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

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Friendly Persuasion -- Trailer this motion picture from William Wyler


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Down 15% 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:
Funny as well as dramatic story about a Quaker family caught up in the American Civil War 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?

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 »
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Mocking Bird in a Willow TreeSee more »


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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Funny as well as dramatic story about a Quaker family caught up in the American Civil War, 20 January 2014
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain

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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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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