Friendly Persuasion Overview:

Friendly Persuasion (1956) was a Drama - War Film directed by William Wyler and produced by William Wyler, Walter Mirisch, Robert Wyler and Harry F. Hogan.


The tranquil existence of a family of Quakers living in Indiana during the time of the Civil War is shattered when one of the sons decides to enlist in the army. His decision raises difficult questions about courage and faith, and the evil of violence. While the patriarch of the clan competes with a friend to be the first to church on Sundays, his son is torn between his faith in nonviolence and his desire to prove his bravery in battle. Written without credit by blacklisted writer Michael Wilson.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1956 --- Ceremony Number 29 (source: AMPAS)

Best Supporting ActorAnthony PerkinsNominated
Best DirectorWilliam WylerNominated
Best Music - SongMusic by Dimitri Tiomkin; Lyrics by Paul Francis WebsterNominated
Best PictureWilliam Wyler, ProducerNominated
Best WritingMichael WilsonNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire charm us with their “Friendly Persuasion”

By Stephen Reginald on Dec 9, 2021 From Classic Movie Man

Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire charm us with their “Friendly Persuasion” Friendly Persuasion (1956) is an American drama directed by William Wyler and starring Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire. Others in the cast include Anthony Perkins (in his second film) and Marjorie Main. The sc... Read full article

Friendly Persuasion (1956): Gary Cooper’s Quaker Clan

By 4 Star Film Fan on Jan 6, 2020 From 4 Star Films

The when is 1862. The where is Southern Indiana. We find ourselves in the throes of Quaker country as envisioned by novelist Jessamyn West and brought to the screen by his eminence, William Wyler. What follows is a lovely opening gambit with a goose about as anthropomorphic as they come without comp... Read full article

Friendly Persuasion (1956)

By Beatrice on Apr 18, 2016 From Flickers in Time

Friendly Persuasion Directed by William Wyler Written by Jessamyn West and Michael Wilson (uncredited due to blacklist) 1956/USA Allied Artists Pictures/B-M Productions Repeat viewing/Netflix rental My husband says this film is not realistic. ?He may be right but I find it very charming. The story... Read full article

TCM Essentials: Friendly Persuasion

By Amanda Garrett on May 23, 2015 From Old Hollywood Films

TCM will air the historical drama Friendly Persuasion (1956) at 8 p.m. May 23 as part of its Essentials series. The film stars Gary Cooper as a peace-loving Quaker who is trying to keep his family together during the Civil War. I'll outline three things to look for while you're watching after the ju... Read full article

Friendly Persuasion(1956).

By Dawn on Feb 24, 2011 From Noir and Chick Flicks

Friendly Persuasion(1956). Civil War film . Cast: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer, Robert Middleton and Phyllis Love. The screenplay was adapted by Michael Wilson from the 1945 novel The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West and was directed by William Wyler. The story b... Read full article

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Quotes from

Josh Birdwell: I don't want to die. I don't think I could kill anyone if I tried. But I have to try, so long as other people have to.

Jess Birdwell: I'm just his father, Eliza, not his conscience. A man's life ain't worth a hill of beans except he lives up to his own conscience.

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Facts about

The battle depicted in the film, against the Confederate raiders led by General John Hunt Morgan, is based on an actual battle. On July 9, 1863, 450 members of the Indiana Home Guard met John Hunt Morgan's raiders in battle south of the town of Corydon, Indiana (although not, as depicted in the film, at a creek crossing). The Home Guard held off the raiders for a half-hour, but the raiders numbered 11,000, and the Home Guard was eventually forced to retreat. The Morgan raiders occupied the town of Corydon for a single afternoon, during which time they looted stores in the town and forced several mill owners to pay cash ransoms in return for not burning their mills. At 5 o'clock, the raiders moved on. During the battle, the Morgan raiders suffered 11 men killed and 33 wounded, while the Indiana Home Guard lost only 5 men.
Final film of Charles Halton.
Gary Cooper originally did not want to play a father of grown up children. This was despite the fact that he was 55 in real life.
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Best Picture Oscar 1956

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