Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 15, 1954 with Dorothy McGuire reprising her film role.

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 20, 1948 with Gregory Peck reprising his film role.

John Garfield accepted the role after producer Darryl F. Zanuck promised that the film would be faithful to Moss Hart's script. Despite his limited role, Garfield was paid a full star's salary.

Anne Revere plays Gregory Peck's mother, despite being only twelve years older than him.

Among the concerns that the movie's anti-anti-semitic message would stir up a "hornet's nest"was the bizarre belief that "Jewish friendly" films and novels from the time were linked with communism. The fear was not entirely unfounded, as many of the people involved with the film were brought before the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC), including 'Daryl Zanuck', Anne Revere, (perhaps most notoriously) Elia Kazan, and 'John Garfield'. Garfield was brought before HUAC twice, was blacklisted, taken off the blacklist and put back on it again and it was believed that it was the stress of these experiences which led to the heart attack that killed him at the age of 39.



Celeste Holm is on record as saying that she found Gregory Peck to be no fun to work with.

Darryl F. Zanuck felt the time was right to bring up the subject of anti-Semitism following the full disclosure of what had actually gone on in the Nazi death camps.

Despite winning an Oscar for his direction, Elia Kazan revealed in a later interview that he was never fond of this movie, feeling that it lacked passion on his part and he thought that the romance was too forced.

John Garfield (real name Julius Garfinkle) was happy to take on the supporting role of Dave as he felt the film's subject was one that needed to be heard.

Laura Z. Hobson wrote her novel after Senator John Rankin's anti-Semitic comments were applauded in Congress. It was then serialized in Cosmopolitan from November 1946 to February 1947, immediately causing quite a stir. This prompted Darryl F. Zanuck (who was one of the few studio heads who was not Jewish) to snap up the novel's rights.

Producer Darryl F. Zanuck sought legal advice regarding the naming of the three anti-Semitic political figures. When told there was only a small risk of libel, Zanuck - who wasn't Jewish - replied, "Let them sue us. They won't dare, and if they do, nothing would make me more happy than to appear personally as a witness or defendant at the trial." As it turned out, Sen. Bilbo died before the film's release, Rep. Rankin lost in his campaign to succeed Bilbo (but remained in Congress), and Gerald L.K. Smith filed a lawsuit that ultimately failed.

Shooting started in late May 1947 and took 3 months. The film opened in November of that year to overwhelming critical favor.

Studio bosses - most of whom were Jewish themselves - urged Elia Kazan not to make the film.

The movie mentions three real people well-known for their racism and anti-Semitism at the time: Mississippi Sen. Theodore Bilbo, who advocated sending all African-Americans back to Africa; Mississippi Rep. John Rankin, who called columnist Walter Winchell "the little kike" on the floor of the House of Representatives; and Christian Nationalist Crusade leader Gerald L.K. Smith, who tried legal means to prevent Twentieth Century-Fox from showing the movie in Tulsa. He lost the case, but then sued Fox for $1,000,000. The case was thrown out of court in 1951.

The movie was Fox's top-grossing picture of 1948.

When other studio chiefs, who were mostly Jewish, heard about the making of this film, they asked the producer not to make it. They feared its theme of anti-Semitism would simply stir up a hornet's nest and preferred to deal with the problem quietly. Not only did production continue, but a scene was subsequently included that mirrored that confrontation.


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