Gentleman's Agreement - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gentleman's Agreement Reviews

Page 1 of 16
½ May 12, 2017
To be honest, I often forget that prejudice against Jews was a thing in America?s not-so-distant past. Gentleman?s Agreement was a startling reminder of how horrible we can be to one another for the most insignificant reasons. I thought the way that Gregory Peck?s character explored the topic of anti-Semitism worked well, and led to some powerful moments. It?s also still a relevant issue that applies today, even if the target of prejudice might have shifted. I also appreciated how this film managed to look at anti-Semitism from many angles, the most blatant to the more subtle ways that it can manifest. My struggle with this film was almost exclusively the relationship aspect which was built up between Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire. It was a unique way of exploring different sides of the movie?s central theme, but it didn?t hold up as an interesting romantic relationship. The way they continued to spin their wheels and keep coming back to the same issues was frustrating. Eventually it made me despise Dorothy McGuire?s character, and I ended up hating the conclusion of that story as well. It didn?t help that we had Celeste Holm acting as a counterpoint who would have been a better match for Gregory Peck. For the way that Gentleman?s Agreement addressed the primary issue, I thought it was a successful movie, but there was that one major aspect of the story which made it hard for me to tolerate. I even walked away annoyed, and that can sour my impression of the whole film.
½ May 7, 2017
What I liked about this movie--and a lot of classic movies made back in the day-- is that it wasn't over the top with intensity. The message about how people enable anti-Semitism by not speaking out against it was clearly relayed in this movie--without any violent, shouting, over the top acting like what we might see today. There was also a mild love story in it, which was nice. Not a complicated movie. No in depth twists and turns. No huge cast of characters. Mostly dialogue about the Anti Semitic issue. Good acting.
April 10, 2017
I enjoyed it. Well deserved Oscar winner for Best Picture. Gregory Peck and Celeste Holmes were terrific.
½ February 28, 2017
It's an undeniably touching movie about society and anti-semitism.
January 28, 2017
Phil Green is a highly-regarded investigative journalist. He moves to New York after accepting a contract to write an in-depth article for a magazine. The article is on anti-Semitism and is very topical, as at the time there is quite a large amount of prejudice against Jews in the US. However, it is not a new topic and Phil's editor wants him to cover the issue in an original way. After much brainstorming, Phil decides to pose as Jewish, in order to experience the prejudice first hand. He is not prepared for what he finds.

A great examination of bigotry and prejudice. The topic feels clumsy, initially, as it seems less relevant now and it is hard to believe that anti-Semitism was ever an issue to the extent portrayed in the movie. However, unfortunately, the background is quite accurate in displaying attitudes and issues in the US in the late-1940s, so the movie was very relevant at the time. Moreover, while the exact issue is not overly relevant today, it can be used as a metaphor for any prejudice or bigotry.

With the initial feeling of clumsiness gone, the movie takes on a whole new life and profundity and degree of engagement. Director Elia Kazan weaves the examples of prejudice into the plot quite seamlessly, without making you feel like he is overdoing it or you are being preached to.

Excellent work by Gregory Peck in the lead role. This feeling is helped if you've already seen him in To Kill A Mockingbird, another movie of his that deals with bigotry and prejudice. Peck got a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his efforts.

Good work too from Dorothy McGuire (as Kathy Lacy), Celeste Holm (as Anne Dettrey) and Anne Revere as Mrs. Green. Holm won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination while McGuire got a Best Actress nomination and Revere a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

The film itself won the 1948 Best Picture Oscar. Elia Kazan won his first Oscar (was also his first nomination). In the next 16 years he would garner one more win (for On The Waterfront) and five other nominations.
½ November 11, 2016
Gentleman's Agreement is an amazing film. It is about a reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism. Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire give incredible performances. The screenplay is well written. Elia Kazan did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and romance. Gentleman's Agreement is a must see.
April 14, 2016
This is the movie where Gregory Peck plays a journalist who goes undercover as a Jew in order to experience anti-Semitism himself for a magazine series he is assigned to write. So, immediately, it seems somehow wrong or in bad taste. But obviously director Kazan and the team had their hearts in the right place and the result (although flawed) is shocking and overt - not the sort of dialogue you hear in films of the time. And the decision to target those who are complicit in allowing prejudice to continue by not speaking out against it when they hear it from friends, family, or others -- even though they disagree -- is a good one (and in fact this was the focus of my Ph.D. dissertation, although I focused on anti-Black prejudice, conspicuously ignored here). Dorothy McGuire is brave to play an unlikeable character who passively allows the country club set to continue their bad jokes and exclusionary policies. Although the whole thing feels dated, so do most films of the 1940s, right? Prejudice hasn't disappeared but often isn't as overt - except toward certain groups where somehow some still feel free to express it publicly (sexual minorities, Muslims, unfortunately). Again, as the film points out, the obvious bigots are the ones you can fight and the subtle complicit types are more nefarious. Gregory Peck is wooden but is able to demonstrate the distress and pressure a target of stigma must feel, especially when speaking out; John Garfield seems more authentic as Peck's Jewish friend when he explains the actual experience. The point here, and in my dissertation, is that we need to make certain that the norms of the situations (and world) we inhabit do not allow expressions of prejudice and we need to do that by countering it vocally wherever we see it, no matter how difficult that may be.
March 21, 2016
A topic still as relevant then as it is today. I thought the actors were great. The main actress does a good job of making you empathize/dislike her character at times. I feel slightly bad for the one woman at the end, but obvi he had to choose who he was already in love with. At times the film moves a bit slow, but overall the nuances in the script really are what makes this film great as it discusses so much about stereotypes, racism, and prejudices. What i particularly like is how it explores the dangers of not being overtly racist or anti a certain group but how by going along with the way it is contributes to the whole societal problem as well. I really also liked how the film explored the topic through first hand experiences by going undercover. I didn't realize anti-semitism was this bad back then since you never really hear or see it today. However you can relate this film today to other groups. In a way its sad that this is still so relevant.
½ January 20, 2016
Just two years after Kazan's feature-film debut (and the end of WWII) came this firecracker which became up to that point his most successful film (although A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and Boomerang would also garner Oscar nominations), and it's ironic that so shortly after a great war was won, mainly against racism and the killing of Jews overseas, Gregory Peck's Schuyler Green, in undercover work for an expose to satiate his new, New York City boss, discovers rampant anti-Semitism uncomfortably much closer to home. I love John Garfield's work, rather late in his short career, in the supporting role of Dave Goldman (he should have received an Oscar nomination as well). The film was very successful, taking in three trophies for eight tries altogether (for Best Director, Picture and Supporting Actress--Celeste Holm), and its ending--stressing that forgiveness and tolerance are possible (when Green returns home and forgives his wife)--is very important, though he chose the wrong woman...
December 12, 2015
A charming romance movie that asks hard questions and allows us to reflect on our own flaws.
½ November 1, 2015
Difficult subject matter handled with just a touch of sensitivity. Extremely well cast with solid performances and editing.
February 18, 2015
...

Location scenes Fifth Avenue, FRD Drive and East River, Darien CT station.
½ February 12, 2015
It's a good film and the subject matter was very relevant to that time period (or perhaps any time period), however, the film isn't really a classic or too memorable. It just doesn't have the weight of other Elia Kazan classics, but does have good performances from its cast.
February 3, 2015
It may not have much entertaining value than the average amount while the performances were generally really good, but the most entertaining piece that took this film to the winner's circle was that it was ran with an inspiring notion that tested socialism. (B+)

(Full review coming soon)
½ January 29, 2015
Disappointed in you Kazan, very disappointed
January 28, 2015
I understand what Gentleman's Agreement is trying to do, but this film comes off as patronizing and preachy. This is the kind of movie that you expect to see as an after school special, not as the Best Picture winner of 1947. And I think one of the main reasons this film won in 1947 is because antisemitism was a hot-button issue at that time. Sadly, the heavy-handed presentation overpowers the performances and, frankly, undercuts the message of the movie.
January 26, 2015
Though it becomes far too sociopolitical, and in a way that begs to recognize one type of people as the most victimized on Earth, there is enough romantic turbulence, conflict, and character arc to keep me following the plot threads. Elia Kazan is one of the greatest directors I've ever seen, but this is not a testament to his achievements.
November 11, 2014
I am going to pass on this.
October 19, 2014
This Best Picture Oscar winner is an examination of prejudice. Well written and interesting , I quite liked it. A must watch for classic film fans.
Page 1 of 16