Kehr Capsule of the Week: Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

A journalist (arch-WASP Gregory Peck) passes as a Jew to get the inside story on anti-Semitism in America. A product of the dawning era of Hollywood’s social consciousness (1947), it earned three self-congratulatory Academy Awards — best picture, best director (Elia Kazan), and best supporting actress (Celeste Holm) — though it looks pretty timorous now. With Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, June Havoc, and Albert Dekker. 118 min.

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Kehr Capsule of the Week: All The King’s Men (1949)

 

In 1949 Robert Rossen‘s film of Robert Penn Warren‘s fictional study of Huey Long was received as a triumph of Art over Hollywood. Today, its realism seems bland, its moralizing forced, and as a whole it looks very much inferior to Raoul Walsh‘s A Lion Is in the Streets, which tackled demagoguery with much more fervor in 1952. Stars Broderick Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge won Oscars; writer Walter Bernstein was blacklisted.