Peck plays Phil Green, a charming and friendly widower with a grandson, Tommy (Dean Stockwell); He is a journalist of a certain reputation who came to New York to find a writing job for a liberal magazine. The owner, John Minify (Albert Dekker), introduces Philip to his elegant, beautiful niece, although a little fragile, Kathy (Dorothy McGuire), who has an idea of functionality – how about writing about anti-Semitism? Phil is tormenting himself on how to write this article. He looks at blunt statistics and decides that it is a dry and futile approach. (And here`s the first question a modern audience could ask – wait! What statistics exactly? These statistics are interesting… Aren`t they?) Phil is tormented by knowing what it`s like to be Jewish and to face prejudice. He repeats himself on his Jewish friend Dave Goldman (John Garfield) who is in the army: « What does Dave think? » In the magazine, a secretary is assigned to Phil, Elaine Wales (June Havoc), who reveals that she too is Jewish. She changed her name to the position (her candidacy under her real Jewish name, Estelle Wilovsky, was rejected). After Phil Minify informed of the Experience in Wales, Minify ordered the magazine to adopt hiring guidelines open to Jews. Wales has reservations about the new policy, fearing that the « false Jews » will be abandoned and ruin things for the few Jews who now work there. Phil meets fashion editor Anne Dettrey (Celeste Holm), who becomes a good friend and perhaps more, especially as tensions develop between Phil and Kathy. The bestseller Gentleman`s Agreement was published in Cosmopolitan (Nov 1946-February 1947) before being published as a book. In an interview with Cosmopolitan in July 1947, author Laura Z.
Hobson said, « What have I tried to do with this book? I think a woman who wrote to me put it in two wonderful sentences. She says: « The bad guys aren`t really scary. It`s the millions of nice people who do and let them do horrible things. I think that`s the problem with what I was trying to say. Hobson noted that Darryl Zanuck, Fox`s production manager, who made the film his only personal production in 1947, told him that if the film failed in the box office of the cinema, « Hollywood would go back twenty years to be honest with the problem of prejudice. » The film was the first time the famous playwright Moss Hart wrote directly for the screen. Director Elia Kazan writes in his autobiography that Jewish leaders from other major film studios held a meeting at which they pushed Hart to convince Zanuck not to make the film because they did not want to stir up anti-Semitism.