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.
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.