Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Favorite Classic Movies: Gentleman's Agreement.

Bert McAnny: What? Now, Green, don't get me wrong. Why, some of my best friends are Jews.
Anne Dettrey: And some of your other best friends are Methodists, but you never bother to say that.

This is one of the really great movies and takes place in one of the most interesting times in US history. This move takes place in the post war years, that time between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Korean War and the 1950s. It also addresses anti-semitism at a time when anti-semitism was wide spread and tolerated. 

Plot.
Gregory Peck's character Philip Schuyler Green is a writer and a returned veteran with a new job at a New York magazine.  He is also a widower and lives with his son and mother. His first assignment is a piece on anti-semitism. Philip Green is not happy with the anti-semitism story because he feels it all has been done. Eventually he finds an angle to his story that would be original, he is going to pretend he is Jewish. He also meets two women so you have a romantic plot.

How I feel about this movie.
This movie is full of great actors, has a great script, and takes place at a very interesting time in US history. I love this movie. In away it brings so much hope to the screen and to me. You look at this movie and see just how bad things were at the time. Imagine the world of 1947. Masses of returned GIs, many with post traumatic stress syndrome and no real treatment because people didn't understand it. The world had changed from one of fabric covered biplanes to jet planes, rockets, and atomic bombs. The Nazi death camps were not something that happened long ago.  The US military was still occupying Germany and Japan. Most of the rest of Europe was still in shambles. One would think that the US would have been exhausted from the war but it was not. This movie reflects that imperfect world, but also a spirit in the US that no problem could not be fixed and that nothing was impossible.  When I see this movie it gives me hope. You see just how bad bigotry was then and how much things have changed. It also makes me wish that the US could find that same attitude today. 

Favorite quote

I love how the movie ends. 
Mrs. Green: You know something, Phil? I suddenly want to live to be very old. Very. I want to be around to see what happens. The world is stirring in very strange ways. Maybe this is the century for it. Maybe that's why it's so troubled. Other centuries had their driving forces. What will ours have been when men look back? Maybe it won't be the American century after all... or the Russian century or the atomic century. Wouldn't it be wonderful... if it turned out to be everybody's century... when people all over the world - free people - found a way to live together? I'd like to be around to see some of that... even the beginning. I may stick around for quite a while.

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