Winner of Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress at the 1948 Academy Awards, GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT follows a crusading journalist (the marvelous Gregory Peck) who poses as a Jew to research an exposé on anti-Semitism in New York City and the affluent community of Darien, Connecticut. The film was directed by Elia Kazan and also starred Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield and Celeste Holm. Moss Hart wrote the screenplay, which was based on Laura Z. Hobson’s best-selling novel of the same name.
One of 20th Century Fox’s most popular films at the time, GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT was one of Hollywood’s first major attacks on anti-Semitism and had proved successful in exposing the pervasive bias and rampant discriminatory practices held against Jews in postwar America to mainstream audiences. It also set off a torrent of social justice films about racial issues in the next years, including Pinky (1949), Home of the Brave (1949), Intruder in the Dust (1949), and Devil’s Doorway (1950).
After the screening, director Cecilia Peck (the daughter of Gregory Peck) and film historian Claudine Stevens will give a 20-minute presentation on GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT. The presentation will be followed by a brief audience Q&A.