A quintessential American heroine, Eliza Birdwell is a wonderful blend of would-be austerity, practicality, and gentle humor when it comes to keeping her faith and caring for her family and community. Her husband, Jess, shares Eliza's love of people and peaceful ways but, unlike Eliza, also displays a fondness for a fast horse and a lively tune. With their children, they must negotiate their way through a world that constantly confronts them-sometimes with candor, sometimes with violence-and tests the strength of their beliefs. Whether it's a gift parcel arriving on their doorstep or Confederate soldiers approaching their land, the Birdwells embrace life with emotion, conviction, and a love for one another that seems to conquer all.
The Friendly Persuasion has charmed generations of readers as one of our classic tales of the American Midwest.
A peaceful Quaker family's sanctity is tested during the Civil War.
Release dates: November 25, 1956
Running time: 137 minutes
Gary Cooper as Jess Birdwell
Dorothy McGuire as Eliza Birdwell
Anthony Perkins as Josh Birdwell
Richard Eyer as Little Jess Birdwell
Robert Middleton as Sam Jordan
Phyllis Love as Mattie Birdwell
Peter Mark Richman as Gard Jordan (as Mark Richman)
Walter Catlett as Professor Quigley
Richard Hale as Purdy
Joel Fluellen as Enoch
Theodore Newton as Major Harvey
John Smith as Caleb Cope
Marjorie Main as the widow Hudspeth
Edna Skinner as Opal Hudspeth
Marjorie Durant as Pearl Hudspeth
Frances Farwell as Ruby Hudspeth
Academy Awards 1956
Best Adapted Screenplay (nominated)
Best Director William Wyler (nominated)
Best Picture (nominated)
Best Song (nominated)
Best Sound (nominated)
Best Supporting Actor - Anthony Perkins (nominated)
National Board of Review Awards 1956
Among the Top Ten Films
Best Actress - Dorothy McGuire (won)
Cannes Film Festival 1957
Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) (won)
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.
Mary Jessamyn West was an American Quaker (originally from Indiana) who wrote numerous stories and novels, notably The Friendly Persuasion (1945).