Gentleman's Agreement

1947

Gentleman's Agreement

Critics Consensus

It occasionally fails to live up to its subject matter -- and is perhaps an 'important' film more than a 'great' one -- but the performances from Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire are superb.

78%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 37

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,606
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Movie Info

Adapted by Moss Hart from the novel by Laura Z. Hobson, this film stars Gregory Peck as recently widowed journalist Phil Green. With a growing son (Dean Stockwell) to support, Green is receptive to the invitation of magazine publisher John Minify (Albert Dekker) to write a series of hard-hitting articles on the scourge of anti-Semitism. In order to glean his information first hand, Green decides to pose as a Jew. As the weeks go by, Green experiences all manner of prejudice, the most insidious being the subtle, "gentleman's agreement" form of bigotry wherein anti-Jewish sentiments are merely taken for granted. Green's pose takes a toll on his budding romance with Minify's niece Kathy (Dorothy McGuire), who comes to realize by her own example that even those who insist that they harbor no anti-Semitic feelings are also capable of prejudice. Watching from the sidelines is Green's lifelong Jewish friend Dave (John Garfield, in what may be his best performance), who despite his inherent rage over the iniquities of racism has learned to be philosophical about the failings of his fellow man-but not to the extent that he's willing to give up the fight against blind hatred. Though warned by several Jewish film moguls that to produce the film would merely "make trouble," 20th Century-Fox chieftan Daryl F. Zanuck (who was not himself Jewish) saw the project through to its conclusion. The wisdom of Zanuck's decision was proven when Gentleman's Agreement not only made a fortune for Fox, but also won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Elia Kazan) and Best Supporting Actress (Celeste Holm). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Gregory Peck
as Phil Green
Dorothy McGuire
as Kathy Lacey
John Garfield
as Dave Goldman
Celeste Holm
as Anne Dettrey
Anne Revere
as Mrs. Green
June Havoc
as Elaine Wales
Albert Dekker
as John Minify
Jane Wyatt
as Jane Lacey
Dean Stockwell
as Tommy Green
Nicholas Joy
as Dr. Craigie
Sam Jaffe
as Prof. Lieberman
Harold Vermilyea
as Lou Jordan
Ransom Sherman
as Bill Payson
Roy Roberts
as Mr. Calkins
Kathleen Lockhart
as Mrs. Minify
Curt Conway
as Bert McAnny
Louise Lorimer
as Miss Miller
Marilyn Monk
as Receptionist
Wilton Graff
as Maitre d'
Mauritz Hugo
as Columnist
Gene Nelson
as 2nd Ex-G.I
Robert Karnes
as 1st Ex-GI in restaurant
Jesse White
as Elevator Starter
Olive Carey
as 1st woman
View All

Critic Reviews for Gentleman's Agreement

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (8)

Audience Reviews for Gentleman's Agreement

  • Mar 15, 2014
    Well made. Peck is at his best here, and the writing and direction are excellent. The ideas presented are timeless and crucial. When we do nothing we are making a choice, often a negative one.
    Morris N Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2013
    We have Peck playing someone who is wronged (as opposed to helping someone who is wronged). Unlike his later portrayal of Atticus Finch, Peck doesn't really deliver in this film raising awareness of anti-Semitism. At times it is a bit paint-by-numbers.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2013
    A newspaperman lies and tells his co-workers that he's Jewish in order to experience prejudice. A strong performance by Gregory Peck is the main attraction to this film. That sonorous voice, his unflinching gaze, and his imperious demeanor make him the type of person who exudes integrity, and when he plays characters like Phil or Atticus Finch, actor and character become one. The film is reductive in its treatment of race/prejudice. I don't think one can truly understand prejudice by "playing Jewish." Yes, one can come close, and one can feel discriminated against in a cursory way, but I imagine that prejudice cuts deeper if one has a bone-deep connection with the discriminated against. Of course, I can't be sure. Also, the ending seemed ham-handed and maudlin, and I didn't think that what happened reflects what these people really would have done. Overall, Gregory Peck is always compelling even in films that aren't.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2011
    Very serious piece about silent prejudice, where the usual hallmarks of bigotry are hidden under a polished but greasy veneer of smiling good manners. Ahead of its time by decades at least, the crux of the tale interestingly happens inside of a blossoming love affair between two we-know-better-than-that cosmopolitans, ably delivered by Peck and (very underrated but nuanced and shining) Dorothy McQuire.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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