It doesn`t live up to its subject on occasion – and is perhaps more of an „important“ film than a „big“ one – but the performances of Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire are excellent. „Garfield, John“ accepted the role after producer Darryl F. Zanuck promised that the film would stay true to Moss Hart`s script. Despite his limited role, Garfield received a full star salary. The film is always great and very interesting to see. Zanuck decided to make a film of Hobson`s novel after being denied affiliation with the Los Angeles Country Club because it was assumed (wrongly) that he was Jewish. Before filming began, Samuel Goldwyn and other Jewish film directors turned to Darryl Zanuck to ask him not to make the film, fearing that he would „stir up trouble.“ They also warned that Hays` executor, Joseph Breen, could not let the film pass in front of the censors, as he was known to make derogatory remarks about Jews. There were also fears that the divorce of Dorothy McGuire`s character would offend the National Legion of Democracy. The film was controversial in its time, as was a similar film on the same subject, Crossfire, released the same year (although this film was originally a story of homophobia, which was later turned into anti-Semitism). Producer Darryl Zanuck sought legal advice on the designation of the three anti-Semitic policies. When told there was only a small risk of defamation, he replied, „Let`s get them prosecuted. They will not dare, and if they do, nothing would make me happier than to be a personal witness or accused at the trial. It turned out that Senator Bilbo died before the film`s release, and Congressman Rankin lost in his campaign to succeed Bilbo (but remained in Congress); Gerald L.K.
Smith filed a complaint that ultimately failed. Philip Schuyler Green, a widowed journalist, comes to New York city with his son Tommy and his mother from California to work for Smith`s Weekly, a leading national magazine. John Minify, the publisher, wants Phil to write a series about anti-Semitism, but Phil is lukewarm on the order. At a party, Phil Minify`s niece meets Kathy Lacy, a divorcee attracted to Phil, and Kathy reminds her uncle that she proposed the series some time ago. Tommy asks his father about anti-Semitism, and when Phil struggles to explain it, he decides to accept the mission. However, he is frustrated by his inability to find a satisfying approach, as he and Minify want the series to go beyond simply discovering the „crackpot“ mentality. After trying to imagine what his Jewish childhood friend Dave Goldman, now in the military abroad, must feel when he experiences bigotry, Phil decides to write from a Jewish perspective. However, he continues to struggle to write until he realizes that certain things can never be known until they are experienced first-hand, and that the only way to live the necessary experience is to appear Jewish in the eyes of others. When Minify announces the series of a midday band, Phil incidentally mentions that he is Jewish. Later, Phil learns from his new secretary that he was told there was no job in the magazine when she applied under her real name Estelle Walofsky, but when she applied again with Ethel Wales, she got the job. On his first day as a Jew, Phil becomes the target of insults and learns discriminatory rules in his building. When he tells Kathy, whom he fell in love with, about his „Angle“ story, she is at first confused that he can really be Jewish.
The next day, the human resources director of Minify`s magazine was reprimanded for his policy of not hiring Jewish secretaries, and was told that any future announcement should contain the line „Religion is a matter of indifference.“ But when Miss Wales learns of the policy change, her fear that a „Kikey“ Jew will ruin things for her prompts Phil to declare that he hates anti-Semitism from both her and a non-Jew. .