Friendly Persuasion [DVD] [1956]

William Wyler's unique look at the American Civil War, Friendly Persuasion, comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. Subtitles are accessible in both of those languages as well. Supplemental materials include production notes and a theatrical trailer. This is a good disc from Warner Bros. that is highlighted by the fine picture. A stereo mix would have been great, but this disc should entertain anyone with an interest in films from the '50s.
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Rating 5 out of 5 stars.
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (3 out of 3)

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes documentary segment from the 1955 NBC-TV series "Wide Wide World"
  • Interactive menus
  • Production notes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Scene access
  • Subtitles: English & Français


Friendly Persuasion
Adapted from the best-selling novel by Jessamyn West, Friendly Persuasion is set in Southern Indiana in the early days of the Civil War. Gary Cooper plays Jess Birdwell, patriarch of a Quaker family which does not believe in warfare. Birdwell's son Josh (Anthony Perkins) wishes to adhere to his family's pacifism, but is afraid that if he doesn't sign up for military service, he'll prove to be a coward. Josh joins the Home Guard, which disturbs his mother Eliza (Dorothy McGuire). But Jess Birdwell realizes that his son must follow the dictates of his own conscience. Josh proves his courage to himself when he is wounded during a Rebel raid, while the elder Birdwell is able to stay faithful to his religious calling by not killing a Southern soldier when given both a chance and a good reason to do so. Allegedly, writer Jessamyn West nearly scotched her deal with producer/director William Wyler and distributor Allied Artists when Gary Cooper, taking his fans into consideration, insisted upon including a scene in which he forsakes his pacifism and takes arms against the Rebels. If true, then wiser heads prevailed, since no such scene exists in the final release print. Though uncredited due to his status as a blacklistee, Michael Wilson wrote the screenplay for Friendly Persuasion--and even won an Oscar nomination. Also nominated was the film's chart-busting theme song, "Thee I Love" (by Dmitri Tiomkin and Paul Francis Webster). The story was remade as a 2-hour TV pilot film in 1975. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Gary Cooper
    Gary Cooper - Jess Birdwell
  • Dorothy McGuire
    Dorothy McGuire - Eliza Birdwell
  • Anthony Perkins
    Anthony Perkins - Josh Birdwell
  • Marjorie Main
    Marjorie Main - Widow Hudspeth
  • Image coming soon
    Robert Middleton - Sam Jordan

Overall Customer Rating

100%of customers recommend this product.

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