gentleman’s agreement

I was a bit skeptical. I have not yet found that I love old, black and white movies. Some are great, but it is not my normal love. (This is where I admit that I love movies and tv filled with lots of good, fast speech and that I have soft spot for action flicks.) But Elizabeth and I were several glasses of wine in, the fire was flickering pleasantly, and it was, quite simply, time to settle in with a movie.

This is a movie that you should netflix and then spend two hours watching. It won a pile of Oscars and Golden Globes – in 1948. Gregory Peck stars as a journalist given the assignment of writing a series on anti-semitism. He decides to take a new angle and poses as Jew in New York City – where he had just moved for the assignment. And through his daily life, his son, his mother, his fiance, and his friends, a story of prejudice and bigotry boils to the surface. Not the stories that we so often hear of lynchings or genocides, but of the gentleman’s agreements that let all of that happen. How we hear a joke and feel sick inside but say nothing. Maybe turn our head when people of two different races or colors do not receive the same level of service. When a parent admits to a child that they are glad they are of a given race. And thus prejudice and bigotry remain.

Gentleman’s Agreement made its point loud and clear while also being a good film. I wish I could say that I learned something about how ‘things used to be.’ Instead I was reminded of how certain things are, sadly, timeless. And as long as this remains true, I am thankful for such poignant reminders.

One Reply to “gentleman’s agreement”

  1. Appreciate your insights. I put this movie at the top of my que. I loved Gregory Peck in, “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

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