Best Picture Winners Part 20 (of 87): Gentleman’s Agreement

gentlemansagreement1947
Title: Gentleman’s Agreement
Year: 1947
Starring: Gregory Peck, Celeste Holm, John Garfield
Director: Elia Kazan
Runtime: 1 hr 58 mins

Is It Any Good?: Meh. It features controversial subject matter and handle it with class what it doesn’t do is force the issue enough. You see Gregory Peck’s Phil Green can feel the unspoken racism being perpetuated towards him. But it doesn’t do enough to explore that highly touchy subject. Peck and Holms are brillant, but Kazan stumbles a bit through this. In addition its ham-fisted approach just doesn’t work. There were ways for it to show subtly yet also maintain and improve the effectiveness of the message.

Memorable Quote: Anne Deltrey: I know dear, and of your other best friends are Methodist, but you never bother to say it.

Competition: This was a fairly weak year it did however have one holiday classic among the crowd, which we’ll discuss last as it’s probably the best film. First up was The Bishop’s Wife which pit Cary Grant and Loretta Young in a dual with a blase script. Sadly the script wins more so than Grant or Young who both bring their A game. Grant has never been Hollywood’s angel but here he portrays a man close to the angels. Crossfire was a run of the mill thriller for the time that. It’s one that deals with a touchy subject (much the same as our winner) in a real and tangible way. It does so with a visage that can be understood by audiences in 47 sadly that doesn’t hold up to today’s standards. Director David Lean takes Charles Dickens’ novel and makes it’s 1st and still greatest adaptation of this source material with the inaugral turn of Great Expectations. And lastly a Christmas classic Miracle on 34th St. won Edmund Gwenn an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor . A turn so well though and brilliant he’ll have you believing in Santa Claus. His Kris Kringle is the prototype for which we now think of when we say Santa.

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