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Friendly Persuasion (1956)

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The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Jessamyn West (book), Michael Wilson (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:
Gary Cooper ... Jess Birdwell
Dorothy McGuire ... Eliza Birdwell
Anthony Perkins ... Josh Birdwell
Richard Eyer ... Little Jess Birdwell
Robert Middleton ... Sam Jordan
Phyllis Love Phyllis Love ... Mattie Birdwell
Peter Mark Richman ... Gard Jordan (as Mark Richman)
Walter Catlett ... Professor Quigley
Richard Hale ... Purdy
Joel Fluellen Joel Fluellen ... Enoch
Theodore Newton ... Major Harvey
John Smith ... Caleb Cope
Edna Skinner ... Opal Hudspeth
Marjorie Durant Marjorie Durant ... Pearl Hudspeth
Frances Farwell 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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Birdwell Goes to Battle See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (as De Luxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first commercial film William Wyler shot in color. He had previously shot 3 WW2 documentaries in color but never before a commercial film. See more »

Goofs

During the final battle, a Confederate wagon flips over near the water bank. As the battle continues, the wagon has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Jess Birdwell: I'm just his father, Eliza, not his conscience. A man's life ain't worth a hill of beans except he lives up to his own conscience.
See more »

Connections

Featured in I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Indiana Holiday
(1956)
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An exceptional film!
7 November 1999 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Wyler's "Friendly Persuasion" and "The Big Country" entitle an authentic and significant theme which is somewhat expressed in stronger terms in "Friendly Persuasion" but which meet with the impressive "The Big Country."

The story is simple, lovely and sensitive...

Gary Cooper, head of a Quaker family, is a loving husband and a caring father who has to consider his position at the outbreak of the Civil War in Southern Indiana... Cooper believes - as a father - that a man must be guided by his own conscience...

Anthony Perkins takes the part of Cooper's son which he plays beautifully... He is the 'peace-loving' young man who does not believe in fighting... He is like his mother shattered and teared apart by the events, but also feeling uncertainty about his capacity to meet danger without giving way to fear... Perkins sees that he has to convince himself that he is not a coward, so he becomes a member of the Home Guard, ready to defend the community...

Dorothy McGuire emits pleasant emotions as the Quaker mother, projecting inner beauty to her family...

Sentimental and well done, "Friendly Persuasion" is superbly acted and directed, beautifully shot in color... The film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound Recording and Best Song...


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