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Jews in Film

What Makes Sammy Run? (TV, NBC's Sunday Showcase)

Cast: Larry Blyden, John Forsythe, Barbara Rush, Dina Merrill, Norman Fell. Sammy Glick is a Jewish boy born in New York's Lower East Side who decides to climb the ladder of success by any means necessary. Through backstabbing and double-crossing, Sammy fights to become the motion picture industry's top screenwriter. A rags to riches story about the world of 1930s Hollywood based on the controversial novel by Budd Schulberg. Original 2-part broadcast on NBC's Sunday Showcase in 1959. 105 min.

When Do We Eat? (2005)

Directed by Salvador Litvak. Cast: Ben Feldman, Michael Lerner, Shiri Appleby, Max Greenfield, Adam Lamberg, Cynda Williams, Jack Klugman, Lesley Ann Warren. On the night of the Seder, an old school dad that's tough on his sons is slipped Ecstasy in order to give him a new perspective on life. When the mother brings a handsome stranger to dinner and the kids take sides, a disaster is in the making! Special features: The Rabbis' mystical Seder; Deleted scenes; Behind the scenes; Actor auditions; Director's commentary; Visual inspiration: the Szyk Haggadah. 93 min.

Where Are You Going Moishe? (Ou vas-tu Moshe?) (Morocco / Canada, 2002)

Director, Hassan Ben Jalloun. Cast: Simon Elbaz, Abdelkader Lotfi, Hassan Essakalli, Mohamed Tsouli. When all of the Jews in the village of Bejjad plan to emigrate as part of a 1963 mass-exodus from Morocco, the local barkeep worries that he will lose his business. 95 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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Without a Home (On a heym) (USA, 1939)

Adapted from the stage play by Jacob Gordin. Cast: Adam Domb, Alexander Marten, Ida Kaminska, Ben Zucker, Shimen Dzigan, J. Schumacher, Dora Fakiel. The last Yiddish feature made in Poland before WWII, tells the story of the separation and hardships faced by Jewish immigrants in America at the turn of the century. 88 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Yentl (1983)

Directed by Barbra Steisand. Cast: Barbra Streisand, Mandy Patinkin, Amy Irving. Set in Eastern Europe in the early 1900's, Yentl tells the story of a young woman who wishes desperately to learn. Because of the prejudice against women studying, she disguises herself as a man. Based on the story "Yentl, the Yeshiva boy" by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Yiddish Cinema

Beginning with a brief history of Yiddish language and culture, the history of Yiddish cinema is recounted, using excerpts from Yiddish films: A Letter to Mother (1939), Tevye (1939, Jewish luck (1925), The Dybbuk (1937), Yiddle with his fiddle (1936), The Jester (1937), The Light ahead (1939), Uncle Moses (1932), Greenfields (1937), American matchmaker (1940).

Yidl Mitn Fidl (Yidl With a Fiddle) (Poland / USA, 1935)

Directed by Joseph Green and Jan Nowina-Przybylski. "The first truly international Yiddish hit. Molly Picon's vaudeville antics are backed by some of the most enchanting music of any Yiddish film, in the tale of itinerant klezmorim and the girl (Molly at 37!) who disguises herself as a boy to join them. The plot takes them through countryside to town and the Warsaw stage, even to Second Avenue, New York, and is not without romance nor a feminist touch: Yid'l gets it all, her man and a musical career.

Yizkor (Austria, 1924)

Directed by Sydney M. Goldin. Cast: Wolf Silberberg, Maurice Schwartz, Oskar Beregi, Berta Gersten, Lazar Freed. In a small Volhynian village, the local Count's daughter falls in love with Leybke, a handsome Jewish guardsman, but all her attempts to win him fail as he is in love with and betrothed to Kreyndl. The Countess desperately tries to seduce Leybke, and avenges her failure by falsely accusing him of attacking her. Yizkor dramatizes its theme of fidelity to one's self, one's community and one's religion through a plot that revolves around hostage-taking, heroism and resistance.

Zalmen, or The Madness of God (TV, 1975)

Directed by Alan Schneider and Peter Levin. Cast: Joseph Wiseman, Richard Bauer, Robert Prosky, Sanford Seeger, Leib Lensky, Michael Mertz, David Reinhardsen, Glenn Taylor, Mark Hammer, Howard Witt, Dianne Wiest, John Koch, Gary Bayer, Michael Haney, Kenneth Kantor, John Jellison, Scott Schofield, Nancy Dutton, Michael Gorrin, Leslie Cass. Based on the play Zalmen, ou La Folie de Dieu by Elie Wiesel, translated by Marion Wiesel. Originally produced in 1975 as a segment of the television series Theater in America. 120 min.

Zebrahead (1992)

Directed by Anthony Drazan. A young Jewish white man begins dating the cousin of his best friend, both of whom are black, igniting long simmering racial tensions at their high school. 102 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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