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Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Cast: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, more...
Director: William Wyler
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Classics, Drama, Classic Drama, Classic Drama, Civil War
Running Time: 137 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
    see additional details...

Synopsis
Adapted from the best-selling novel by Jessamyn West, Friendly Persuasion is set in Southern Indiana in the early days of the Civil War. Gary Cooper plays Jess Birdwell, patriarch of a Quaker family which does not believe in warfare. Birdwell's son Josh (Anthony Perkins) wishes to adhere to his family's pacifism, but is afraid that if he doesn't sign up for military service, he'll prove to be a coward. Josh joins the Home Guard, which disturbs his mother Eliza (Dorothy McGuire). But Jess Birdwell realizes that his son must follow the dictates of his own conscience. Josh proves his courage to himself when he is wounded during a Rebel raid, while the elder Birdwell is able to stay faithful to his religious calling by not killing a Southern soldier when given both a chance and a good reason to do so. Allegedly, writer Jessamyn West nearly scotched her deal with producer/director William Wyler and distributor Allied Artists when Gary Cooper, taking his fans into consideration, insisted upon including a scene in which he forsakes his pacifism and takes arms against the Rebels. If true, then wiser heads prevailed, since no such scene exists in the final release print. Though uncredited due to his status as a blacklistee, Michael Wilson wrote the screenplay for Friendly Persuasion--and even won an Oscar nomination. Also nominated was the film's chart-busting theme song, "Thee I Love" (by Dmitri Tiomkin and Paul Francis Webster). The story was remade as a 2-hour TV pilot film in 1975. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Behind-the-scenes Documentary segment from the 1955 NBC-TV series Wide Wide World
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Production notes





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(Average 6.89)
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Palme d'Or on DVD
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Winners of the Cannes Golden Palm
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Children of the Light on the Silver Screen
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An ongoing look at Friends in films.
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© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.