Thursday, February 24, 2011

Friendly Persuasion(1956).

Friendly Persuasion(1956). Civil War film . Cast: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer, Robert Middleton and Phyllis Love. The screenplay was adapted by Michael Wilson from the 1945 novel The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West and was directed by William Wyler.

The story begins, as a family of Quakers, are getting ready to attend a Sunday meeting. Which soon comes to an end, when a Union officer, asks the Quaker men, how can they stand by and watch as their families and homes are being destroyed. He believes that they they are hiding behind their religion out of fear. Josh Birdwell agrees, that it might be true.

Jess is out working in his fields when he notices an huge cloud of smoke. His oldest son Josh, soon arrives and tells them the entire town has been destroyed and he is going to fight. Eliza tells him that by turning his back to their religion he's turning his back on her, but Jess can not stand by and watch his world crumble around him with out doing something about it..

One of the things I loved about this unforgettable film is the music. I also loved the lighthearted scene with Gary Cooper looking through curtain hoops at the the county fair. Not only does this film have it's light moments, it also has the message, to do what is right.

Fun Facts:

Final film of Charles Halton.

The role of Jess Birdwell was originally intended for Bing Crosby, who turned it down and recommended his close friend Gary Cooper for the part.

Katharine Hepburn turned down the role of Eliza Birdwell.

Gary Cooper wanted Ingrid Bergman to play Eliza Birdwell, but she turned the part down.

Gary Cooper hated the way he appeared in the film so much that he never even watched it.

Jean Arthur was considered to play the mother.

Gary Cooper originally did not want to play a father of grown up children. This was despite the fact that he was 55 in real life.

The battle depicted in the film, against the Confederate raiders led by General John Hunt Morgan, is based on an actual battle. On July 9, 1863, 450 members of the Indiana Home Guard met John Hunt Morgan's raiders in battle south of the town of Corydon, Indiana. The Home Guard held off the raiders for a half-hour, but the raiders numbered 11,000, and the Home Guard was eventually forced to retreat. The Morgan raiders occupied the town of Corydon for a single afternoon, during which time they looted stores in the town and forced several mill owners to pay cash ransoms in return for not burning their mills. At 5 o'clock, the raiders moved on. During the battle, the Morgan raiders suffered 11 men killed and 33 wounded, while the Indiana Home Guard lost only 5 men.

Dorothy McGuire (June 14, 1916 – September 13, 2001), her first film performance was in, Claudia.  Her screen performance was so popular that there was a sequel, Claudia and David , both movies co-starring Robert Young.

By 1943, at the age of 27, she was already playing mother roles, in such as, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.

She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for ,Gentleman's Agreement(1947).

Other well know films: The Enchanted Cottage, A Summer Place, Three Coins in the Fountain, Friendly Persuasion, Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.

McGuire had a long Hollywood career. Her versatility served her well in  melodramas, The Spiral Staircase and Make Haste to Live, as well as in comedies, Mother Didn't Tell Me and Mister 880.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I'm saying this but I have never seen this movie. Always wanted to but just never did. I will try to watch it the next chance I get. Great post Dawn.


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