The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit

 
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  • The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
    The movie is in excellent condition and the quality of the original flim has been restored. There is a section on the DVD that shows how it was done. Very glad to get a copy of this classic....more info
  • Perhaps more interesting today
    I've never been impressed with those who claim to be struggling against hidebound reactionaries. All too often, they have beliefs that are more out-of-touch with reality than those they criticize.

    Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, for instance, often duped liberals with her claim to be battling for the right to talk about sex. In reality, the America of the early twentieth-century was still heavily agricultural and no agricultural society, surrounded by constantly breeding animals, is ignorant about sex. What Sanger's mostly religious critics disliked was a view of human sexuality that was a quirky blend of the mechanical and the mystical picked up from Havelock Ellis. If you've not heard of him, Ellis was a once well-regarded sex expert, a sort of Kinsey of the early 1900s. Like Kinsey, he was strange when it came to sex. He married a lesbian, hoping to convert her to heterosexuality through his charms and despite the fact that he was impotent. Try to wrap your mind around that. "Weird" doesn't quite do justice to what he was and what he made of Margaret Sanger and her kindred today.

    "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit," often described as an illustration of 1950s conformity, is equally unsettling to liberal stereotyping. In it Gregory Peck is a haunted man, haunted by the horrors of World War II, haunted by an affair he had in Italy, and haunted (or perhaps nagged) by an ambitious wife who can't understand how the war changed him. That's hardly the dull, "Leave it To Beaver" world some want us to imagine the 1950s as.

    Perhaps the most refreshing thing about this film are two attitudes Peck displays that far less common today. Gregory Peck doesn't bail out of his marriage when troubles arise. He fights to keep it healthy even when that harms his career. And he also keeps his problems to himself, not blabbing them out to any and all for "therapy," and not playing the victim.

    This is a stimulating and provocative film, perhaps even more so than when it was released in 1956. It belongs on your "much watch" list. You might also want to listen to the commentary track, which discusses life a half-century ago. I didn't know, for instance, that in the 1950s, the style of a man's hat said something about his status at work. One style meant management, another meant office worker. Peck's hat says that as a writer he was among the latter.

    --Michael W. Perry, editor of The Pivot of Civilization in Historical Perspective: The Birth Control Classic by Margaret Sanger and others....more info
  • FLANNEL SUIT
    A VERY GOOD MOVIE,RIVETING AND INTENSE BUT A LITTLE TO LONG BUT I STILL ENJOYED THE MOVIE!...more info
  • Gregory Peck, the quintessential Everyman
    THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT, based on the acclaimed novel by Sloan Wilson, resonated quite heavily with many men and their families in 1956. Some fifty years later, this movie still holds a powerful lesson about the balance of work commitments and family duty.

    In post-war New York, working-class family man Tom Rath (Gregory Peck) tries to provide as much as he can for his young family, despite the limitations of his income. Tom's wife Betsy (Jennifer Jones), always trying to find new ways to make money, suggests they move from their Connecticut house into Tom's dead grandmother's mansion--an idea that later backfires when it's discovered that the mansion has been willed away from the Rath family. Tom's life is complicated still by his recurring flashbacks about the War, and the young girl he left behind (Marisa Pavan). Tom's boss, Ralph Hopkins (Fredric March) ended up destroying his own family for the very same values and ambitions that Tom is now striving for...can he help Tom avoid the same fate?

    It's such a treat seeing Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones, the violent young lovers of "Duel in the Sun", teamed again in this outstanding family drama. Their chemistry was outstanding. In the character of Tom Rath, Peck managed to convey all the frustrations, fears and aspirations of the average working man. Jennifer Jones compliments him well as Tom's wife. Fredric March adds lots of gravity and wisdom to his role of Tom's mentor, Ralph.

    THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT was truly producer Darryl Zanuck's prestige picture for 1956. Though at times the lush CinemaScope visuals clash with the intimate nature of the story, the production values are high and the entire film is a treat to behold. (Single-sided, dual-layer disc)....more info
  • Powerful 50's film still good today
    I had heard about this film for years but never saw it. It is very much of its time--the 50's--post WWII when Americans were settling into prosperity. I had assumed that this would be about some man's climb upward in an ad agency or something. It is so much more than that. And although it describes perfectly the dilemmas of the time, the basic human elements are told so well that people today can surely relate to the film.

    Gregory Peck is his usual magnificent self. He is almost too handsome for the role but it helps to have someone so beautiful to watch for such a long film. Besides his looks and natural elegance, he reeks of character and integrity, which make us pull for him through the long haul. His "lapse" of marital fidelity is certainly shown in the most sympathetic way.

    Jennifer Jones, as his wife, was a little disappointing to me. It is mentioned elsewhere that she was nicer in the book. She is a complex character here in the film, who, at times seems selfish, shallow and materialistic, while, at other times, berates her husband for not having enough courage to tell the blunt truth to his boss (and thereby risk the steady income which she so desperately is counting on). I didn't find her particularly beautiful here, either, although she has been stunning in many of her other roles. In sum, she isn't as sympathetic a character as Peck's but perhaps she is that much more human. The 50's were a time of people wanting to forget the horrors and hardships of the war, rationing, and death and fell in love with refrigerators, cars, tvs and all the good things that money could buy.

    The script is intelligent and both sides of many issues are thoroughly played out. This may seem maddening and slow to some viewers who are used to faster action films withless dialogue, but I found it satisfying. In many of the scenes, such as the one where Peck discloses the fact of his war time affair to his wife, I could agree with each one of them, in turn.

    It is heartening to see a film tackle such moral issues and to show the difficulty most people face when trying to live a decent life.

    I enjoyed the costumes and especially the decor. So many film sets from the 50's show the tackier elements of the style of that era but some of these places---the offices and the Connecticut home of the boss's ex-wife were quite beautiful.

    The subplots of the boss' family problems and the problems with the inherited house were all interesting. The scenes in Italy were touching and charming. All in all this is a first class film, definitely worth watching....more info
  • Gregory Peck, the quintessential Everyman
    THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT, based on the acclaimed novel by Sloan Wilson, resonated quite heavily with many men and their families in 1956. Some fifty years later, this movie still holds a powerful lesson about the balance of work commitments and family duty.

    In post-war New York, working-class family man Tom Rath (Gregory Peck) tries to provide as much as he can for his young family, despite the limitations of his income. Tom's wife Betsy (Jennifer Jones), always trying to find new ways to make money, suggests they move from their Connecticut house into Tom's dead grandmother's mansion--an idea that later backfires when it's discovered that the mansion has been willed away from the Rath family. Tom's life is complicated still by his recurring flashbacks about the War, and the young girl he left behind (Marisa Pavan). Tom's boss, Ralph Hopkins (Fredric March) ended up destroying his own family for the very same values and ambitions that Tom is now striving for...can he help Tom avoid the same fate?

    It's such a treat seeing Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones, the violent young lovers of "Duel in the Sun", teamed again in this outstanding family drama. Their chemistry was outstanding. In the character of Tom Rath, Peck managed to convey all the frustrations, fears and aspirations of the average working man. Jennifer Jones compliments him well as Tom's wife. Fredric March adds lots of gravity and wisdom to his role of Tom's mentor, Ralph.

    THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT was truly producer Darryl Zanuck's prestige picture for 1956. Though at times the lush CinemaScope visuals clash with the intimate nature of the story, the production values are high and the entire film is a treat to behold. (Single-sided, dual-layer disc)....more info
  • Powerful 50's film still good today
    I had heard about this film for years but never saw it. It is very much of its time--the 50's--post WWII when Americans were settling into prosperity. I had assumed that this would be about some man's climb upward in an ad agency or something. It is so much more than that. And although it describes perfectly the dilemmas of the time, the basic human elements are told so well that people today can surely relate to the film.

    Gregory Peck is his usual magnificent self. He is almost too handsome for the role but it helps to have someone so beautiful to watch for such a long film. Besides his looks and natural elegance, he reeks of character and integrity, which make us pull for him through the long haul. His "lapse" of marital fidelity is certainly shown in the most sympathetic way.

    Jennifer Jones, as his wife, was a little disappointing to me. It is mentioned elsewhere that she was nicer in the book. She is a complex character here in the film, who, at times seems selfish, shallow and materialistic, while, at other times, berates her husband for not having enough courage to tell the blunt truth to his boss (and thereby risk the steady income which she so desperately is counting on). I didn't find her particularly beautiful here, either, although she has been stunning in many of her other roles. In sum, she isn't as sympathetic a character as Peck's but perhaps she is that much more human. The 50's were a time of people wanting to forget the horrors and hardships of the war, rationing, and death and fell in love with refrigerators, cars, tvs and all the good things that money could buy.

    The script is intelligent and both sides of many issues are thoroughly played out. This may seem maddening and slow to some viewers who are used to faster action films withless dialogue, but I found it satisfying. In many of the scenes, such as the one where Peck discloses the fact of his war time affair to his wife, I could agree with each one of them, in turn.

    It is heartening to see a film tackle such moral issues and to show the difficulty most people face when trying to live a decent life.

    I enjoyed the costumes and especially the decor. So many film sets from the 50's show the tackier elements of the style of that era but some of these places---the offices and the Connecticut home of the boss's ex-wife were quite beautiful.

    The subplots of the boss' family problems and the problems with the inherited house were all interesting. The scenes in Italy were touching and charming. All in all this is a first class film, definitely worth watching....more info
  • Superb!
    See, this guy, Gregory Peck's character, is 10 years after he was in WWII. But, he still gets flashbacks that affect his life in the present. The acting by Jennifer Jones and Mr. Peck and all the cast is of high caliber. The music of Bernard Herman is also excellent. I could go on but I hope you get the idea that this movie is highly recommeneded. boland7214@aol....more info
  • Dated classic from the Fifties
    While this may have been a classic film from the 50s, it now appears rather dated in the acting and direction compared to the films of 2007. The film plods along slowly, and Gregory Peck does little to improve things with his standard stiff, wooden acting. The story may have been good on paper (and I'm sure the source material was excellent) but the film comes across very awkward, stiff, and melodramatic. ...more info
  • Scenes from a Marriage
    For some reason, I didn't think I'd seen "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" before when I watched it last night. However, I readily remembered a number of scenes I seen many years ago. Most of the scenes were odd ones involving what I considered to be strange behavior or dialogue. The first one that comes up is the "biography" that the Gregory Peck character has to write for his executive job interview. He gets an hour by himself to write about himself and how he'll be an asset to the National Broadcasting Association (or whatever it's called). Off by himself, he is focussed on a difficult WWII flashback and comes up with three or four sentences that says, essentionally, "What a dumb idea; just hire me". I thought it was extremely lame but the head honcho, played rather absent-mindedly by Fredrick March, thought it was outstandingly original. Thus begins an akward job that doesn't seem to involve anything other than writing a speech for a medical convention. The whole executive staff seems to be involved with "The Speech". Peck's offering gets tossed which is what should have happened with his "biography" instead. Meanwhile, March has a confusing scene with his ex-wife about their 18 year old daughter in which the ex asks March to try and straighten her out. She says that if he doesn't at least try to do this, she'll never speak to him again. People are saying absolutes and accussations left and right in this movie. There is a lot of personal issues that come up but we never get to hear "The Speech". Maybe that's just as well; with so many contributors, it was probably a cure for insomnia. There's an excellent part played by Lee J. Cobb who, with Gregory Peck's performance, nearly saves the film. The ending is strong or else I would only have given this movie "3 Stars".

    I mentioned having seen the movie before because those same scenes I mentioned had been in the back of my mind all these years (I just had it mixed up as to which Gregory Peck movie they were from). I guess it says a lot when so many scenes (and there were others as well) stay with you for so long. Maybe I was just confused by how such seemingly important people spent so much time doing nothing. This is a movie about business vs. family and the choices those seeking success need to make. It attempts to portray the pros and cons of both choices (office politics vs. unattentive children, for example) yet the way so many people over-react to the situations that come up alienated me from giving the movie's message more serious attention. Maybe you'll have better luck with it. At least you ought to get a kick out of the rich folk's interior decorator.

    ...more info
  • OK period piece
    It is kind of an odd movie to have been made in the mid fifties. It's themes seem more like a movie made in the seventies: the horror of war, PTSD, impacts of infidelity, conflicts of career advancement vs. family obligations. The story is ahead of it's time and is enjoyable.
    Though the production values are attractive, the script is meandering and some of the performances are melodramatic.
    Overall a OK period piece.
    ...more info
  • .......Corporate America versus Middle America..... [1956 ]
    What will it be??... as Gregory Peck [Tom Rath] must decide for his future...he is a man of principle coupled with discipline learned from his military past, by which a 'flashback' pops out in his memory/bank while on his daily commute into NYC...how odd, these ne'er forgotten images ingrained, all of a sudden arise from one lil sighting; nonetheless, it shows the PTSD syndrome within those men who were locked in close combat, which images are now far removed from their present civilian daily rush of life...this one scene piqued my total interest in Sloane Wilson's adaptation from his book [bestseller] to the technicolor film production...Peck portrays a good man, devoted husband, observant father as this movie revolves around him for the most part; unfortunately, a very and much talented and beautiful woman [Jennifer Jones] is hardly noticed with mundane prose, too bad, because she and Peck had sultry chemistry in, "Duel in the Sun" previously...Frederick March [CEO] knows exactly the dilemma Peck wrestles with if he wants to come on board full knowing his 'other' life may become flotsam...Peck does the right thing for..Tom Rath...I won't spoil the ending for you...great book and a better film reproduction into PTSD and the personal ramifications that interweave Tom Rath's life after WW2 ends...SSGT CHRIS SARNO-USMC FMF...more info
  • The Compromises Demanded of Everyone
    The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit concerns the inevitable compromises demanded of everyone while earning a living. Should we always tell our employer the brutal truth? Are we obligated to commit economic suicide? Alas, we all must compromise in the real world. The only real question is how far can we go before betraying our ultimate values. Tom Rath (Gregory Peck) is a WWII veteran trying to make it in the Big Apple. Should he dedicate his whole heart and soul to the company? Is there any room for Rath's family? Where must he draw the line? The only serious negative is that women are treated as stay-at-home moms. Still, this is a well done movie and worthy of your time and interest.

    This movie will almost certainly resonate with those viewing it even in the distant future. Its central themes are eternally relevant. However, there is one scene that reminded me that The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit is a fictional account of the mid 1950s. Tom Rath is informed by his wife that they must purchase a new washing machine. It will cost $250.00. Please note that this is an era when a $10,000 income was considered to be far above average. This clothes cleaning appliance, for all practical purposes, would therefore retail at about $2,500 in our present era! Do we really want to return to the past? I don't think so.

    David Thomson
    Flares into Darkness...more info
  • The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
    Gregory Peck never made a bad movie, and this is one of his best...more info
  • Remember what is most important
    Integrity and relationships. So often we forget that it is not our careers that deine us but our integrity and the kinds of relationships we make. This is one of the great movies of the post-WWII period to put the focus on where it belongs - our spouse and our families. Some like "A Wonderful Life," I like "Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" as a reminder of what is most important in life and what is worth fighting to preserve. It may seem slow at first but it is drama at its best, drama with a message for us today despite the dated setting. ...more info
  • The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
    For the 1950s, a surprisingly frank and adult treatment of the often messy business of life, love and marriage. Peck's natural inwardness suits him well in this role, as Tom struggles with memories and feelings he'd like to avoid. Jones is solid and sympathetic as Betsy, but March nearly steals the movie as Hopkins, a man who's built his life on his business, and regrets, too late, all he's had to sacrifice for it. An incisive, intelligent drama, skillfully mounted by writer/director Nunnally Johnson....more info
  • A Terrific Cinematic Analysis of the American Dream...
    On the surface, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit offers a captivating drama where a man struggles with his memories from World War II while trying to be a strong father at home. Yet, the film submerges into a much deeper dissection of the American society, which offers amusement, drama, and contemplation. Much of the film is obviously shot in a studio, however, this seems like a minute detail when the story begins to take form.

    Hard work, dedication, and courage are the corner stones of the American Dream, which should help people build a prosperous future. In the backdrop of the American Dream, people of the 1950s also strived to achieve the perfect family through a number of intriguing methods. Many moved out of the cities into the suburbs where they sought a relatively easy life style without much hassle and stress. This notion was superficially padded with a perfect little house with a nice car and all the amenities that comfort requires. In order to gain these items, many had to work harder and sacrifice more of their personal life in order to make the monthly installments. In addition, many had to use the public transit system to and from work while time with the family continued to decrease. Nunnally Johnson uses the same name as Sloan Wilson's novel The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit to illustrate his vision of the American Dream.

    After the soothing music during opening credits the audience is thrown into the hectic and stressful life of New York City shortly after 5:00pm on a weekday. People are venturing home on a train after a long and rewarding day of hard work. Among the passengers, the main character Tom Rath (Gregory Peck) sits down at his usual seat together with Bill Hawthorn (Gene Lockhart) who asks him how his wife is doing. It leads into a discussion where Tom's explains his financial predicament of not making ends meet. Bill informs him about an opening at USB (no, not the computer port). However, Tom who has become settled in his position in life is first hesitant while using his complacent persona to avoid unnecessary risks by starting a new career.

    Throughout the film, the audience is introduced to Tom's children, his wife, his work, and his boss while also being able to see into his past through extensive flashbacks. Through these parts of Tom's life a colorful illustration of how his persona was shaped emerges, as the film displays numerous situations in his life. It is evident that Tom is a righteous and dedicated person who has shown much courage and hard work throughout his life. However, some incidents in his life caused him to create a complacent attitude towards life, as he no longer has any aspirations for prosperity. This is one of the things that bothers his wife, Betsy Rath (Jennifer Jones), who desires a better home and a more stable economy that does not trigger any financial stress on their lives. It leads Tom to seek the open position at television network USB.

    The film goes into great depth to suggest how the quest for the American Dream sometimes can change people, as opportunities of short cuts to success and prosperity materialize. Through Tom's job, the audience can witness how he deals with situations in the corporate world, where he faces the corporate politics. He must make decisions whether to corrupt his character in order to secure his future, or take the risk of loosing it all through honesty. It is fascinating to see how it can be harmful to achieve the American Dream, as it hurts the society, the family, and the individual. The hurtful aspects of the American Dream also emerge through Tom's boss, Ralph Hopkins (Fredric March) who gained great success and vast prosperity through ceaseless dedication to his job, but never obtained the perfect family.

    The brilliant performance by Gregory Peck helps develop an intriguing persona, which is honorable and devoted. Yet, he is not perfect, which brings to mind the notion of human imperfection. Johnson goes even further than the American Dream with this film, as his film deals with both aspects of life - joy and pain. It is through these two opposite facets of life where Johnson reveals the idea that the American Dream is merely a mirage of perfection, as life cannot be without misery. Nonetheless, people continue to hunt for the American Dream, the illusion of no suffering, but as Johnson proposes these people loose themselves in the illusion of happiness where bad things rests.

    It is within the story the audience will find a meaningful tale, which has something for every viewer to ponder from any part of society. This is due to Johnson's cinematic treatment of a social issue through an interesting philosophical approach, as he presents several different viewpoints on the issue. It is also what makes the film so interesting while it leaves the viewers thinking and reflecting of their own lives....more info
  • An Extremely Inspirational Film
    This film has been one of my all time favorites for years and years. I agree with the other reviews posted and will not repeat them. I would like to summarize my view-point of the film. The story depicts a man who is struggling to regain control of his life, in a world of people who are all too willing to take advantage of him (The wife nags about his career, A former servant is trying to take his inheritance, and he is pressured at his workplace). Sound familiar? Even though this film was made in the 1950's it is very easy to apply its foundations to today. In the end, the Man is successful in reclaiming his life and does things his way. I am inspired each and every time I watch it! Gregory Peck is awesome in this movie, by the way....more info
  • A Whiter Shade of Grey
    Catch the anonymous face in the crowd and consider the bright lights and dark shadows of that fellow's existence. This is Peck's performance in The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit and he is brilliant. Several reviewers have noted "the Look" of the film and its quintessential Fifties style. This is true, I felt I was gaining a peak at a long lost world: Post-war America, advancing economically, but struggling morally. The flashbacks make this half a War movie and give it a shared history with its adult intended audience. This was a time when adult movies did not mean pornography, but dealt with mature themes such as honesty in relationships and integrity in your profession.

    Gregory Peck has some great scenes, many in which he doesn't seem to do much. The look on his face on the train when the man in the coat in front of him triggers a repulsive memory from the war is worth pages of dialogue. The uncomprehending shock from when he accidentally kills his best friend is a real tearjerker. I don't know what other American actor at this time could be so effective.

    The plot was a surprise to me, I really had no idea this was such an engaging story. The title implies a dull, plodding story, and I have to admit little prior knowledge about this movie except its one of those I'd always heard about. This has got to be one of the best movies out of the Fifties and that is saying a lot. There is poignancy, humor (the kids always glued to the TV and oblivious to the real drama around them), and above all, a slice of life that is absorbing and realistic. This is definitely an overlooked gem needing full DVD glory. Have the popcorn ready, once you start it, you won't want to get off the couch....more info
  • You WANT Spam?
    I really enjoyed this film. It's a little disjointed and melodramatic, but a very good movie on everyday life. Good chemistry between the lead characters. Definately a movie for adults, which is much appreciated in today's world...And the conversation about canned Spam is priceless!...more info
  • grey flannel
    One of the most interesting movies of the 50s, and one which accurately portrays the rarely-approached subject of ordinary men trying to fit in their contemporary workplace. Peck is a little miscast (too tall and striking to possess the "ordinary" quality necessary for the role) and Jennifer could be a little more varied in her characterization (she needs a "light" moment or two) but they are both as usual fun to watch.
    Peck's interview lunch is one of the best scenes, as is Ann Harding's plea to Frederich March. The other reviewers have not mentioned how the color and Cinemascope really add to the feel of the Fifties , and this cannot be stated enough - see it on a big-inch TV if possible. I think the wardrobe is one of the best in cinema history - it looks exactly as if it came off the racks of the department stores during the period. A great story, and one which anyone who has been employed in the business world as a white-collar worker, and who has aged thru their thirites, will identify with. Recommended....more info
  • an american who wanted to be grey
    From outside the USA this film is rare. Isn't perhaps between the best, but usually these country is seen as the cradle of big heroes, brave cowboys, tycoons and the in general most rich or poweful people. However here Gregory Peck plays the figure of a common man who is, and it's intended wants not only to dress a grey suit, but voluntarily wants to be a ordinary, grey man, possibly possesing the qualities to get more. Perhaps this is truly wisdom and difficult....more info
  • One of the very best
    This movie showcases great acting, great writing, and a serious, yet entertaining theme. It grapples with serious issues of family,business,ethics,past mistakes, and painful memories in a truly engaging manner. Though it is deeply rooted in the post-WWII fifties, the ideas are timeless. It is at once realistic and redemptive. Watch it with someone you love-it will be a movie you'll both enjoy....more info
  • A MOVIE FOR ADULTS, ABOUT ADULTSyHOW RARE
    In today's movies, the characters move about like amoeba, seeking pleasure, without morals or
    conscience. But here you find a man trying to do the right thing, a concept Hollyweird has
    forgotten about. It's not for children or morons. It's for people who can feel, can think, can
    empathise. Very moving, too, in a way today's movies rarely achieve....more info
  • Long....But Entertaining
    Very intriguing, multi-layered drama starring Gregory Peck as a simple man trying to deal with life's problems. Stellar cast features three of my favorites---Peck, Lee J. Cobb, and Fredric March. How can you go wrong with names like these?!

    A tad on the lengthy side (at slightly more than 2-and-a-half hours), but worth the excursion.

    Mr. March is a standout here (IMO), as the head of a major TV network which employs Peck. March's role here puts me in mind of a similar character he portrayed two years earlier in "Executive Suite". He is much more likable, however, in this film....more info