Hobson was Jewish; Born Laura Kean Zametkin, she changed her name to get a job as a magazine secretary – a decision that comes in the film, and what is interesting, transformed. Hart was Jewish, the film`s producer Darryl Zanuck was a Methodist, Elia Kazan came from Greek-Orthodox descent and Peck grew up Catholic. The personal, authoritarian and religious intelligence of this film is Hobson. In 1947, the Oscar for Best Picture was awarded to Gentleman`s Agreement with Gregory Peck as a campaign reporter on a mission. The awards for Best Director were also awarded to Elia Kazan and Best Supporting Actress to Celeste Holm. At first glance, this sounds like a „publishing film“ rather worthy of the 1940s, the kind of film the Academy thought it was honoring. But gentleman`s Agreement is always a captivating, fascinating, somewhat boring, by turns naïve and very sharp film, fascinating for what it puts and omchant. Hollywood was rather reluctant at the time when it came to explicitly mentioning Judaism, and perhaps now no less reluctant. Perhaps one of the few Hollywood films that preceded the word J was charlie Chaplin`s great dictator in 1940. And the high concept of the film becomes so serious, so misleading and presented with such a lack of self-confidence or preventive cynicism that one cannot help but smile at the dramatic moment when the idea is revealed. And Judaism and Judaism are almost completely absent. It is an important (and coherent) part of the film`s liberalism to emphasize that it is humanly impossible to distinguish between the Jew and the non-Jewish. But there is no visible Jewish home, no Jewish culture, no menora, no synagogue.
Dave is — important — far from home and trying to find a place to rent. Phil and his fiancée meet a famous Jewish scientist, Fred Liebermann (Sam Jaffe), and he is an exotic European intellectual, like Albert Einstein, who talks about Zionism and the Palestinian homeland. But that`s all. And the film is very apolitical, apart from references to forgotten far-right figures like Theodore G Bilbo and Gerald LK Smith. Gentleman`s Agreement not only won the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director, but was also one of Fox`s most successful films in 1947. However, the political nature of the film angered the House Un-American Activities Committee, with Elia Kazan, Darryl Zanuck, John Garfield and Anne Revere all called to testify before the committee. Revere refused to testify, and although Garfield appeared, he refused to „give names.“ Both were placed on the red channels of the Hollywood blacklist. Garfield remained on the blacklist for a year, was again called to testify against his wife and died of a heart attack at the age of 39 before his second hearing.