Gentleman`s Agreement not only won the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director, but was also one of Fox`s most successful films in 1947. However, the political nature of the film angered the House Un-American Activities Committee, with Elia Kazan, Darryl Zanuck, John Garfield and Anne Revere all called to testify before the committee. Revere refused to testify, and although Garfield appeared, he refused to “give names.” Both were placed on the red channels of the Hollywood blacklist. Garfield remained on the blacklist for a year, was again called to testify against his wife and died of a heart attack at the age of 39 before his second hearing. Academy AwardsAnne Reverebest pictureCeleste Holmdean stockwellDorothy McGuireElia Kazangentleman`s agreementGregory PeckJohn Garfieldoscars In 1947, the Oscar for Best Picture was awarded to Gentleman`s Agreement, with Gregory Peck as campaign reporter on mission. The awards for Best Director were also awarded to Elia Kazan and Best Supporting Actress to Celeste Holm. At first glance, this sounds like a “publishing film” rather worthy of the 1940s, the kind of film the Academy thought it was honoring. But gentleman`s Agreement is always a captivating, fascinating, somewhat boring, by turns naïve and very sharp film, fascinating for what it puts and omchant. It is about the anti-Semitism of prosperous post-war America and the insidious way in which Jews were excluded from high-level social clubs, resorts and, of course, jobs. There have been no official bans, just a nod and a nod and a “gentleman`s agreement” between nice conservatives they know the kind of people they want to be associated with. This is the kind of everyday prejudice that Groucho Marx elegantly dismissed with his joke that he did not want to join a club that would have him as a member. But the gentleman`s agreement is not all cozy.
At the end, there is a great scene where Dave Kathy is calmly confronted with his inability to express himself when one of his dinner guests made a joke about a “kike”. The tearful Kathy expected Dave to congratulate her on her conservative liberalism simply because she felt bad about it afterwards. Cool, with a touch of steel, Dave insists that she spells out what the joke was and how she didn`t take a stand – because every time a nasty crack passes unchallenged, the bigomot`s forces accumulate for bigger shots.