Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Forgotten Movies, Friendly Persuasion
Gary Cooper could play any role and this is a good example. Directed by William Wyler, I watched this film over and over as a teenager. Strangely, I seldom find it on TV now. In this era of hyper-religiosity, perhaps the pacifism of Quakers is too tame.
Jess Birdwell is a Quaker farmer in Southern Indiana during the
Civil War. Dorothy McGuire plays his wife with equal skill. They are very persuasive as a nineteenth century Quaker couple.
The film is based on a novel by Jessamyn West and it's about the effects of the Civil War on the Birdwell family, the parents and the children: Anthony Perkins, Phyllis Love, and Richard Eyer. The tenets of pacifism are not easy to follow, especially during the Civil War.
Each of the Birdwells feel differently about the war and Anthony Perkins (the young son and Oscar-nominated here) feels it his duty to defend his home and family.
Friendly Persuasion's popularity was helped by Pat Boone's record of the title song which was a Gold record for him. The film also oozes the integrity of its characters.
Friendly Persuasion will pleasure thee in a hundred ways.
For more forgotten movies, check with Todd Mason.