Wednesday, February 24, 2010
A Written Review: Gentleman's Agreement
The film Gentlemen’s Agreement was a great film. It was one of the first films to really deal with the ideas of anti-Semitism and, by extension, racism in general. The film is also acted extremely well, had some awesome cinematography, and was shot in several beautiful locations.
Due to the film being set in New York Gentlemen’s Agreement had some wonderful indoor sets. One of the great things about filming a movie set in New York is that you can have an amazing set for almost every single restaurant, home, or hotel. Whether it’s the slummy homes or the upper crust restaurants all of the set pieces in this film look fantastic.
Also, the acting in this film was great. The work from the lead, Frederick Peisley, was fantastic as was the work from his female opposite Vivien Leigh. Both were able to pull off a degree of realistic simplicity that most films made in the 1930s completely lacked. There wasn’t a lot of blown up drama and none of the characters were one dimensional (a real problem for studio system movies during this time period).
Also, the cinematography in this film was absolutely wonderful. Some of the shots composed for this film are wonderful even though most of them try not to draw attention to themselves. The cinematography really served the script. It did what it was supposed to do and nothing more.
All-in-all, Gentlemen’s Agreement was an extremely good film. It was one of the first films that began to really deal with the idea of racism and specifically American racism. It would inspire films such as To Kill A Mocking Bird later on.