Jess and Eliza Birdwell are happily raising their children in the pacifist, hospitable ways of the Quaker faith. But as the Civil War looms close to home, their eldest son, Josh, joins the Home Guard to defend their community against Rebel raiders, forcing them to examine their faith and conscience.
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Palme d'Or in Cannes and six Academy awards nominations. Yes. Well, yes. Anyway what is certain is that Friendly Persuasion didn't successfully pass the test of time. Anthony Perkins is really but really bad here and the film looks like a Walt Disney movie gone wrong. Preachy and with animals. Already forgotten.
A slice of pacificism during the Cold War blacklist, and interesting only in how it slips that into America's rosy self-image. It's also mostly boring, and I worried that's because peace itself is boring before I realized that it just does shockingly little with its ideas and characters for a 2+ hour film. Comedy was never Wyler's strong suit, nor Cooper's. But moments of fraught emotion and rolling charm lie within.
Not understanding the reviews kinda slamming this film. I thought it was fun, and rather charming, and considering its subject matter walked the fine line of not being preachy. Wyler is probably my fav filmmaker and this is just another example of his breadth of material he could handle with ease. A real master. I wouldnt even consider it in his top 5 films he made and its still stellar. A mark of a legend. 4.5 stars