JewishHistoryGentleman�sAgreementVideoPaper - Jewish...

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Jewish History Matthew Zabinsky Gentleman’s Agreement Video Paper 4/30/07 Gentleman’s Agreement Gentleman’s Agreement is a 1947 Hollywood film directed by Elia Kazan and starring Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Anne Revere and a young Dean Stockwell. Jewish actor Sam Jaffe also makes a cameo appearance as Nobel Prize- winning physicist Fred Lieberman. It won that year’s Academy Award for Best Picture and scored acting nominations for Peck, Revere and McGuire. The plot, which focuses on the influence of anti-Semitism in New York City and suburban Connecticut, gained widespread publicity for what 1940s America considered a highly controversial theme. Also worth noting is screenwriter Moss Hart’s smartly written dialogue, which makes countless symbolic references to the ongoing plight of the Jewish people. Phillip ‘Schuyler’ Green (Peck) is a well-known journalist who moves from California to New York with son Tommy after the death of his wife, but it is clear that his heart remains in California. “I was born there, got married there, just went right on living there.” He still harbors an undeniable love for his homeland, just as Jews keep Eretz Yisrael ever in the back of their minds. Upon arrival in the Big Apple, Mr. Green schedules an appointment with magazine boss John Minify. Minify offers a most intriguing assignment: a story about the negative effects of anti-Semitism. But Green initially fails to see the intrigue in such an article. Why would any American care about a compilation of ‘facts and figures’ concerning Jews? His indecisiveness disappears at a dinner table conversation with mother and son. Little Tommy poses the age-old question:
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Jewish History Matthew Zabinsky Gentleman’s Agreement Video Paper 4/30/07 “What’s anti-Semitism?” “Well, uh that’s when some people don’t like other people because they’re Jews.” Green places Judaism right alongside Catholicism and Protestantism, in that each religion
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course NEJS 35A taught by Professor Ravid during the Spring '07 term at Brandeis.

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JewishHistoryGentleman�sAgreementVideoPaper - Jewish...

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