredited)

Helen Kleeb ... Old Lady (uncredited)
Paul Kruger ... Quaker (uncredited)

Norman Leavitt ... Clem - Looter (uncredited)

Nelson Leigh ... Methodist Minister (uncredited)

Tom London ... Farmer on Front Line with Gard (uncredited)
Jack Macy ... Small Role (uncredited)
Hank Mann ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)

Doug McClure ... Soldier (uncredited)
Tipp McClure ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
Tyler McVey ... Farmer (uncredited)

Dennis Moore ... Farmer (uncredited)
Ralph Moratz ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)

Charles Morton ... Farmer (uncredited)
James O'Hara ... Forager (uncredited)
Murray Parker ... Sword Swallower (uncredited)

Jack Perrin ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)

John Pickard ... Ex-Sergeant on Front Line with Josh (uncredited)

'Snub' Pollard ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)
Ivan Rasputin ... Billy Goat - Wrestling Challenger (uncredited)
Gene Roth ... Farmer (uncredited)
Henry Rowland ... O'Hara (uncredited)

Ralph Sanford ... Businessman (uncredited)

William Schallert ... Young Husband (uncredited)

Scott Seaton ... Quaker (uncredited)

James Seay ... Rebel Captain (uncredited)
Lucile Sewall ... Christian Church Member (uncredited)

Russell Simpson ... Brother Griffith - Elder (uncredited)
Cap Somers ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)
Jack Sterling ... Rebel (uncredited)
Frank Sully ... Rebel Looter (uncredited)
William Tannen ... Supply Sergeant (uncredited)

Joe Turkel ... Poor Loser (uncredited)
William Vedder ... Farmer (uncredited)

Sailor Vincent ... Carnival Patron (uncredited)
Glen Walters ... Dancer at Carnival (uncredited)
Steve Warren ... Haskell (uncredited)
Hart Wayne ... Farmer (uncredited)

Directed by
William Wyler 
Writing credits
Jessamyn West (book)

Jessamyn West  contributing writer (uncredited)
Michael Wilson  screenplay (originally uncredited)

Produced by
Robert Wyler .... associate producer
William Wyler .... producer
Harry F. Hogan .... assistant producer (uncredited)
Walter Mirisch .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin (music composed by)
Cinematography by
Ellsworth Fredericks (director of photography) (as Ellsworth Fredricks)
Film Editing by
Robert Belcher (film editor) (as Robert A. Belcher)
Edward A. Biery (film editor) (as Edward A. Biery Jr.)
Robert Swink (film editor)
Art Direction by
Ted Haworth  (as Edward S. Haworth)
Set Decoration by
Joseph Kish  (as Joe Kish)
Costume Design by
Dorothy Jeakins (costume design)
Makeup Department
Agnes Flanagan .... hair stylist (as Agnes Flanigan)
Emile LaVigne .... makeup artist
Glenn Cavender .... makeup (uncredited)
John G. Holden .... makeup (uncredited)
Production Management
Allen K. Wood .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Austen Jewell .... assistant director
Claude Binyon Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
Thomas Carr .... second unit director (uncredited)
William O'Donnell .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Tom Plews .... properties (as Tommy Plews)
James West .... construction supervisor (as Jimmy West)
Sound Department
Ralph Butler .... recording engineer
Del Harris .... sound editor
Gordon R. Glennan .... sound recordist: Westrex Sound Services (uncredited)
Gordon Sawyer .... sound recordist: Samuel Goldwyn Studio Sound Department (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Augie Lohman .... special effects (as August Lohman)
Charles Duncan .... special effects (uncredited)
Hank Moreland .... special effects (uncredited)
Hank Morland .... special effects (uncredited)
Tap Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
John Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Loren Janes .... stunts (uncredited)
Leroy Johnson .... stunts (uncredited)
Slim Talbot .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ray Rennahan .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Al St. Hilaire .... stills (uncredited)
Phil Stern .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bert Henrikson .... wardrobe
Norman Martien .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Sid Mintz .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Adolph Seidel .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Hal Ashby .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Richard C. Harris .... music editor
Dimitri Tiomkin .... music conducted by
Jack Dumont .... musician (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert Taylor .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Robert Gary .... set continuity
Clarence Marks .... consultant
Richard Maybery .... production assistant
Stuart Millar .... assistant to the producer
Jessamyn West .... technical advisor
Cosmo Genovese .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Harry F. Hogan .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Richard Michaels .... assistant script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
137 min
Color (as De Luxe)
Aspect Ratio:
1.75 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Under a 1953 Writer's Guild of America ruling, studios could deny screen credit to writers who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). William Wyler wanted to give writing credit to Robert Wyler and Jessamyn West, who had written the shooting script, but Michael Wilson, who had written the first draft in 1946 but was later blacklisted for refusing to name names before the HUAC, protested. The Writers Guild was called in to resolve the issue and decided to grant sole writing credit to Wilson, leading Allied Artists to invoke the "credits escape clause" for fear that conservative groups would picket if he were the only credited writer. When he was left off the credits, Wilson sued Allied Artists, Wyler, West, Wyler's brother Robert, Liberty Films and Paramount for $250,000, a suit settled out of court. Wyler's bitterness over the studio's position played a major role in his decision not to make any more films there.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Rebel soldier:Peach pie!
Little Jess Birdwell:It's rattlesnake pie.
Rebel soldier:Best rattlesnake pie *I* ever tasted.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Marry Me, Marry MeSee more »


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23 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
"Come and go with me, for thee I love...", 5 June 2004
Author: thursdays from Cleveland, Ohio

Gary Cooper shines as a Quaker alongside a resolute and opinionated Dorothy McGuire as his "congregation elder" wife. They live in the rural "North" at the outbreak of the Civil War, raising 2 eligible teenagers (a boy and a girl), as well as a 10 year old boy. The emminent Civil War has the Quaker community divided on the issue of pacivism. Several "older men" in the congregation quickly turn coats, urging Cooper to join them in fighting the Rebels who plunder and burn Northern villages and kill women and children. When put to the true test, it is Cooper who proves to be the "true Christian".

A love story between the teenage girl and her soldier suiter is a beautiful bonus. The entire cast is excellent, and the timeless theme song by Pat Boone puts the icing on the cake. This is a 5-star classic. You'll want to watch "Friendly Persuasion" again and again.*****

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (56 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Friendly Persuasion (1956)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Meaning of the Title?? hons
Need documentation--Coop hated it? birdwell-2
Coops best role? Narseshasnone
One of the cutest scenes... blessedcelia
Eliza, ... you have some 'splainin' to do! jdbna
High School English Teacher poppa8169
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