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Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

FRIENDLY PERSUASION

"Will Pleasure you:" Suggestive ad for the movie
















FRIENDLY PERSUASION (1956). Director: William Wyler.

Although the Quakers in a small town in South Indiana are warned that they may have to defend themselves and their homes against rebel soldiers, Jess Birdwell (Gary Cooper) is determined that his grown son, Josh (Anthony Perkins), will not fight in the Civil War as it's against his religion. Although the one battle scene late in the picture is well done, the war almost seems like an after-thought in this movie in which Cooper plays it too cute by far in a role that cries out for a more talented and appropriate character actor. Perkins is quite good, however, as is Phyllis Love as his sister Mattie; Mark Richman as her boyfriend Gardner; Richard Eyer [The 7th Voyage of Sinbad] as Josh's younger brother; and Robert Middleton as a friend and rival of Jess's. Dorothy McGuire is all wide-eyed and beatific as Jess' wife, Eliza. Although Marjorie Main is as good as ever, the whole business with her and her three marriage-minded daughters [see photo] seems dragged in from an Abbott and Costello movie. Wyler's direction is solid, and there is excellent photography courtesy of Ellsworth Fredericks/Fredricks -- he used both spellings -- and a nice score by Dimitri Tiomkin. Joel Fluellen [Monster from Green Hell] and Robert Fuller [Brain from Planet Arous] have smaller roles. The talented Phyllis Love appeared almost exclusively on television. A goose named Samantha has nearly as much to do as Gertrude the Duck in Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Verdict: Not bad for what it is, but not for every taste. **1/2.



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