Gentleman's Agreement is a 1947 drama film directed by Elia Kazan and stars Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire. The film won Best Supporting Actress and Best Director along with Best Picture.
Philip Green (Peck) is a gentile journalist who has moved to New York. He is asked to research and write an article on antisemitism. Green struggles to find a significant lead, until he conceives the idea to pose as being Jewish. As he works on his assignment, Green finds himself the victim of religious intolerance, affecting himself and his relationship with his new girlfriend and later fiancee Kathy Lacey (McGuire).
Gregory Peck was one of the finest actors of his generation. His performance in To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the finest acting performances in cinematic history. It pains me to proclaim that his talents are being wasted here on a story that, while commendable and realistic, turns out to be vapidly executed by virtue of a disappointing script. Scenes are little more than casual conversations or romantic kisses between Peck and McGuire. Characters act inert with their frustrations barely mounting above stern expressions. Any emotional appeal is nonexistent.
- Gregory Peck's performance. It is the only thing that somewhat keeps the film afloat.
- The lack of energy. Gentleman's Agreement is missing energy more than anything else. A musical soundtrack has no presence, and the other characters besides Green rub off as one-dimensional and forgettable. Character interactions have no spark and are too casual to help lift the story.
Gentleman's Agreement squanders its story with sluggish pacing and forgettable characters. Gregory Peck does his best and is a sole bright spot. Mr. Peck has definitely done better, and it bothers me to say he has a Forgettable Best Picture Winner on his resume.
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