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misswonderly3

"Best 100 Jewish Films of All Time"

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Has anyone heard about this? Apparently a bunch of (presumably Jewish) critics, writers, and editors gathered at a YMHA in New York City recently to compile a list of the 100 best Jewish movies ever.

Number 1? *E.T.* I'm not kidding !

 

Here's a link to the article about it ( from an old-school hard copy newspaper.)

 

http://arts.nationalpost.com/2011/12/13/can-e-t-be-the-greatest-jewish-film-ever-made/

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*Schindler's List* is at the very bottom of the list, #100.

 

Some others in the top 20 are a couple of Woody Allen films, *Zelig* and *Annie Hall*; a couple of Billy Wilders, *Sunset Boulevard* and *The Apartment*; *Ghostbusters*; *Kramer vs Kramer*, and *The Way We Were*.

There doesn't appear to be any criteria or definition supplied; some of these films seem to have nothing more Jewish about them than the fact that the director was Jewish ( as in the case of the Billy Wilder films.)

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...and that's ludicrous. The only thing Jewish about THE APARTMENT is the Jack Kruschen character and Baxter's landlady. Films that SHOULD be on the list are THE PAWNBROKER, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, CROSSFIRE, etc.

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I don't quite understand the m.o. but do know that sometimes writers/directors have Jewish subjects/characters in mind, even if those aren't explicit in the work. For example, the creators/writers of the "Dick Van Dyke Show" have been very clear in stating that the show was about a Jewish couple, although they didn't put that into the script explicity.

 

Of films with explicity stated Jewish themes, there are some beautiful Yiddish films which I saw at MOMA some years ago. *A Brivele der Mamen* directed by the great Joseph Green was a stand-out for me, as was *Green Fields*, directed by Edgar Ulmer. Of more recent times, I particularly lke *The Chosen*, which has one of Rod Steiger's best (and most understated) performances, as a Hasidic rabbi. I also like *Enemies: A Love Story*, which has one of Anjelica Huston's greatest performances.

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Regarding *E.T.,* I never thought of it that way but will check it out again some day. I always saw it as a film about puberty.

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The role of Jewish Americans in cinema goes back to the founders of the majors themselves- people like *Adolph Zukor of Paramount, Jesse Lasky, Louis B. Mayer of MGM, Sam Goldwyn, William Fox, the Warner Brothers*. From there it filtered down to executives like *Irving Thalberg,* to writers, songwriters, directors and many, many others.

 

Our American film industry drew heavily upon their entrepeneurial spirit and creative brilliance; they helped build Hollywood, they changed it, they influenced it at help to make it the globally predominant film capital of the world.

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Right, Thelma, and this is apparent in the "Moguls and Movie Stars" series that TCM produced and featured around this time last year. We have those ambitious, imaginative, committed Jewish immigrants to thank for many of the great film studios and their "moguls", producers, actors, and especially directors.

 

I have not as yet read the entire list, but - perhaps too predictable though this is - I'm wondering if *Fiddler on the Roof* is on it.

And I agree with finance, who said that *The Pawnbroker* should be on the list.

 

As I said, and as the author of the article about it ( link to article in original post here), there does not seem to have been much discussion as to the criteria, definitions, etc. in what constitutes a "Jewish" film.

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thelma3.gif

 

Yow! Do I have a great username! I think I'll have it etched on my gravestone!

 

thelma2.jpg

 

Eddie Cantor

 

ill6.jpg

 

Hi misswonderly,

 

Thanks! Jewish people are particularly fond of those of their heritage who have made it big in front of the camera, and who succeeded in entertaining millions! Many of them are BIG fans of the* Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges and Eddie Cantor*. The Stooges got extra love points by their hard satires of Hitler. Although they acknowledge the role of the big "suits" and honchos like *Mayer and Thalberg*, there's just something about the performers that inspire lasting affection.

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There were "coded Jewish" films just as there were "coded gay" films. A year or so ago several of us discussed *Middle of the Night*, where the immigrant (Edward G. Robinson) who works in the New York garment industry would be understood to be Jewish by some filmgoers, New Yorkers for instance.

 

*The Mortal Storm* never uses the word "Jewish" and instead uses "non-Aryan." John Garfield's family in *Humoresque* is surely Jewish, though I don't believe this is ever stated.

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No, he wasn't in the movie although EGR was in the play MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Gena Rowlands had the Kim Novak part.

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Not a Jewish film but oy what a Jewish stereotype going on right now with Love In The Rough. Along with what looks like a lame film and lame singing. A very young Robert Montgomery, although nice to see, didn't make it worthwhile watching.

 

BUT, does anyone know what country club was used in the long shots? Looked to be an incredible one, in 1932 Hollywood.

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Hi willbefree,

 

I know who you are talking about; he was in a number of films around then. Although I don't know his name, I know he was a character actor who's stock in trade was playing to that ethnic stereotype. It was socially acceptable then and others did it too. Eddie Cantor did blackface, and of course Chico Marx "did" the Italians.

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Your the man Fred!

 

BTW, I loved that country tune you put up for me a while back by Jimmie Rodgers! "T for Thelma..." Nice old time country blues, sounds "pre-Nashville"! Are you a fan of vintage country?

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I think Rogers recorded mainly in Memphis.

 

My favorite Jewish movie is "Disraeli", 1929. He was a Jewish Prime Minister of England in the late 19th Century. Here he exchanges some quips with the head of the Bank of England, regarding who might provide the money for the purchase of the Suez Canal for England:

 

"But where will you go for the money?"

...

...

...

"I shall go to Moses."

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teBt2us9vhg&feature=related

 

--------------------------------

 

"Known as a dandy, a novelist, a brilliant debator and England's first and only Jewish prime minister, Disraeli (Earl of Beaconfield) is best remembered for bringing India and the Suez Canal under control of the crown."

http://www.britannia.com/bios/disraeli.html

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My dad always said that the best Jewish movie of all time was Raiders of the Lost Ark because God himself destroys the Jews' greatest 20th Century Villains, the Nazis, in a horrible way with the Jews' own artifact, The Ark of the Covenant.

 

But then there's The Producers where the Jews destroy Hitler by laughing at him. It's a toss up.

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> My favorite Jewish movie is "Disraeli", 1929. He was a Jewish Prime Minister of England in the late 19th Century. Here he exchanges some quips with the head of the Bank of England, regarding who might provide the money for the purchase of the Suez Canal for England:

Benjamin Disraeli was Jewish by descent, Christian by conversion. No Jew, practicing or otherwise, has ever served as Prime Minister of Great Britain (ironically, the British Royal Family considers itself to be descended from the Biblical King David, yet anti-Semitism was allowed to thrive in Britain throughout most of its history).

 

 

 

> My dad always said that the best Jewish movie of all time was Raiders of the Lost Ark because God himself destroys the Jews' greatest 20th Century Villains, the Nazis, in a horrible way with the Jews' own artifact, The Ark of the Covenant.

Yeah, well Spielberg's cinematic "god" might've lifted an extra, wrathful finger or two to save the six-million Hitler actually exterminated instead of Indy and Marian. Der Führer could hardly have done a more efficiently murderous job withhout getting his hands on the Ark than he might've done with it. Looking at it logically, then, not only negates the movie's whole, central conceit, but also serves to offend Jews everywhere.

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My Best and favorite Jewish Movies are "Ben-Hur", "The Ten Commandments" and "Fiddler On The Roof". These movies are classic timeless movies thet a classic "movie nut" will watch over and over again. These movies could not be made with the same quality today. The Best....Bar None.

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Good films about young Jewish women------MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR and GOODBYE, COLUMBUS..........Also, NEXT STOP, GREENWICH VILLAGE

 

Edited by: finance on Dec 17, 2011 12:03 PM

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