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Representations of Jews and Jewish Life in Film

The Inn (Austeria) (Poland, 1982)

Directed by Jerzy Kwalerowicz. Cast: Franciszek Pieczka, Wojciech Pszoniak, Jan Szurmiej, Ewa Domanska, Wojciech Standeo. Early in World War I, a group of Orthodox Jews flee from the Cossack army. A secluded country inn becomes their temporary refuge, where emotional attachments, brief love affairs, and even a renewed faith in humankind inspire them. 110 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Jazz Singer (1927)

Directed by Alan Crosland. Cast: Al Jolson, Mary McAvoy, Warner Oland, William Demarest, Eugenie Besserer, Otto Lederer, Josef Rosenblatt. Jakie Rabinowitz is the son of a Jewish cantor. Turning his back on family tradition, Jakie transforms himself into cabaret-entertainer Jack Robin. When Jack comes home to visit his parents, he is warmly greeted by his mother, but is given the cold-shoulder by his father, who feels that Jack is a traitor to his heritage by singing jazz music. On the eve of his biggest show business triumph, Jack receives word that his father is dying.

The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob (Les aventures de Rabbi Jacob) (France / Italy, 1973)

Director, Gerard Oury. Cast: Louis De Funes, Marcel Dalio, Suzy Delair. Victor Pivert, a blustering, anti-Semitic French factory owner en route to his daughter's wedding, unwittingly stumbles on a group of Arab terrorists. After Victor is captured and escapes, he hides himself by dressing up as a rabbi, leading to one madcap situation after another. 100 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Man Who Cried (UK / France, 2000)

Directed by Sally Potter. Cast: Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Johnny Depp, Harry Dean Stanton. "A Russian Jewish father emigrates to America in 1923, with a promise to send for his mother and young daughter when he is settled. When his village is burned in a pogrom, his mother is killed and his daughter is separated from other youngsters who make it to the port to emigrate. She ends up on a ship bound for England, where she is renamed Suzie and raised by a British family.

The Nasty Girl (Das Schreckliche Madchen) (West Germany, 1989)

Directed by Michael Verhoeven. Cast: Lena Stolze, Hans-Reinhard Muller, Monika Baumgartner, Michael Gahr, Fred Stillkrauth, Elisabeth Bertram, Robert Giggenbach. Sonja undertakes a school project to investigate her town's past entitled "My home town during the Third Reich." She begins to search for facts, but those people who have personal experiences of that time are unwilling to provide her with information. The local archives produce contradictory evidence and she is denied access to local newspaper files.

The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Directed by Mel Gibson. Cast: Jim Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Claudia Gerini, Maia Morgenstern, Sergio Rubini, Toni Bertorelli, Roberto Bestatazzoni, Francesco Cabras, Giovanni Capalbo. A visually stunning portrayal, including scenes of graphic violence, of the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In the Garden of Gethsemane near the Mount of Olives, Jesus is betrayed by Judas Iscariot, arrested and condemned to death for blasphemy and brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, for sentencing.

The People v. Leo Frank (2009)

Directed by Ben Loeterman. Cast: Will Janowitz, Seth Gilliam, Steve Coulter. This dramatized documentary drawn verbatim from transcipts, examines the story of Leo Frank, the only known Jew to be lynched in the United States and whose 1915 lynching by an anti-Semitic mob in Georgia led to the founding of the Anti-Defamation League. 82 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Ten Commandments (1923)

Directed by Cecil B. De Mille. Cast: Theodore Roberts, Charles De Roche, Estelle Taylor, Julia Faye, Terence Moore, James Neill, Edythe Chapman, Richard Dix, Rod La Rocque. This early silent Cecil B. Demille production tells the story of how the Israelites left Egypt and acquired the Ten Commandments, as told in the context of a mother trying to bring up her children to believe in God. 146 min. ; also as supplement on ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Ten Commandments (1956)

Directed by Cecil B. De Mille. Cast: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget, John Derek, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Nina Foch, Martha Scott, Judith Anderson, Vincent Price, John Carradine. To escape the edict that condemed all first-born Hebrew males, Egypt's Pharoah, Rameses I, the infant Moses is set adrift on the Nile in a reed basket. Saved by the pharaoh's daughter Bithiah, he is adopted by her and brought up in the court of her brother, Pharaoh Seti. Moses gains Seti's favor and the love of the throne princess Nefertiri.

The Three Little Pigs. (Walt Disney, 1933)

"When first released, The Three Little Pigs contained a scene of the Wolf disguised as the "Fuller Brush Man": an outrageous Jewish peddler ethnic stereotype complete with long beard and a huge, hooked nose. Quickly, Disney relooped the ethnic-sounding voice track, and in the 1940's actually re-animated the scene without the Jewish peddler diguise." This version includes the original animation with the relooped voice. [description from Whole Toon Catalog] ;