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Gentleman's Agreement [DVD]


Price: £3.53 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Celeste Holm, Ann Revere
  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Producers: Darryl Zanuck
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 4 July 2005
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009I9XMY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,316 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Elia Kazan's Oscar-winning conscience-raiser was the first Hollywood film to take anti-Semitism as its central theme. Journalist Phil Green (Gregory Peck) is researching a piece on discrimination against Jews. Dissatisfied with his efforts, Green decides to masquerade as a Jew in order to build up first-hand experience of prejudice. As well as Academy recognition for the film and director, Celeste Holm carried home an Oscar for her supporting role.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mr Cameron Krook on 1 July 2003
Format: DVD
Gentleman's Agreement was the 1947 winner of 3 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Celeste Holm), and Best Director (Elia Kazan). Adapted from Laura Z. Hobson's best-selling book, this post-World War II classic caused a sensation through its confrontation of religious prejudice.
Gregory Peck plays the part of a renowned journalist who takes a daring and provocative approach to writing a series about post-War anti-Semitism in America for a national magazine. Whilst the plot includes some heavy-handed moralising and the dialogue can at times be condescending in its sermonising, these approaches are both necessary in exposing the hypocrisy of those who profess condemnation of prejudice in general, and anti-Semitism in particular, but unwittingly uphold it through their failure to actively stand against it.
Apart from its necessary and commendable primary theme, I love this film for its snappy 1940's New York parlance; the subplot love triangle between Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, and Celeste Holm; the childhood and ex-army comradeship between Peck and John Garfield, and the lost etiquette of romance contemporary to the era.
The original theatrical trailer included in the special features is really charming as it is in the style of a Movietone newsreel. Also included are a gallery of cast stills and subtitles in 10 languages as well as English for the hearing-impaired.
Still an excellent film and a must-have for your classics collection. Buy it!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By father2 on 25 Nov 2005
Format: DVD
For those who have never experienced the effects of racism it must be difficult to comprehend what that does to a person. This film involves a magazine writer Philip Schuyler Green - played by Gregory Peck - who poses as a Jewish man to find out how people will react. He does this because he has been assigned to write a series of articles on anti-semitism. The way ordinary people react to Green shocks him to the core and underlines the deeply rooted racism against Jews which was present at that time. The most moving scene in the film for me is when Green is confronted by outright racism in a hotel. Director Elia Kazan and producer Darryl F Zanuck took a great risk producing this film and they did so against a backdrop of other well know Jewish film-makers pleading with them not to make it, because they knew the furore that it would produce. In the event Gentlemans Agreement was a hugely successful film and went on to take three Oscars. Gregory Peck paid heavily for his involvement in this film because he was blackballed by one establishment after another for the next twenty years. Gentleman's Agreement is a very powerful film which has not lost any of it’s impact in the past five decades.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Derek R. Osbourne on 9 Nov 2007
Format: DVD
You won't find a black person in the entire movie and yet this is from the great radical Twentieth Century Fox. There isn't even a mention of the holocaust as a launch for the protagonists interest in anti-semitism probably because the message that nice people allowing racist jokes and not standing up to anti-semitism leads to gas chambers and the holocaust.

Yet you have to look to the context of film making at the time and the readiness, or lack of it, of American audiences to watch movies on these themes to understand the radicalism of the movie in 1947.

The nice people who are condemned in this movie would be the nice people who made up its audiences. To make this film a success and make the audience challenge itself was quite a feat because this was not designed to be a gritty movie that nobody watched but a movie that would draw large audiences. Make the film harder and yo miss losing the audience you want to reach.

From this film must be seen the near beginning of films such as Guess Who's comint to Dinner which essentially covered the same issue but in one person's family, Heat of the Night, Mississippi Burning and In America. WEll done Twentieth Century Fox for starting the journey.

Incidentally, Gregory Peck was blackballed for evert country club he ever applied for as a direct result of challenging country club racism in this movie.

A good film, well directed with an outstanding cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BG on 9 Mar 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great film about a timeless issue of prejudice. Pity Hollywood seems to be much more involved with mass entertainment these days rather then "telling it like it is" as exemplified in this timeless film from 1947!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Gentleman's Agreement

Based on the novel of the same name by Laura Z Hobson (1900 -1986), and built on a similar plan to "To Kill a Mocking Bird" (also starring Peck in the title role), Gentleman's Agreement is not in the same class as the latter film in this reviewer's opinion.

Both films take up the theme of prejudice and bigotry in human relationships, the latter between blacks and whites, the former between Jew and non-Jew. Quite apart from the obvious difference between the two types of behaviour, the subjects are themselves some distance apart. However, in both cases one has to be the "victim" to understand the ramifications. This is where Gentleman's Agreement falls short of a solution (not that there is a solution, human nature being what it is).

Peck (a widower with a son of around nine years) is assigned by a well established publisher to write a substantial series of articles on anti-Semitism. Initially he finds the task irksome until he stumbles upon the idea of portraying himself as a Jew to all but a select few. This "false" persona was to last eight weeks, after which he would come "clean" as it were.

Despite throwing up some interesting tensions at a personal level (his newly acquired lady friend and his child mostly) the plot is thwart with difficulties. This, on the face of it, is encouraging, but unfortunately one cannot avoid the sense that it is all too contrived to hold credibility. The ending might have been different too, for example if Peck were to have found out (from his widowed mother who features prominently throughout) that in fact he had a Jewish ancestry. Instead, he eventually falls into the safe arms of his temporarily estranged lassie and all ends happily after all.
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