Gentleman’s Agreement is the 1947 film adaptation of the book starring Gregory Peck. He plays journalist Philip Green, who has moved to New York City. His boss wants him to write a series on anti-Semitism but Phil doesn’t know what to write about. He then decides to pretend that he’s Jewish in order to expose the problem. Not only does he face prejudice from other people, but it strains his relationship with Kathy, who doesn’t want to cause “trouble.” Her unwillingness to fight bigotry leads to their break up. Phil also has to deal with how prejudice affects his friends and family. Can Kathy realize the need to openly fight prejudice?
Although Philip Green pretending to be a Jew has some unfortunate implications, the movie still has an important lesson to teach. It shows that people who aren’t openly racist but don’t do anything about it may unintentionally do as much damage as hate groups like the KKK do. Although to the film’s credit it also says that they can realize their mistakes. This message isn’t shown enough in anti-racism movies. The plot is interesting as there are some sub-plots mixed in that don’t have to deal with anti-Semitism. Despite its flaws, Honolulu film fans should watch this movie.
More at: Tricia’s Retro Film Reviews
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