Promo Banner Image


Quakers on Film: Resources

"Penn of Pennsylvania" (poster art)

This Spanish poster for “Penn of Pennsylvania” (1942) drops the reference to William Penn altogether! – click to enlarge

For our January 2, 2017 First Monday lecture “Quakers in the Movies,” Pendle Hill’s own David Butterworth revisited – via animated discussion and rare film clips – the almost two dozen films he watched while researching his book, Celluloid Friends: Cinematic Quakers, Real and Imagined (1922–2012). As a follow-up to that talk, he has compiled this resource page in response to several attendee’s requests for more information, especially concerning the availability of titles.

Additions and/or corrections to this page can be submitted to David at Thanks in advance!

QuakerSpeak compilation reel
“14 movies! In just over 3 minutes!”
“A Complete List of Movies That Reference Quakers.” (sic)

Films reviewed in David’s book

Angel and the Badman (1947), b&w, 100 mins. | DVD, Amazon Video
The Baroness and the Pig (2002), color, 95 mins. | DVD
Beauty’s Worth (1922), b&w/silent, 112 mins. | YouTube
Bedlam (1946), b&w, 79 mins. | DVD, YouTube
The Big Trees (1952), color, 89 mins. | DVD
Dear America: Standing in the Light (TV) (1999), color, 29 mins. | VHS, Amazon Video
The Deep Six (1958), color, 108 mins. | DVD-R MOD (Manufactured On Demand)
Down to the Sea in Ships (1922), b&w/silent, 95 mins. | YouTube
Einstein and Eddington (TV) (2008), color, 94 mins. | Amazon Video, DVD (PAL/Reg. 2)
Friendly Persuasion (1956), color, 138 mins. | DVD, Amazon Video
George Fox and the Quakers (TV) (2000), color, 44 mins. | VHS
High Noon (1952), b&w, 85 mins.  | DVD, Amazon Video
The Inner Light (1995), color, 99 mins. | currently unavailable
Iron Jawed Angels (TV) (2004), color, 123 mins. | DVD
"The Meeting School" (DVD cover)The Meeting School (2007), color, 35 mins. | DVD (available from the PH library), IMDb video
The Ministry of the Stove (2012), color, 5 mins. | Vimeo
Penn of Pennsylvania (Courageous Mr. Penn) (1942), b&w, 89 mins. | VHS
A Prayer in the Dark (1997), color, 91 mins. | VHS
Raid on Rommel (1971), color, 98 mins. | DVD-R MOD (Manufactured On Demand)
Secret Honor (1984), color, 90 mins. | DVD, Amazon Video
That of God (2009), color, 54 mins. | DVD (available from PYM and Swarthmore College’s Friends Historical Library)
The Winds of Autumn (1976), color, 83 mins. | YouTube

Quaker references only

Hilda Plowright in "The Philadelphia Story" (1940)

Hilda Plowright in “The Philadelphia Story” (1940) – click for article

Bred in the Bone (1915) – William Hinckley and W.E. Lawrence play Mercy’s Quaker Sweetheart.
River of Romance (1929) – protagonist Tom Rumford is raised by Northern Quaker relatives.
The Philadelphia Story (1940) – an uncredited Hilda Plowright (right) plays a persnickety Quaker librarian (thanks to an attendee for this reference).
The Lady from Cheyenne (1941) – Loretta Young plays a rabble-rousing schoolmarm with Quaker ties.
The Beginning or the End (1947)
Forever Amber (1947)
John Wesley (1954) – Vincent Holman plays Beaumont, a Quaker.
Moby Dick (1956, and several TV/straight-to-video versions thereafter) – Bildad and Peleg, owners of the Pequod, as well as the ship’s chief mate Starbuck, are all Nantucket Quakers.
The Proud Rebel (1958) – Cecil Kellaway plays Quaker Dr. Enos Davis.
Term of Trial (1962) – Laurence Olivier plays Graham Weir, an alcoholic schoolteacher with a criminal record for refusing to fight during the Second World War (read: Quaker).
Cheyenne Autumn (1964) – Carroll Baker plays Deborah Wright, a Quaker schoolteacher; Deborah’s Quaker father is an Indian agent (thanks to Nancy Webster for this information).
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)
Murphy’s War (1971) – “Louis, the doctor lady… she’s a Quaker. That’s like being a bloody nun, isn’t it?” (Peter O’Toole).
Sleeper (1973) – “I’m telling you you got the wrong man. I’m, I’m not the heroic type. Really, I was beaten up by Quakers.” (Woody Allen as Miles Monroe).
The Scarlet Letter (1995) – Deborah Tennant plays a Quaker Lady.
Restoration (1995)
Before Sunrise (1995) – Ethan Hawke’s character extols the simple virtues of a Quaker wedding ceremony.
Captain Jack (1998)
Miss Congeniality (2000) – “I don’t have a gun. My ancestors were Quakers.” (William Shatner).

"Maggie's Plan" (2016) star Greta Gerwig

“Maggie’s Plan” (2016) star Greta Gerwig

Amazing Grace (2006) – Ioan Gruffudd plays politician and abolitionist William Wilberforce.
John Adams (2008) – “But your Quaker sensibilities do us a gross disservice.” (Paul Giamatti).
7 Psychopaths (2012) – “The daughter of a Quaker went missing…” (Colin Farrell’s character, in voiceover).
Maggie’s Plan (2016) – Indie darling Greta Gerwig plays a real-life Manhattan Quaker!


Wagon Train (1957-1965)
In “The Matthew Lowry Story” (1959), Matthew is a Quaker with one arm and a past only his much younger brother knows.
In “The Jose Morales Story” (1960), Hawkes is guiding three wagons through Mescalero Apache territory. One wagon has a family of Quakers hoping to be missionaries.
In “The Patience Miller Story” (1961), a Quaker schoolteacher heads to the Arapaho nation on the wagon train when her husband is killed.
Bonanza (1959-1973)
In “The Hopefuls” (1960), a wagon train of Quakers from Ohio are passing through town heading to Slaytersville. Adam tags along as he is smitten with the leader’s daughter.
In “The Wild One” (1964), Hoss gets involved with a mountain man and the Quaker wife, Prudence, he deserted years before.
In the series’ only Easter-themed episode “Caution, Easter Bunny Crossing” (1970), a Quaker woman convinces Hoss to pose as the Easter bunny for the orphanage.
Tyne Daly in "Christy" (TV)Profiles in Courage (1964-1965) – Janice Rule played Quaker Prudence Crandall in Season 1, Episode 15.
Christy (1994) – Tyne Daly (right) plays a strong-willed Quaker schoolteacher called Alice Henderson.
Who Do You Think You Are? (2010) – Actress Zooey Deschanel seeks to learn the truth about her Quaker ancestors and their involvement in the anti-slavery movement.
American Experience: The Abolitionists (2013) – Profiles Quaker sisters Angelina and Sarah Grimké.
Paranoid (2016) – Lesley Sharp plays Lucy Cannonbury, a practicing Quaker and chief witness to a murder.

A big thanks to Ed Nakawatase of Germantown Monthly Meeting for his generous contributions to this page.

Quakers on Film