Commentary Magazine

Article Preview

On the Horizon: “Gentleman's Agreement” Abroad

- Abstract

Hablan todo el tiempo de judios—All they talk about is the Jews,” said the man who walked out before the movie was over. I looked at the few people who were waiting for admission in the vestibule. Most of them were foreigners. It was in Caracas. This was not a first—run movie house, and the film Gentleman’s Agreement (La luz es para todos in Spanish) had already had a fairly long run. Nevertheless I was struck by the lack of interest among the movie—loving caraqueños. Perhaps 947′s best film was not being appreciated in South America.

I myself greatly enjoyed the film; but there were moments, when the tension relaxed, which allowed me to feel somewhat bothered at seeing this film in Venezuela. I could imagine what extraordinary topical interest the theme would have in New York and in at least a large part of the United States, how a Broadway audience would absorb every word of this movie brimming with talk and discussion. The Venezuelans around me were confused, surprised, and in fact bored. A gentle snore to my right told me that someone had fallen asleep. Others laughed at the wrong moments. The film was not being understood.

About the Author