GOLDEN GLOBE The Golden Globe Award Presented to Celeste Holm for Best Supporting Performance in Gentleman's Agreement, 1947.
The trophy a gold plated globe on a round stone base with an engraved plaque reading: "To Celeste Holm/For the Best Supporting Performance/In 'Gentleman's Agreement'/1947/Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association." Height overall 7 inches; Diameter globe 2 1/2 inches. Chips to stone base and the plaque somewhat tarnished; Together with the original letter from the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association informing Ms. Holm of her win, and inviting her to the awards ceremony, one page dated 3 March 1947; And two photographs, being a vintage photograph of Ms. Holm with the award on the night of the ceremony and a promotional portrait from Gentleman's Agreement.
Celeste Holm's Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Performance in Gentleman's Agreement, 1947, the Best Picture winning film which boldly took on anti-Semitism in prosperous Post-War America. Held by the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on March 10th, 1948, this was the 5th Golden Globe Awards presentation, and handed to Celeste Holm on stage was this statue, the earliest of the Marina Cisternas designed awards: a glowing gold globe on a cylindrical pedestal meant to connect the world (later the globe would be draped in a film strip). Ms. Holm also won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar that year for her lively portrayal of the smart, modern magazine art director Anne Dettrey, her two awards the only acting honors bestowed on the highly decorated film.
Twentieth Century-Fox studio head Darryl Zanuck was motivated to adapt Laura Z. Hobson's novel into a film upon being denied membership into the Los Angeles Country Club on the presumption he was Jewish; he was not, and despite the requests of Jewish studio heads such as Louis B. Mayer not make the film, the unmasking of casual anti-Semitism in American life is patiently achieved in Gentleman's Agreement. The film centers on widower journalist Philip Schuyler Green, played by Gregory Peck, who moves to New York with his mother and young son for an opportunity to write a series on anti-Semitism for a liberal magazine. To uncover the truth, Green pretends to be Jewish himself in all aspects of his new life and easily lures out obvious anti-Semitism in professional settings and subtle prejudice, the 'gentleman's agreement,' of the suburbs, private clubs and restricted resorts.
Humanizing the film's lofty ambition is the love story at the center of the plot, and The New York Times astutely noted in its review that the outcome of Phil Green and Kathy Lacey's (played by Dorothy McGuire) romance was critical to the resolution of the film: "For such aspects of anti-Semitism as professional bias against Jews, discrimination by swanky hotels and even the calling of ugly names have been frankly and clearly demonstrated for the inhuman failings that they are and the peril of a normal and happy union being wrecked on the ragged edges of prejudice is affectingly raised. Indeed, on the grounds of the original, every good and courageous thing has been done by Twentieth Century-Fox, the producer, to make 'Gentleman's Agreement' a sizzling film."
Zanuck's courage, paired with an eloquent screenplay by Moss Hart, elicited brilliant performances that were honored with wins at both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards: Elia Kazan won his first of several awards for Best Director; Celeste Holm won both awards for Best Supporting Performance; and the highest honor of Best Picture was presented to Gentleman's Agreement at both major awards presentations.
This is the most historically significant Golden Age Golden Globe acting award to come to auction as it honors not only Celeste Holm's charmed performance in Gentleman's Agreement but also Darryl Zanuck's choice to stand up to anti-Semitism in America. The awards bestowed on the film are the highest acknowledgement the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association could offer on behalf of the world at this critical moment.
See: 'Gentleman's Agreement,' Study of Anti-Semitism, Is Feature at Mayfair - Gregory Peck Plays Writer Acting as Jew, by Bosley Crowther, The New York Times, 12 November 1947.
C The Celeste Holm Collection
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