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Jews in Film

To Be or Not To Be (1942)

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Cast: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart, Lionel Atwill, Stanley Ridges, Sig Ruman, Tom Dugan. This comedy centers on a Warsaw theatrical troupe that outwits Nazi occupation troops by playing the roles of (and for) their lives. The actors impersonate German officers to pull the swastikas over their captor's eyes.

To Be or Not To Be (1983)

Directed by Alan Johnson. Cast: Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Tim Matheson, Charles Durning, Jose Ferrer, George Gaynes, Christopher Lloyd, George Wyner, Lewis J. Stadlen, Jack Riley. A comedy film of wartime Poland in which two Polish actors, Frederick and Anna Bronski, eventually caught up in Germany's invasion of Poland, a leaking of top secret information and an incredible plot to thwart the Nazis. Based on the film directed by Ernst Lubitsch [1942]. 107 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Toyland (Germany, 2007)

Directed by Jochen Alexander Freydank. Germany 1942: In order to protect her son, Marianne Meissner tries to make him believe that the Jewish neighbors are going on a journey to "Toyland." One morning, Marianne finds that her son has disappeared, along with the neighbors. "Toyland" is a film about guilt, responsibility, and lies, big and small. 13 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Trailers Schmailers (1997)

Curated by Jenni Olson. From the Marx Brothers to Schindler's list and everything in between, this film offers a compact glimpse of the history of Jews in mainstream American cinema. Original coming attraction trailers provide unique insight into the relationship between the marketing departments of Hollywood studios and the growing visibility of Jews in American life.

Transport From Paradise (Transport z raje) (Czechoslovakia, 1963)

Directed by Zbynek Brynych. Cast: Vlastimil Brodsky, Juraj Herz, Vaclav Lohnisky, Ladislav Pesek, Ladislav Potmesil, Ilja Prachar, Zdenek Stepanek, Walter Taub, Josef Vinklar. Depicts life in the Terezin Ghetto, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia during World War II, where the Nazi guards permit their Jewish prisoners to roam freely about the camp and conduct their own business and social affairs but the prisoners' main fear is that they may at any moment be shipped off to one of the death camps. Based on the book: Night and hope / by Arnost Lustig. 94 min.

Triumph of the Spirit (USA, 1989)

Directed by Robert M. Young. Cast: Willem Dafoe, Edward James Olmos, Robert Loggia. Based on a true story that took place in 1939 about one man's attempt to save himself and his family when the Nazis occupy Greece and they are sent to the Auschwitz death camp. Each boxing match this middleweight champ fights sends the loser to the gas chamber, and he wonders how he can continue to save himself, his family, and his sanity. 120 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Two Sisters (Tsvey shvester) (USA, 1938)

Directed by Ben K. Blake. Cast: Jennie Goldstein, Sylvia Dell, Celia Boodkin, Betty Bialis, Joan Wintraub, Michel Rosenberg, Betty Jacobs, Yudel Dubinsky, Ida Adler, Anna Levine, Anetta Hoffman. Tells the story of Betty Glickstein, a young girl who promises her dying mother that she will raise her younger sister, Sally, as her own daughter. From the young age of thirteen, Betty works tirelessly to provide her sister with every advantage, and sacrifices her own happiness, including the man she loves. 82 min.

Uncle Moses (Onkl Mozes) (USA, 1932)

Directed by Aubrey Scotto & Sidney Goldin. Cast: Maurice Schwartz, Rubin Golberg, Judith Abarbanel, Zvee Scooler, Mark Schweid, Sally Schor, Jacob Mestel, Rebecca Weintraub, Sam Gertler. ""Maurice Schwartz, the monarch of New York's Yiddish theater, plays a sweatshop owner in Uncle Moses....

Voyage of the Damned: The True Story of Survival (UK, 1976)

Directed by Stuart Rosenberg. Cast: Faye Dunaway, Max Von Sydow, Oskar Werner, Malcolm McDowell, Orson Welles, James Mason, Lee Grant, Sam Wanamaker. Departing Hamburg in high spirits, 937 Jewish Germans have been offered safe haven in Havana, Cuba, in 1939. The passengers are looking forward to their new life. However, the whole voyage is actually a Nazi propaganda scheme and the passengers are never really intended to be allowed ashore once they reach their destination. After weeks of unsuccessful pleas they are forced to return back to Europe.

We Are Going to America (My yedem v Ameriku) (Russia, 1992)

Directed by Yefim Gribov. Cast: Cast: Dima Davydov, Lyubov Rumyantseva, Semen Strugachev, Vadim Danilevsky, Danuta Slavgorodskaia. In this Russian comedy, set at the turn-of-the-century, a Russian Jewish family Leaves Russia to find a new life in the New World. Seen through the eyes of 11-year-old Motl, he creates a sense of wonder and chaotic adventure as his family makes their way towards America. 82 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database