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Gentleman's Agreement

Gentleman's Agreement(1948)

Remind Me

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  • 'Garfield, John' accepted the role after producer Darryl F. Zanuck promised that the film would be faithful to Moss Hart's script. Despite his limited role, Garfield was paid a full star's salary.
  • When other studio chiefs, who were mostly Jewish, heard about the making of this film, they asked the producer not to make it. They feared its theme of anti-Semitism would simply stir up a hornet's nest and preferred to deal with the problem quietly. Not only did production continue, but a scene was subsequently included that mirrored that confrontation.
  • The movie was Fox's top-grossing picture of 1948.
  • The movie mentions three real people known for their bigotry: Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo, who advocated sending all African Americans back to Africa; Mississippi Representative John Rankin, who called columnist Walter Winchell "the little kike" on the house floor; and the Christian Nationalist Crusade leader Gerald Smith, who sued Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. to prevent to the movie from being shown in Tulsa. He lost the case, but Smith sued Fox for $1,000,000 through the court system, which eventually dismissed it in 1951.
  • Producer Darryl Zanuck sought legal advice regarding the naming of the three anti-Semitic political figures. When told there was only a small risk of libel, he replied, "Let them sue us. They won't dare, and if they do, nothing would make me more happy than to appear personally as a witness or defendant at the trial." As it turned out, Sen. Bilbo died before the film's release, and Rep. Rankin lost in his campaign to succeed Bilbo (but remained in Congress); Gerald L.K. Smith filed a lawsuit which ultimately failed.
  • The film changed the book from a treatise on homosexuality and homophobia to one about Judiasm and anti-Semitism.

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