Who Wrote Gentleman`s Agreement

Not only are the basic elements of Hobson`s work preserved, but in some cases they retain a larger dimension and greater plausibility. This applies to adaptation, staging and performances. Thus, the first meeting between Phil Green and Kathy is more understandable on the screen than on the printed page. Similarly, the couple`s other scenes, especially the initial love scene, dramatize their irresistible reciprocal physical attraction that overcomes their violent philosophical differences. Finally, after many discussions with his older, worried mother (a typcast Anne Revere), Phil has a Eureka moment. Of course! That`s all! Just as he wrote an Orwellist report on the miner or an okie – he`d be Jewish! He posed as a Jew and applied for jobs, club memberships, hotel reservations, etc. In a state of ecstatic writing, he almost exclaims, „And I have a title for it – I was Jewish for six months!“ It is about the anti-Semitism of prosperous post-war America and the insidious way in which Jews were excluded from high-level social clubs, resorts and, of course, jobs. There have been no official bans, just a nod and a nod and a „gentleman`s agreement“ between nice conservatives they know the kind of people they want to be associated with. This is the kind of everyday prejudice that Groucho Marx elegantly dismissed with his joke that he did not want to join a club that would have him as a member. Dave announces that he has to leave his job because he cannot find housing for his family. Kathy owns an empty house in Darien, but even though Phil sees it as the obvious solution to Dave`s problem, Kathy is not ready to insult her neighbors by renting it out to a Jewish family. She and Phil are breaking up their engagement.

Phil announces that he will be moving away from New York when his article is published. When he goes out, he is very well accepted by the magazine`s staff. Zanuck decided to shoot Hobson`s novel after being denied membership in the Los Angeles Country Club because it was (wrongly) thought he was Jewish.