Friendly Persuasion

1956

Action / Drama / Family / Romance / War / Western

10
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80% · 10 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82% · 1K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.3/10 10 7833 7.8K

Director

Top cast

Anthony Perkins as Josh Birdwell
Gary Cooper as Jess Birdwell
Robert Fuller as Youthful Soldier at Shooting Gallery
Doug McClure as Soldier
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.24 GB
1280*694
English 2.0
NR
Subtitles us  
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
Seeds 7
2.3 GB
1920*1040
English 2.0
NR
Subtitles us  
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
Seeds 23
1.23 GB
1280*714
English 2.0
NR
Subtitles us  
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
Seeds 6
2.29 GB
1920*1072
English 2.0
NR
Subtitles us  
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
Seeds 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by evanston_dad 8 / 10

More Challenging Than I Thought It Would Be

A surprisingly challenging film about what happens when devoutness to a religion collides with the realities of the world.

Dorothy Maguire is the Quaker mother who wants to do the thinking for her young adult children, misguidedly wanting to prevent temptations from entering their lives rather than equipping them to deal with them when they do. Gary Cooper is the more reasonable father who doesn't see why pleasure and religious faith have to be mutually exclusive. Then a little thing called the Civil War directly affects them, and they have to decide when to stick to their beliefs and when to modify them for something bigger than themselves.

Overall the movie is still a little light for my tastes and doesn't flesh out these questions as complexly as I might have preferred. But still, I was expecting a cornball, wholesome family film and so was pleasantly surprised by what I got instead.

"Friendly Persuasion" garnered six Academy Award nominations but won none: Best Picture, Best Director (William Wyler), Best Supporting Actor (Anthony Perkins), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song (warbled by Pat Boone), and Best Sound Recording.

Grade: A-

Reviewed by ma-cortes 7 / 10

Funny as well as dramatic story about a Quaker family caught up in the American Civil War

This is the interesting and solidly performed story of a family of Quakers in Southern Indiana in 1862 . This religious sect is strongly opposed to violence and war . The official name of the Quaker religion is Society of Friends , members of the faith are called Friends and nicknamed Quakers ; the book written by Jessamyn West is called "The Friendly Persuasion", meaning the faith , which more specifically refers to the Quakers' way of communicating. It concerns about "Jess Birdwell" (Gary Cooper , he initially turned the film down because he didn't believe the American public would accept him as Quaker , and role was originally intended for Bing Crosby) is the patriarch of a family of Quakers , a Christian sect that refuses to take part in wars . His son "Josh" (Anthony Perkins) wishes to adhere to pacifism but worried he's using his religion to hide his cowardice , he then enlists the army , causing angry on his mother (Dorothy McGuire , though Katharine Hepburn turned down the role and Jean Arthur was considered to play her) . Their children are very special : the little boy Jess Jr. (Richard Eyer) lives in conflict with the goose "Samantha" . And "Mattie" (Phyllis Love) falls in love with an Union soldier, "Gard Jordan" (Peter Mark Richman) . As Jess/Gary Cooper (before Cooper became involved Montgomery Clift was offered the role of Birdwell, but turned it down) along with his family attempt to remain to its ideals , despite the Civil War which touches their farm life .

This enjoyable film packs comedy , religious and familiar life , sense of mood , spectacular battles and lots of reflection . As it deals with the conflict between maintaining a religious belief and reality when takes place a bloody war ; as the flick utterly catches up the spectator in the family's troubles . This earnest picture captures a tender humor and mirth which pervades the whole story ; in addition , at the end occurs a stirring climax . Agreeable screenplay , originally released without screen writing credit due to blacklisting of Michael Wilson; credits restored in 1996 . Spectacular battle depicted in the film based on facts, as the final is very exciting , it was against the Confederate raiders led by General John Hunt Morgan ; on July 9, 1863, 450 members of the Indiana Home Guard met John Hunt Morgan's raiders in battle south of the town of Corydon, Indiana . Gary Cooper as a devout Quaker father and Dorothy McGuire as his wife are very well as the parents ; furthermore , Anthony Perkins is nice as the son fearing being taken for a coward . Good support cast such as Robert Middleton , Peter Mark Richman , Richard Hale , Russell Simpson and uncredited , almost extras : Robert Fuller , William Schallert , John Dierkes , Joe Turkel and Doug McClure . Spectacular and glowingly gorgeous scenarios , including amusing race horses . Colorful and glimmer cinematography by Ellsworth Fredericks in De Luxe Colour Photography . Sensitive as well as moving musical score by the classical composer Dimitri Tiomkin .

The motion picture come out of a minor Hollywood studio , Allied Artists , was compellingly directed by the maestro William Wyler . Wyler was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema and the winner of three Best Director Academy Awards . Wyler was a great professional who had a career full of successes in all kind of genres as Film Noir : ¨Detective story¨ , ¨The desperate hours¨ , ¨Dead End¨ ; Western : ¨The Westener¨, ¨Friendly persuasion¨ , ¨Big Country¨ , but his speciality were dramas such as : ¨Jezebel¨ , ¨The letter¨ , ¨Wuthering Heights¨ , ¨The best years of our lives¨, ¨Mrs Miniver¨, ¨The heiress¨ , ¨the little Foxes¨ , ¨The collector¨ and Comedy as two films starred by Audrey Hepburn : ¨How to steal a million¨ and of course the immortal comedy-romance ¨Roman's holiday¨ . ¨Friendly persuasion¨ results to be a good film that catches up the audience . Rating : Better than average , worthwhile seeing .

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 / 10

Thee Should Watch

Greetings again from the darkness. Released in 1956, this William Wyler film holds up today because some of the debate and dilemmas touched on remain unresolved 57 years (and numerous wars) later. The film takes place in 1860's Indiana as the Civil War rages. The story is told from the perspective of a pacifist Quaker family and is based on the 1945 book by Jessamyn West.

The patriarch of this Quaker family is played by Gary Cooper, who was four years past his Oscar winning performance in High Noon, and five years from his death due to cancer. His wife, the Minister Eliza, is played well by Dorothy McGuire, who the following year would play the mother in Old Yeller. The film's best performance comes from young Anthony Perkins (his second film) who of course made cinematic history as Norman Bates in the 1960 classic Psycho. Both of these Perkins characters share mommy issues and complicated decisions of conscience.

The opposition to war and violence is the main theme here, and there have been many interpretations over the years. Is it religious belief or fear that prevents the men from joining the cause? At least Perkins' character is honest enough to wonder. Cooper kind of plays against type here since he was so often a man of movie action, but in reality his strength of character and belief allows him to maintain his image.

Comedy relief is at hand given the youngest son's ongoing battle with Samantha the Goose, a family pet with devious attack modes. And daughter Mattie, played by Phyllis Love, falls madly in love with a soldier played by Peter Mark Richman. See, every character has their own personal battles and decisions regarding conscience and violence.

The great Margaret Main has a sequence as a single mother of three daughters (every one a gem!). The daughters introduce Cooper and Perkins to the joys of music ... forbidden by the Quaker church. One of the daughters is played by Marjorie Durant, whose father was a writer and assistant to Charlie Chaplin. Her grandmother married EF Hutton, so Ms. Durant could have spent a great deal of time researching her only family stories.

While it's difficult to understand these days, screenwriter Michael Wilson was not originally credited for his work. He was on the Hollywood Blacklist, and his screen credit was not reinstated until 1996. William Wyler was one of the most successful directors in Hollywood history and his resume includes Jezebel, Mrs Miniver, The Best Years of Our Lives, and of course, Ben-Hur. Though this movie was nominated for 6 Academy Awards, it didn't win any and lost out to Best Picture winner Around the World in 80 Days. A final note of interest, this was Ronald Reagan's favorite movie and he presented a copy to Mikhail Gorbachev in hopes the message would prove the downside to war.

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