Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

ELIA KAZAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

USA, 1947.  .  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by Mark-Lee Kirk, .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1947.  Golden Globe Awards 1947.  

Gregory Peck decides to research anti-Semitism for his newspaper by taking up residence under a Jewish name and seeing how he is treated by others in his community. This film has many great moments that point out the very nature of racism and bigotry in America (such as, in one poignant dinner scene, showing that someone going along with an offensive joke is just as culpable as the one telling it).  It feels tamer than it should, even for its time; I suppose the effort in telling the story is admirable enough, as it was a subject that Hollywood in general wasn’t willing to tackle, and Twentieth Century-Fox was brave to risk the waves it would cause in Middle-Class White America. Also features a great supporting turn by the marvelous Celeste Holm.

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