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Gentleman's Agreement Movie Review Summary

Actors: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Celeste Holm

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Gentleman's Agreement


Gregory Peck is a journalist in search of a story in post World War II New York. He decides to pretend he is Jewish and write an article on anti-semitism in the United States. Only his editor knows he really isn't Jewish and immediately after he tells his colleagues that he is, he is treated differently. He tells his fiancee (Dorothy McGuire) and she agrees to go along with the plan, but not at a party. This causes tension between them, as he realizes she wouldn't want her friends and family to think she was marrying a Jew.
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John Garfield, a returning Jewish soldier and friend, really does feel the effects of anti-semitism.
The movie shows how prejudice against any group can erode relationships and perpetuate stereotypes that just are not true. Gregory Peck writes his article and learns first hand what being a victim of religious intolerance is like.

The review of this Movie prepared by Joan Zuckerman




Gentleman's Agreement is directed by Elia Kazan and is based on a Laura Z. Hobson novel.

Philip Green is a widowed journalist who has just moved with his young son to NYC. The first assignment his editor suggests is to write a story about anti-semitism. Initially Green can't find an angle for it, but soon hits upon one that could be very promising - for a short period of time, he will pretend to be a Jew (saying that his name is short for Greenberg, for example), and then chronicling the reactions he gets from his new co-workers, new social acquaintances, and the people who manage country clubs and restaurants.

Before he launches this plan, he falls in love with his editor's niece, Kathy, who is opposed to anti-semitism and initially seems to go along with Green's idea and support him. But problems arise in their relationship when Green thinks that Kathy is all talk and wouldn't actually do anything that would help Jewish people. And she thinks that he's being disagreeable and self-righteous, getting too swept away with the spirit of immediate confrontation and reform. The question is whether she'll come around to seeing things his way.

The movie's tone can get a little preachy as it belabors obvious points; also, the Peck character is pretty predictable - there aren't any inner struggles or doubts for him, he pretty much does the right thing passionately without a second thought (no character development required). However, when Celeste Holm steps onto the screen (she plays a fashion editor at the magazine Green works for), the movie sparkles.


The review of this Movie prepared by Esther



Script Analysis of Gentleman's Agreement

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's Polit/Social/Race/Gender activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   fighting discrim. (other than racial/gender) Ethnic/Regional/Gender story?    -   Yes Ethnic/region/relig    -   Jew, regular

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York    -   wealthy    -   rude people

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   kissing Any profanity?    -   None Is this movie based on a    -   book

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