- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Champions of integrity
- Will Fox
Gary Cooper, Top 10 film star, personifies integrity in more than 70 films, as the quintessential moral American. In the beginning Paramount made him a contract player and notoriously randy A-list actress Clara Bow gave him a role in her next picture "It" (1927). That led to his first top-billing as a heroic cowboy in "Arizona Bound" (1927), then he played with Bow in "Wings" (1927), the first film to win the Best Picture Academy Award. Additional highlights include Coop's first cowboy talkie "The Virginian" (1929), Frank Capra's "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936) and "Meet John Doe" (1941), then celebrated biopics "Sergeant York" (1941), "Pride of the Yankees" (1942), "The Fountainhead" (1949, architect Frank Lloyd Wright), plus his Oscar2 in "High Noon" (1952). Cooper's "Deeds" codified his character, as an archetype of integrity and innocence vs. smug, New Yorkers' charlatanry. Longfellow Deeds, a small-town Vermonter inherits a fortune, then bests NYC's lying lawyers and grifters. Director Capra wrote, "had to symbolize incorruptibility, and in my mind Gary Cooper already was that symbol." His intuition paid off with a hit, earning Coop his first Best Actor Oscar nomination. Director Howard Hawks has Coop, as Sgt. York, the World War I hayseed-pacifist drafted into the U.S. Army, overcome conscientious objections. A sharpshooter he captures a German Army company single-handed. "Sergeant York" earned 11 Oscar nominations. Hero Cooper won Best Actor Oscar. "Friendly Persuasion" (1956) continues Coop's authentic morality, well coupled with Dotty Malone.
My absolute favorite movie and my dad's too. beautifully shot and acted. A great score to boot!!! Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire were perfectly cast. A warm and lovely story which show there really isn't that great of a gulf between now and 150 years ago.
Lovely, charming movie perfectly cast. Pleased to see it again.
My Favorite Movie of All Time!!!
Of all the thousands of movies I've seen in my life, this is my absolute favorite! Pat Boone singing the opening song sets the tone for this romantic and compelling work of cinematic art. I have fond memories of watching this movie with my grandmother, and have such great affection for this movie. For those who think it is boring, they are used to the pacing of modern times and probably think war must be graphically depicted in order to be portrayed on screen. Don't listen to them. As an adult, I now chuckle at the scene in which the pastor comes to call on Jess & Eliza after they have just emerged from the barn with hay stuck to their clothes. You will remember the emotions and feelings of the first time you were in love when you see the daughter, barefoot on the swing. The scenes with husband and wife and then with the daughter and her soldier are both tender and playful and surprisingly sexy. Innocence and yet undeniable chemistry. The setting is beautiful and the casting is perfection. As a veteran, this taps into the question I and other veterans have had to face about having to take the life of another human being. Although I am a Southerner through and through, I love the story of this Northern family. I would give it six stars. Watch this movie with your family and the people you love. Its message, beauty and joy will endure and it will be well worth your time.
Not Wyler's Best
- David H.
I fail to see how this film got a 4 (out of 4) star rating or why it should be considered an Essential. Way too much time was spent in vignettes to develop the characters. Much of it came off as fluff to pad the movie and many of those scenes could have been shortened or eliminated. Then the latter part of the film when the characters are being tested has more holes in it than swiss cheese. This is a very subtle film and I might appreciate it more with another viewing, but for now only the fine acting by most of the cast keeps it from sinking into mediocrity. William Wyler along with John Ford were the best directors in Hollywood's Golden era, but then you don't hit a home run every you come to bat.
Not Wyler's Best
- David H.
I fail to see how this film got a 4 star rating or why it should be considered an Essential. Way too much time was spent in vignettes to develop the characters. Much of it came off as fluff to pad the movie and many scenes could have been shortened or eliminated. Then the latter part of the film when the characters are being tested has more holes in it than swiss cheese. This is a very subtle film and I might appreciate it more with another viewing, but for now only the fine acting by most of the cast keeps it from sinking into mediocrity. William Wyler along with John Ford were the best directors in Hollywood's Golden era, but then you don't hit a home run every you come to bat.
slow and yet interesting movie
- maureen v.v.
The best part of the movie is the horse and carriage(surrey) race. The sub-story about the horses Red Rover and Lady was the most interesting part of movie.Lets face it,it was a slow and boring movie except for the horse race.
A charming, underrated film from director Wyler. Cooper and McGuire are the heads of a Quaker family whose values are challenged during the Civil War, Perkins was nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar. The story does well in showing the struggle and changes in characters, but the first act drags for too long. A good film worth seeing. I give it a 4/5.
This the most boring movie I've seen. I agree with Drew.
There are just some films that don't require you to judge, to think, to do anything but enjoy and this is one of them. I first saw this film when I was 11, the year it came out, and I love it to this day. The comedic aspects of the film have you smiling. There is romance, there is war. There is the question, ever present, of the taking of another human being's life and whether it is ever right. I strongly feel that Gary Cooper is the only actor who could play this role with such reserve and tongue-in-cheek humor. I do hope this film is never re-made. It just cannot be topped!
About the movie Friendly Persuasion
- darlene pickett
This is a perfect movie for the whole family. It has romance, moral conviction, humor a little sadnessall with great balance. Every bit of the movie is important to the story. No film was wasted on this one.
Beautifully Presented Movie
- James Smith
Dorthy MacGuire is among my all time favorites ranking with Irene Dunne. The story line is a bit skewed. There wasn't any Civil War. The South did not invade the North. The North invaded the South. The War was for Southern Freedom from the North.
- Tonya Dorman
I saw this movie when I was a small child with my sister, brother and parents on a Sunday night at a drive-in movie theatre in Jacksboro, Texas. I loved this movie! I don't remember the date or my age specifically, but it must have been shortly after it came out, as it was a 'first run' at the drive in, so I was about 8 or 9 years old. My grandparents lived in Jacksboro and my Mother and Dad loved Gary Cooper movies so much that while we went to visit the grandparents--we left early to watch that movie--in Jacksboro. Unheard of! We lived 35 miles away and visited the grandparents (and all my aunts, uncles and cousins) often on weekends-- normally rushing home by dark so my Dad could get to bed --and be up early for work the next day. It was the only time in my memory that we went to that drive-in theatre. The movie alternately had us all laughing and crying. I was just old enough to be interested in romance and the scenes about the romance between the daughter and the Union soldier were something although only a small part of the movie, in my innocence, I remembered for years. Anthony Perkins was wonderful (loved the scene where he so dexterously buttoned up his vest at Marjorie Main's farm), as was the young boy (with his goose). I know this movie had moments meant for serious thought and reflection, however the humor took the movie from a good movie, to a great one. Cooper was always good for humor, as was Dorothy McGuire in the many Disney-type movies she played. My Mother passed away very young and unexpectedly 17 years ago, and my wonderful Dad died just three years ago. My most wonderful memories of this movie are of the horse bartering and racing scenes where my Mother and Dad, (along with the rest of us), laughed until they cried. It was and is, a blissful, treasured family memory.
Friendly Persuasion (1956)
- Mr. Blandings
A very Disney-esque film with the antics of a boy and his pet goose, as well as a Quaker "drag race" with horse-and-buggies, setting the prevalent tone. While I appreciate the humor and charm, the movie would have probably been served better with a more serious and non-sugar-coated treatment regarding its theme of pacifism. Or was that even the theme? When the director isn't keeping his stance purposefully ambivalent, he manipulates the plot in such a way as if to tear down the moral courage of those who refuse to kill. (On an important side-note, being a pacifist has nothing to do with being religious. Conversely, being religious MAY involve the notion of pacifism ... when organized followers aren't killing each other off over trivial differences between beliefs or while competing to be the ONLY religion around, that is). The film's players do a decent job of it, particularly Perkins, and the emotionally-rigid Cooper does suit the role of a timid and socially-awkward person. Then again, he'll bring those qualities to all the characters he portrays, anyway.
Such a delightful and charming movie, from the very beginning (where the pet goose plays hide and seek with the young son) to the very end. I love every moment of this film. It's a treasure! Looking forward to watching (and taping!) it this weekend.
a timeless classic
The first time I saw this movie was right after it came out, 1956 or so. I believe I was in the sixth or seventh grade. Guess how old I am now. Back in those days, we made scrapbooks at school. One of the questions always asked in those scrapbooks was, "What is your favorite movie?" I always said, "Friendly Persuasion". From that first time I saw that film, it gave me warm, fuzzy feelings because it represented the ideal family to me. It was so different from my own family. Yet, it showed me a better family situation was possible. What a great film, even today, in 2012. I still love the film, every time I see it. Thank you, TCM, for continuing to show it.
A special mention for Anthony Perkins
- Tony Hill
I have lost count of the number of times I have seen this excellent film.The scene that stands out for me is that in which Anthony Perkins, battling with his conscience, fires on Union soldiers for the first time. It's an exquisite piece of acting.
A Beautifully Told Story
- Chris B
Director William Wyler certainly picked the right locations for shooting this film. It is lush, green and serenely beautiful. Gary Cooper, as Jess Birdwell, is the head of this charming and God fearing Quaker family. Dorothy MacGuire plays Eliza, the spiritual leader of the family and a minister in the Quaker Meeting House. She is perfect in her role as is Anthony Perkins, who plays Josh Birdwell their son. Mattie Birdwell, their daughter, is played by Phyllis Love and Richard Eyer is cast as little Jess Birdwell, their youngest son. Rounding out the family is Samantha, the Birdwell's pet goose! Samantha knows just how to bring out the worst in little Jess.While the Civil War is raging all around them, the southern Indiana Quakers are forced to come to terms with their beliefs in the time of our national shame and crisis. It is 1862 and the war has not touched the Quakers yet. They are trying to go about their usual business as the war creeps ever closer to their home. Cooper plays his role as if he were born to it. Sit back and enjoy this wonderful story and be astounded by the similarities of Quaker living to that of the rest of world. A great supporting cast includes Robert Middleton and the always reliable and funny, Marjorie Main.
- Ginny Moberly
When I was in grade school we were occasionally treated to a movie in the gymnasium. Friendly Persuasion was one of those treats. I thought of it from time to time, but, couldn't remember the name. When I saw it on TCM this week, I instantly remembered seeing it. I loved it then and still love it now!!
- Jack T.
I was a kid when this movie was released and for some reason or other never got to see it until only recently. I was home sick from work and channel surfing and just as it was starting, I heard Pat Boone singing the title song and it just took me back to my childhood when that song was a big hit on the radio so I listened to the song intending to change the channel when it was finished but got so caught up with this amazingly simple, touching and sometimes very funny classic movie, that I wound up watching the entire film and am I glad I did! What a beauty of a picture! How come this isn't on all the best film lists? The story is wonderful, the photography is glorious, the musical score is magnificent and the message is subtle and endearing. And that cast! I just discovered that Anthony Perkins was nominated for a Supporting Oscar for his performance (and rightly so!) and of course Dorothy McGuire is terrific as expected but for me, the biggest surprise was how charming Gary Cooper was in this role. As a kid, his appeal was always lost on me but I must say that he was genuinely appealing and so realistic in this part. A testament to the importance of the right actor in the right role. Marjorie Main, in a supporting role, playing basically Ma Kettle (but that's ok because she did it brilliantly!) has three adult daughters in the movie, one of whom is Joan Hackett who went on to a nice career for herself in films years later. William Wyler was certainly one of our best directors from the classic cinema period and this is without a doubt one of his best, yet most underrated films. If you love classic movies, please give this a look. You won't be disappointed.
Wyler and Cooper Masterpiece
- David Atkins
William Wyler created many great films in his career, Mrs. Miniver, Little Foxes, The Letter, Best Years of Our Lives,Funny Girl, Ben Hur, Wuthering Heights, Roman Holiday but I feel this film Friendly Persuasion may be his finest. A Masterpiecce quietly acted by the peerless Gary Cooper who is magnficient. I urge all to see this remarkable film. ' Thou Swell'This was an Allied Artists film a small boutique studio that also brought forth Love In The Afternoon, El Cid, Soldier In the Rain, Papillion, and the dazzling Cabaret but simply could not compete with the major studios. Its last is anothe masterwork, Billy Wilder's Fedora.
FRIENDLY PERSUASION GARY COOPER
- LINDA M. DAVIS
I AM 63 AND HAVE AND BEEN A FAN OF CLASSIC MOVIES SINCE I WAS 16 YRS. OLD.I HAVE JUST SEEN FRIENDLY PERSUASION WITH GARY COOPER FOR THE FIRST TIME AND THINK IT SHOULD BE CLASSED AS ONE OF THE ALL TIME BEST MOVIES.IT WAS CAST PERFECTLY AND THE ACTING WAS PERFECTION ITSELF.THE EMOTIONS JUST FILLED THE ROOM.IT DEFINITELY IS ONE FOR ALL AGES AND IT SENT A FANTASTIC MESSAGE OF STANDING UP FOR WHAT YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN AND SOMETIMES HAVING TO MAKE THE HARDEST CHOICES AS WE ALL HAVE TO AT TIMES.IN THE AGE WE NOW LIVE IN THERE ARE SO FEW MOVIES OF THIS CALIBER THAT MAKE YOU RUN THE WHOLE RANGE OF EMOTIONS THIS ONE DOES.I WILL ANXIOUSLY BE WAITING FOR IT TO BE AVAILABLE TO BUY TO ADD TO MY COLLECTION.A REALLY BEAUTIFUL MOVIE.I STILL CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW I EVER MISSED SEEING IT BEFORE.
Seems like yesterday
I saw this movie when I was in the six grade and I'm now 25. I never could remember the title but I always hoped by chance I would see it again to remember the title. I loved it, and wish they would release it on video. It just so happened it came on at midnight last night and that I'm an owl so I sat up and watched it.
- oldmoviesrockin nm
Saw this movie for the first time on Dec. 19. Was so good I can't believe I hadn't seen it before. I love Dorothy McGruire and she was so good in this. Wish I had kept it on my DVR to watch again!
You so often pay tribute to William Wyler's work, but do you ever show perhaps his greatest work, next to 'Best Years... ', that being Friendly Persuasion? This is as close to Capra as Wyler ever got, and he hit the target dam well.
- mike h
A masterpiece of a movie, considered by many to be the greatest movie ever with such a message it brings...who could argue it?? Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire are perfectly cast as mother and father of the Birdwell family and their two sons and a daughter who till the land on a southern Indiana farm in the days shortly before the civil war begins...as Quakers they believe in non violence, although a union major tells them during a church service that the confederates are on the way and they must try to defend their family and property at all costs, even including violence. The Quakers resist the call to arms at first but when the rebels do attack Cooper's son (Anthony Perkins) joins the local militia....Cooper's best friend is killed by a rebel soldier and Cooper tries his best in a battle not to kill the rebel....a love story blooms between a union soldier neighbor and Cooper's daughter....all in all this is a great family film, enjoyable for all to watch....reportedly it was President Ronald Reagan's favorite movie....Beautiful musical score by the uncomparable Dimitri Tiomkin adds to the luster of this classic.
Very Little Persuasion Needed
- Bob Hendrick
In the late, great William Wyler's career, he has filmed some masterpieces. This quiet little film about a Quaker family in Indiana at the outbreak of the Civil War, is one of them. Of all of his films, this one perhaps is the best cast. Every performance down to the smallest role is perfect. Gary Cooper's performance is both funny and poignant. His scenes with Marjorie Main are classic. Dimitri Tiomkin's score fits the film beautifully. This could be Wyler's best directing job.
- cj austin
This is a classic movie. It does not date. The humor and drama are enticing. Pat Boone's voice makes the theme song.I think in a time when everything is so fast paced it refreshing to sit down and watch a movie that is entertaining. The nice thing about it is the whole family can watch it. No filth no swearing and nothing is perverted to appeal to those outside the norm.
Great Family Movie
- muriel schwenck
Unlike modern movies, this one has quite a message, but never beats the viewer over the head. Great family movie. Very touching. The "racing to church" scenes are exciting and well done.
Great family show
Great family show. Has comedy and drama. Cooper and McGuire do an excellent jos as well as the entire cast.