Carl Theodor Dreyer James Agee - Essay

James Agee

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Of] the movies made during the past twenty years I think [Day of Wrath] is unquestionably one of the dozen or so best worth seeing. (p. 303)

Movies seldom contain any material, except by inadvertence or head-on outrage, which can interest the morally curious; this one contains a good deal, and none of it is inadvertent or outrageous. I particularly respect the film's interest in the deeply entangled interproductiveness of good and evil among several people and within single people; its steep, Lutheran kind of probity—that is, its absolute recognition of the responsibility of the individual, regardless of extenuating or compulsive circumstances; its compassion; and its detachment….

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(The entire section is 592 words.)