In addition to winning the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Direction, Gentleman`s Agreement was one of Fox`s highest-grossing films of 1947. However, the political character of the film angered the House Un-American Activities Committee, Elia Kazan, Darryl Zanuck, John Garfield and Anne Revere before the commission. Revere refused to testify, and even though Garfield appeared, he refused to “give names.” Both were included in the red channels on Hollywood`s blacklist. Garfield remained on the blacklist for a year, was again called to testify against his wife and died of a heart attack at the age of 39 before his second hearing. “Gentleman`s Agreement” may not be as dangerous as it was when it was released in 1947, but this embassy film still treats a meaningful subject with tact, intelligence, and sensitivity. Anti-Semitism has certainly diminished in this country over the years, but Elia Kazan`s drama reminds us how virulent and insidious the seeds of prejudice – any prejudice – can become. Although its crude presentation often overwhelms him, “Gentleman`s Agreement” remains a well-made film with excellent performances from an exceptional cast. Fox`s Blu-ray treatment deserves good ratings thanks to smooth transmission, solid audio, and a nice selection of supplements. This Oscar winner may have lost his bite, but his bark is still strong enough to deserve attention, and even today, we can gain a little. Recommended. Gentleman`s Agreement still acts as an intelligent, striking and captivating drama, and although times have changed since 1947, the subject he handles with such courage remains topical and relevant to this day. Gentleman`s Agreement is a 1947 American film drama based on the 1947 novel of the same name by Laura Z.
Hobson. This is a journalist (played by Gregory Peck) who speaks out as a Jew to research the widespread distrust and dislike of Jews in New York and the affluent communities of New Canaan, Connecticut, and Darien, Connecticut. It has been nominated for eight Oscars and won three: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Celeste Holm) and Best Director (Elia Kazan). Peck`s scenes with Dean Stockwell are pretty good, especially because he was an unusually natural child character. Conversely, Anne Revere, better in other films, especially in her similar role in John Garfield Body and Soul (also in 1947), gets all the polemical dialogues, including an almost ridiculous speech at the end. Philip Schuyler Green, a widowed journalist, comes to New York city with his son Tommy and his mother from California to work for Smith`s Weekly, a leading national magazine. John Minify, the publisher, wants Phil to write a series about anti-Semitism, but Phil is lukewarm on the order. At a party, Phil Minify`s niece meets Kathy Lacy, a divorcee attracted to Phil, and Kathy reminds her uncle that she proposed the series some time ago. Tommy asks his father about anti-Semitism, and when Phil struggles to explain it, he decides to accept the mission. However, he is frustrated by his inability to find a satisfying approach, as he and Minify want the series to go beyond simply discovering the “crackpot” mentality.
After trying to imagine what his Jewish childhood friend Dave Goldman, now in the military abroad, must feel when he experiences bigotry, Phil decides to write from a Jewish perspective. However, he continues to struggle to write until he realizes that certain things can never be known until they are experienced first-hand, and that the only way to have the necessary experience is to appear Jewish in the eyes of other people. . . .