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» » Friendly Persuasion (1975)

Short summary

During the Civil War, a Quaker couple risks their lives by helping runaway slaves.
During the Civil War, a Quaker couple risks their lives by helping runaway slaves.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Akinonris
    Although titled 'Friendly Persuasion', this is actually an adaptation of its sequel, 'Except for Me and Thee', also by Jessamyn West.

    It is hard to compare the actors to the originals--who can best Gary Cooper?-but I found nothing in it that made me uncomfortable as a Friend watching it. It's worth seeing, but perhaps not worth seeking out, as the original 'Friendly Persuasion' definitely is.

    We Quakers are so often confused with other Plain sects--the Amish and Mennonites--that it's good to watch just so, perhaps, thee can see the difference.
  • comment
    • Author: Uriel
    I was fortunate enough to star in this made for television version of the original FRIENDLY PERSUASION starring Richard Kiley and Shirley Knight, in the role of Lilly Truscott, in a similar characterization of yet another classic film called: "PINKY"...I was to have have been a half white, half black by-product of a secret mixed union, but raised as a 'Lady' who could 'pass' as white. My character's dilemma in this wonderfully directed, and brilliantly acted story, was that of survival, and the kindness of true pacifists who must rise to the challenge of not 'breaking' their faith or rules, but 'bending' them enough to save Lilly and her husband who must pretend to be her slave in order to escape the harsh judgment of those times. I took the role because of that internal and eternal struggle between personal values and integrity weighing the total picture of a less than perfect world, and 'walking the line' without the blinders that most inculcated religions attempt to demand of their followers. This family had to make hard choices, and search their souls, and humanity won out over doctrine, and the result was heroic in it's simplicity...it is as true today in our world of terrorism and dogmatic religiosity versus a universal non-secular 'humanism'. This movie is worth seeing both artistically, cinematically, and as a reminder that we ALL have choices in our daily lives---albeit not all as dramatic as in this film. Enjoy...I did, while filming it.
  • comment
    • Author: Gelgen
    There is now a 14-minute clip of this film on youtube. The story cannot have taken place during the Civil War because it is about moving the fugitive slaves ahead of their pursuers from the south, which obviously stopped when hostilities commenced. 'Except for Me and Thee' is a prequel of 'The Friendly Persuasion' and describes how Jess and Eliza had first arrived in Indiana.

    Because it looks more serious,I think that this 1975 film looks more promising than the 1956 one, which was largely poking fun at the Friends, and has loud music almost constantly intruding. In both films the men are dressed in black, which was discouraged by Friends during most of their history, though changes came in Victorian times. Jessamyn West's book 'To See the Dream' describes the making of the 1956 film and the struggles she had to keep the best bits. Highly recommended. 2017: I have finally obtained a DVD of this 1975 film from [email protected], cost £26 inc.p&p to UK. Interesting, exciting and worth watching if Quaker history is your thing. A violent scene near the end. As usual, being teetotal is regarded as fundamental to Quakers but in the 1850s (when this is set) it was a new idea and many never complied.
  • Credited cast:
    Richard Kiley Richard Kiley - Jess Birdwell
    Shirley Knight Shirley Knight - Eliza Birdwell
    Clifton James Clifton James - Sam Jordan
    Michael O'Keefe Michael O'Keefe - Josh Birdwell
    Kevin O'Keefe Kevin O'Keefe - Labe
    Tracie Savage Tracie Savage - Mattie
    Sparky Marcus Sparky Marcus - Little Jess
    Paul Benjamin Paul Benjamin - Swan Stebeney
    Erik Holland Erik Holland - Enoch
    Maria Grimm Maria Grimm - Lily Truscott
    Bob Minor Bob Minor - Burk
    Gus Peters Gus Peters
    Twila Pollard Twila Pollard - Farmer's Wife
    Walter Scott Walter Scott
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Art Ellison Art Ellison
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