Kazan had two movies released in 1947: “Boomerang!” and “Gentleman’s Agreement” (see below), both “social problem,” or message pictures. In “Boomerang!” scribe Richard Murphy, based on a magazine article about a real case that happened in Bridgeport, Connecticut, relates how a district attorney (played by the reliable Dana Andrews) begins to realize that the man he’s about to prosecute for murder is actually innocent. As a result, he switches positions and begins to gather evidence to exonerate him.
This “wrong man accused” movie is done in a semi-documentary, not stylish mode. The cast also includes Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb, Arthur Kennedy, Cara Williams, Ed Begley, and Karl Malden, who would appear in many other Kazan’s films, including “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Oscar Nominations: 1
Screenplay: Richard Murphy
Oscar Awards: None
Kazan’s “Gentleman’s Agreement,” based on Laura Z. Hobson’s novel and adapted to the screen by Moss Hart, dealt with anti-Semitism. At Oscar time, the drama was nominated for 8 Oscars, winning 3. “Gentleman’s Agreement” was praised by most critics, one of whom one found it to be “more savagely arresting and properly resolved as a picture than it was as a book,” and describing its script as “electric with honest reportage.” The other two Best Picture nominees represented lighter fare: “The Bishop’s Wife,” with 6 nominations, and “Miracle on 34th Street,” with 4 nods.
The Screenplay Oscar went to George Seaton for “Miracle on 34th Street.”