Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred. [imdb]

Nominated for 8 Oscars:

Best Picture (WINNER)
Best Director: Elia Kazan (WINNER)
Best Actor: Gregory Peck
Best Actress: Dorothy McGuire
Best Supporting Actress: Celeste Holm (WINNER)
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Revere
Best Writing, Screenplay
Best Editing

I'm a bit ashamed I hadn't seen this Oscar winner until now! One can argue that the movie is dated, but the idea behind it, its essence is still valid. It's a movie about putting yourself in the shoes of a discriminated minority! And even though it sounds cheesy, the movie was better and more captivating than I expected.
The subject itself is the highlight of this film, so its succes is mostly due to the material. Also, good performances help: all the nominees give ok performances + John Garfield + a very very young Dean Stockwell :) Celeste Holm's Oscar win might be deserved, but I would've liked a better ending for the character's storyline. It was cut too abruptly. And Anne Revere is great and dependable playing Peck's mother. The direction is good, but a bit too subtle for my taste. The film does slow down in the last 20 minutes and risks major cheesyness with a lot of good-intended speeches, but fortunately it doesn't totally rulen the dynamic from the first part.
My rating for the film: 8/10. I would've given it more had it not been the unnecessary dinner scene between Garfield's and McGuire's characters. But a nice movie and really important for that era.

1 comment:

  1. Now that you say about I suppose you're right. The movie has not aged well which accounts for many bloggers hating it. I've seen it get as low as D-s from people. It's not perfect, and the ending is a bit slow...but an 8 seems about right.

    Looking forward to your thoughts on McGuire.