Gentleman's Agreement Reviews

  • Jan 02, 2021

    Pretty rousing in what could be deemed a slightly sanctimonious manner but that would be to overlook just how rampant explicit displays of racism would have been in 1940s America. Arguably the most interesting aspect is that the film focuses on anti-semi Tien as opposed to the even more oppressive racist restrictions in black lives at the time. Too early maybe. Anyway, not much else to say about the film as the strength lay less in the plot than the strength of the convictions.

    Pretty rousing in what could be deemed a slightly sanctimonious manner but that would be to overlook just how rampant explicit displays of racism would have been in 1940s America. Arguably the most interesting aspect is that the film focuses on anti-semi Tien as opposed to the even more oppressive racist restrictions in black lives at the time. Too early maybe. Anyway, not much else to say about the film as the strength lay less in the plot than the strength of the convictions.

  • Oct 25, 2020

    This film is way ahead of its time and is applicable to prejudice of all forms. It also addresses the the often not discussed guilt by silence.

    This film is way ahead of its time and is applicable to prejudice of all forms. It also addresses the the often not discussed guilt by silence.

  • Oct 05, 2020

    Pacing of the film has good and the acting even better. John Garfield was my favorite as Peck Jewish childhood buddy. And a very young Dean Stockwell was also impressive. Surprised at how relevant the message of not staying silent when others make fun of a minority. Wished I seen this film years ago. I would have been a better person because of it.

    Pacing of the film has good and the acting even better. John Garfield was my favorite as Peck Jewish childhood buddy. And a very young Dean Stockwell was also impressive. Surprised at how relevant the message of not staying silent when others make fun of a minority. Wished I seen this film years ago. I would have been a better person because of it.

  • Jul 27, 2020

    It would be easy for a film about anti-Semitism to bash you over the head with caricatures of brutal bigots. Gentleman's Agreement isn't like that at all. The script is intelligent and nuanced and the cast is superb. The dialog gets a little preachy towards the end though, causing me to deduct a star.

    It would be easy for a film about anti-Semitism to bash you over the head with caricatures of brutal bigots. Gentleman's Agreement isn't like that at all. The script is intelligent and nuanced and the cast is superb. The dialog gets a little preachy towards the end though, causing me to deduct a star.

  • Jul 23, 2020

    Philip Green (Gregory Peck) is a journalist who's investigating a spread of Antisemitism in New York. To gather a more empathetic perspective on the subject matter, he paints himself as a Jewish person, switching doctors, changing his name and all sorts of things. He finds out that Jewish bigotry does exist as he gets bombarded with slurs, gets kicked out of hotels and a doctor refuses his service. As much as I enjoyed the movie fine, with the brilliant performances, Elia Kazan's directing, and fascinating topic, I wished the movie was more visual. You could make parallels between the subway stations and the Holocaust or have him travel to Germany. Better yet, have the movie focused on Peck's best friend (John Garfield), the Jewish World War 2 veteran who experiences Antisemitism in his home. Then again, that's a bit of a stretch, especially when Gentleman's Agreement gets a lot right. Like I said, the performances are brilliant, but the scene stealer belongs to Celeste Holm as the editor. She is a direct and charismatic woman who always spoke her Democratic mind. Beyond that, despite the controversy it received at the time, the film is only fine. (3 ½ Graffitied Pigeon Box Cards out of 5)

    Philip Green (Gregory Peck) is a journalist who's investigating a spread of Antisemitism in New York. To gather a more empathetic perspective on the subject matter, he paints himself as a Jewish person, switching doctors, changing his name and all sorts of things. He finds out that Jewish bigotry does exist as he gets bombarded with slurs, gets kicked out of hotels and a doctor refuses his service. As much as I enjoyed the movie fine, with the brilliant performances, Elia Kazan's directing, and fascinating topic, I wished the movie was more visual. You could make parallels between the subway stations and the Holocaust or have him travel to Germany. Better yet, have the movie focused on Peck's best friend (John Garfield), the Jewish World War 2 veteran who experiences Antisemitism in his home. Then again, that's a bit of a stretch, especially when Gentleman's Agreement gets a lot right. Like I said, the performances are brilliant, but the scene stealer belongs to Celeste Holm as the editor. She is a direct and charismatic woman who always spoke her Democratic mind. Beyond that, despite the controversy it received at the time, the film is only fine. (3 ½ Graffitied Pigeon Box Cards out of 5)

  • Jul 22, 2020

    Powerful film with great performances.

    Powerful film with great performances.

  • May 23, 2020

    Before Black Like Me and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Gentleman's Agreement was the breakthrough production that outlined the overlooked 'outliers' in what is all too commonly considered idyllic postwar America. It treats its subject with care, outlining the slimy nature of casual discrimination, weaving its way into the mind's eye of those who perceive racism as something that can only exist overtly. The film can't help but feel altogether too morally self-confident (particularly its ending, where the characters act as if they've 'solved' racism), and its focus on upper middle-class characters was probably a cop-out to achieve popular acceptance, but it is still an important film for the development of the public consciousness of mid-20th century America. (4/5)

    Before Black Like Me and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Gentleman's Agreement was the breakthrough production that outlined the overlooked 'outliers' in what is all too commonly considered idyllic postwar America. It treats its subject with care, outlining the slimy nature of casual discrimination, weaving its way into the mind's eye of those who perceive racism as something that can only exist overtly. The film can't help but feel altogether too morally self-confident (particularly its ending, where the characters act as if they've 'solved' racism), and its focus on upper middle-class characters was probably a cop-out to achieve popular acceptance, but it is still an important film for the development of the public consciousness of mid-20th century America. (4/5)

  • May 01, 2020

    It's sad to me that the theme of this movie is one that we are still dealing with 60 years later. While anti-Semitism may not be as openly rampant as it was in the 1940's, the assumption of gentile superiority still exists, and has been joined with the assumption of white superiority, heterosexual superiority, Christian superiority, and cis-gender superiority. And of course, all of these were preceded by the long-time assumption of male superiority. Sadly, there have always been those in society that imagine it is their right to tell others what their place will be. 1948's Oscar winning film, Gentleman's Agreement, addresses the assumption of gentile superiority head on. And it does so superbly. Gregory Peck plays Philip Green, a widowed writer who has moved from California to New York City with his son (a very young Dean Stockwell) and mother. The progressive magazine company he goes to work for requests him to write a story on anti-Semitism. Being a new citizen of the city, he decides he can use this to his advantage, and tell all those in his new job and social circle, that he is a Jew (even though he isn't). It takes no time at all for this information to spread throughout the company and for him to begin experience the belittling stings of discrimination. This discrimination eventually gets extended to his son, and to his new girlfriend. The discrimination is dealt with from all levels, from outright refusal to be given a hotel room or be allowed to live within certain neighborhoods, down to Jews who have changed their names in order to better fit in and who don't want other Jews to have the same advantages they have obtained. The movie also addresses how being Jewish is not an actual race, but an identity, and how most religiously non-practicing Jews still identified as Jewish, and the socially constructed reasons for this. The height of conflict comes from the relationship between Phillip and his eventual fiancée, Kathy (Dorothy McGuire). She is not anti-Semetic (the article Phillip is writing was her initial idea), but through Phillip's "Jewish" eyes, he can't help but come to see her as a contributor to the spread of such discrimination because of her acceptance of social norms, and her desire to politely excuse it when confronted by it. Providing heart, insight, and non-conformity to such prejudices is co-worker Anne (Celeste Holmes), who radiates with every scene she shares with Phillip. Celeste won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for this performance, and one can easily see why. As a viewer of all their worlds, you can't help but root for Anne to hopefully win over Phillip's affections. The goal of the film is to address discrimination head on, clobbering it. Speaking out is not the job of the brave, but the job of all, regardless of how disrupting it can be to the status quo. This film was highly controversial when it premiered. Many of the actors (and director Elia Kazan) were black listed and called up to appear before the egregious House Un-American Committee of the day. The clobbering of the evils of discrimination is needed just as much today as when this film debuted. The world Phillip's mother predicted his article would usher, hasn't happened. But for many, we can continue to strive for it!

    It's sad to me that the theme of this movie is one that we are still dealing with 60 years later. While anti-Semitism may not be as openly rampant as it was in the 1940's, the assumption of gentile superiority still exists, and has been joined with the assumption of white superiority, heterosexual superiority, Christian superiority, and cis-gender superiority. And of course, all of these were preceded by the long-time assumption of male superiority. Sadly, there have always been those in society that imagine it is their right to tell others what their place will be. 1948's Oscar winning film, Gentleman's Agreement, addresses the assumption of gentile superiority head on. And it does so superbly. Gregory Peck plays Philip Green, a widowed writer who has moved from California to New York City with his son (a very young Dean Stockwell) and mother. The progressive magazine company he goes to work for requests him to write a story on anti-Semitism. Being a new citizen of the city, he decides he can use this to his advantage, and tell all those in his new job and social circle, that he is a Jew (even though he isn't). It takes no time at all for this information to spread throughout the company and for him to begin experience the belittling stings of discrimination. This discrimination eventually gets extended to his son, and to his new girlfriend. The discrimination is dealt with from all levels, from outright refusal to be given a hotel room or be allowed to live within certain neighborhoods, down to Jews who have changed their names in order to better fit in and who don't want other Jews to have the same advantages they have obtained. The movie also addresses how being Jewish is not an actual race, but an identity, and how most religiously non-practicing Jews still identified as Jewish, and the socially constructed reasons for this. The height of conflict comes from the relationship between Phillip and his eventual fiancée, Kathy (Dorothy McGuire). She is not anti-Semetic (the article Phillip is writing was her initial idea), but through Phillip's "Jewish" eyes, he can't help but come to see her as a contributor to the spread of such discrimination because of her acceptance of social norms, and her desire to politely excuse it when confronted by it. Providing heart, insight, and non-conformity to such prejudices is co-worker Anne (Celeste Holmes), who radiates with every scene she shares with Phillip. Celeste won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for this performance, and one can easily see why. As a viewer of all their worlds, you can't help but root for Anne to hopefully win over Phillip's affections. The goal of the film is to address discrimination head on, clobbering it. Speaking out is not the job of the brave, but the job of all, regardless of how disrupting it can be to the status quo. This film was highly controversial when it premiered. Many of the actors (and director Elia Kazan) were black listed and called up to appear before the egregious House Un-American Committee of the day. The clobbering of the evils of discrimination is needed just as much today as when this film debuted. The world Phillip's mother predicted his article would usher, hasn't happened. But for many, we can continue to strive for it!

  • Apr 21, 2020

    A film with an important message with some decent acting and interesting things that are told throughout. Its not perfect and does not explore everything that is going on. It shows it from a high society and does not showcase the problems form many different people and how America itself was dealing with it. Gregory Peck is as always is very watchable and the supporting cast are very good, including Anne Revere as Pecks mum and John Garfield. Garfield's character is the one who has lived as a Jew and so has the experience which Peck's character is looking for. Its odd that Peck's did not see how bad Jews were treated maybe he is like so many that is unhappy with it but does nothing about it. Does not say anything and just lives his life. Their are some very good scenes. Watching a young boy cry and have to tell his father how he was treated or the many conversations between Peck's character and his girlfriend. At times very thought provoking and not just about how Jew's were treated but giving strong insight in prejudice across the board. If we just ignore it and refuse to question are we ourselves to blame. You can see why it was well liked and won the best picture Oscar. Important film in its context but not perfect.

    A film with an important message with some decent acting and interesting things that are told throughout. Its not perfect and does not explore everything that is going on. It shows it from a high society and does not showcase the problems form many different people and how America itself was dealing with it. Gregory Peck is as always is very watchable and the supporting cast are very good, including Anne Revere as Pecks mum and John Garfield. Garfield's character is the one who has lived as a Jew and so has the experience which Peck's character is looking for. Its odd that Peck's did not see how bad Jews were treated maybe he is like so many that is unhappy with it but does nothing about it. Does not say anything and just lives his life. Their are some very good scenes. Watching a young boy cry and have to tell his father how he was treated or the many conversations between Peck's character and his girlfriend. At times very thought provoking and not just about how Jew's were treated but giving strong insight in prejudice across the board. If we just ignore it and refuse to question are we ourselves to blame. You can see why it was well liked and won the best picture Oscar. Important film in its context but not perfect.

  • Jan 06, 2020

    Fantastic movie. Absolutely great casting with Gregory Peck as the reporter who is out to do whatever little part he can in helping destroy anti-Semitism. Extremely moving. I have seen 11 of Elia Kazan's movies as of this writing and find 8 of them to be masterpieces or near-masterpieces, and this is one of them. Just incredible.

    Fantastic movie. Absolutely great casting with Gregory Peck as the reporter who is out to do whatever little part he can in helping destroy anti-Semitism. Extremely moving. I have seen 11 of Elia Kazan's movies as of this writing and find 8 of them to be masterpieces or near-masterpieces, and this is one of them. Just incredible.