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Saturday, December 27, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Fog/Mist
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Friendly Persuasion
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A quaker farming family enacts its pleasant, pacific daily rituals in a bucolic rural landscape that might have been summoned up by Norman Rockwell. Suddenly, the Civil War intrudes, shattering all those rituals and confronting everyone with the imminence of death. Though it doesn't have the reputation of The Best Years Of Our Lives, Jezebel or Ben Hur, this is my favorite William Wyler film. His disciplined style works magical effects on the Jessamyn West story; for me the movie has the peculiar charm and beauty of a clockwork cr�šche, every part meshing perfectly. (In 1956, probably because of its pacifist "message," Friendly Persuasion won the Venice Film Festival Grand Prize.
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