And Judaism and Judaism are almost completely absent. It is an important (and coherent) part of the film`s liberalism to emphasize that it is humanly impossible to distinguish between the Jew and the non-Jewish. But there is no visible Jewish home, no Jewish culture, no menora, no synagogue. Dave is — important — far from home and trying to find a place to rent. Phil and his fiancée meet a famous Jewish scientist, Fred Liebermann (Sam Jaffe), and he is an exotic European intellectual, like Albert Einstein, who talks about Zionism and the Palestinian homeland. But that`s all. And the film is very apolitical, apart from references to forgotten far-right figures like Theodore G Bilbo and Gerald LK Smith. The film was controversial in its day, as was a similar film on the same theme, Crossfire, released the same year (while this film was originally a story of homophobia, which was later turned into anti-Semitism). 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. Not only are the basic elements of Hobson`s work preserved, but in some cases they retain a larger dimension and greater plausibility. This applies to adaptation, staging and performances. Thus, the first meeting between Phil Green and Kathy is more understandable on the screen than on the printed page. Similarly, the couple`s other scenes, especially the initial love scene, dramatize their irresistible reciprocal physical attraction that overcomes their violent philosophical differences. The bestseller Gentleman`s Agreement was published in Cosmopolitan (Nov 1946-February 1947) before being published as a book. In an interview with Cosmopolitan in July 1947, author Laura Z. Hobson said, “What have I tried to do with this book? I think a woman who wrote to me put it in two wonderful sentences. She says: “The bad guys aren`t really scary.
It`s the millions of nice people who do and let them do horrible things. I think that`s the problem with what I was trying to say. Hobson noted that Darryl Zanuck, Fox`s production manager, who made the film his only personal production in 1947, told him that if the film failed in the box office of the cinema, “Hollywood would go back twenty years to be honest with the problem of prejudice.” The film was the first time the famous playwright Moss Hart wrote directly for the screen. Director Elia Kazan writes in his autobiography that Jewish leaders from other major film studios held a meeting at which they pushed Hart to convince Zanuck not to make the film because they did not want to stir up anti-Semitism.