Gentleman's Agreement [DVD] 
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very strong story line, acting.a bit dated, but it was a very good film in it's day!Published 13 months ago by ann harris
The introduction above is somewhat misleading. Check out Crossfire with Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan and Gloria Grahame. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Keith White