Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 31st, 2002
Gregory Peck is a freelance writer recently arrived in New York. Hired to write a series onanti-Semitism, he hits on the idea of passing himself off as Jewish. The angle works only toowell, and he experiences prejudice first-hand, in ways that threaten to completely derail his life.The performances are universally excellent, and the actors are really put to the test when theyhave to mouth the painfully moralizing speeches at the end of the film. Until the disappointingconcl…sion, however, Gentleman’s Agreement is smart, compelling entertainment.
The disc comes with both mono and 2.0 versions of the track. The sound is clean, and thestereo mix has some nice background effects (there is no score except during the credits). Thereis, however, the usual problem with creating a stereo track for a 1947 film: the voices are alsoin surround, and this can be a bit distracting.
A very nice print for the most part, with only occasional speckling and a vertical line visiblecentre-frame about 90 minutes in. There is some edge enhancement visible, and the actorssometimes have auras of light emerging from the top of their heads. The image is sharp,however, with terrific black-and-white contrasts. The format is the original 1.33:1.
The principle feature is the commentary by stars Celeste Holm and June Havoc, and criticRichard Schickel. The latter dominates the discussion, but he has a lot to say, and does so verywell. Also included is an episode from AMC Backstory, which pays special attention to thesocial context in which Gentleman’s Agreement was made (the McCarthy hearings were gettinggoing) and doesn’t avoid the perfidy of director Elia Kazan in this matter. Also on offer: twoMovietone newsreels involving the film’s Oscar wins, a still gallery, and trailers for Gentleman’sAgreement, How Green Was My Valley and All About Eve. The menu is basic.
First-rate 40s drama, with first-rate actors. Highly recommended.
Special Features List
- AMC Backstory Episode
- 2 Movietone Newsreels
- Still Gallery