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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

Recently located to New York, a widowed journalist (Gregory Peck) is assigned a story on anti-Semitism by his magazine publisher (Albert Dekker). After struggling with a fresh approach to the story, he comes up with the idea of passing himself as a Jew in order to feel the effects of anti-Semitism first hand. Though quite daring and brave for its time, today GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT comes across as a didactic treatise on anti-Semitism with talking heads crossing every T and dotting every I as if we were unable to grasp the concept of anti-Semitism. Noble intentions indeed but it makes for a very preachy movie. Dorothy McGuire as the New York liberal socialite, who serves as a romantic liaison for Peck, seems created for the sole purpose of showing the hypocrisy of the left who condemn the unfairness of anti-Semitism without actually doing anything about it. Based on the best selling novel by Laura Z. Hobson and directed by Elia Kazan. With John Garfield, Celeste Holm (inexplicably winning an undeserved Oscar for her work here), Anne Revere, Dean Stockwell, Jane Wyatt, Sam Jaffe, June Havoc and Gene Nelson.

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