Friendly Persuasion


(out of 5)

William Wyler’s excellent drama about a Quaker family seems on the surface simply an enjoyable period epic, but careful examination reveals something much more meaningful going on.   leads the cast as father to a household who, along with his wife ( in her finest performance), is trying to keep the desires of modern living out of home life. Civil war is imminent and many of the townspeople have decided that their religion’s pacifism is to be put aside temporarily in order to protect their town. Cooper and clan object, insisting that their beliefs are meant for just these circumstances, but eventually even his own son () gets bitten by the desire to go off in search of adventure; the allegory to McCarthyism is not subtle but the timeless nature of the story hits deep even if you have knowledge of Hollywood in the fifties. A fantastic sequence involving soldiers invading the homestead and McGuire’s subsequent generosity to them is one of the most powerful examples of admirable morality ever put on film.

Allied Artists Pictures, B-M Productions

USA, 1956

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the book by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by 

Film Editing by , ,

Academy Awards 1956

Cannes Film Festival 1957

Golden Globe Awards 1956


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