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The Jewish Experience on TCM...


Emily Dean
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I am really looking forward to this series of movies and commentary on the Jewish Experience in as much as the whole movie business was a result, in many ways, of the Jewish experience.  I hope that everyone who watches this series and listens to the Rabbi's commentary takes time out to read several excellent books on the movie moguls and how their families and their own experience factored into the movies they made and the outlook they had on America.

 

For those of you who are interested there was a great book published last year called "Hollywood and Hitler" that spoke to about how difficult it was for the movie executives, based on their roots, to look at the pre World War II climate and how they felt about allowing or not allowing certain movies to be made.  I always am fascinated in "The Mortal Storm" about how the father is taken to a concentration camp, wears a yellow star on his sleeve or jacket, yet the term of "Jew" is never mentioned.  Talk about subtle, it is almost subliminal.

 

I always like to watch Casablanca, beyond the usual, to the cast of extras who were almost all refugees and this led me to read more about how the industry supported a vast number of refugees as they managed to flee Europe.  Portraying the "experience" in the movies was a particularly difficult item to approach when you understand how much anti-Semitism existed in America at the time, and in some ways still does today. 

 

Enjoy the opportunity to watch, learn and listen about an experience may people know little about and understand even less.

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I only wish that the programmers had included a few films from the early sound era that were set on the Lower East Side. One in particular would be Fannie Hurst's Symphony of Six Million, one of the under the radar classics that TCM has brought to our attention in the past.  It's a film that's got a bit of everything, but most particularly it depicts the moral struggle with all its shades of ambiguity,   an internal conflict that's been so central to the "Jewish experience."

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One curious aspect of this story I've never read much about is how silents and precodes had more than a few Jewish characters -- The Jazz Singer, The Cohens and The Kellys, Symphony of Six Million, overtly Jewish comedian Max Davidson, a number of Jewish merchants (The Big Bad Wolf even disguised himself as a Jewish peddler in Disney's Three Little Pigs) -- but after the code they essentially disappeared.

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When I looked down the list for this i thought there was something missing,

 

Cast A Giant Shadow 1966 with Kirk Douglas

 

 

An American Army officer is recruited by the yet to exist Israel to help them form an army. He is disturbed by this sudden appeal to his jewish roots.

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I only wish that the programmers had included a few films from the early sound era that were set on the Lower East Side. One in particular would be Fannie Hurst's Symphony of Six Million, one of the under the radar classics that TCM has brought to our attention in the past.  It's a film that's got a bit of everything, but most particularly it depicts the moral struggle with all its shades of ambiguity,   an internal conflict that's been so central to the "Jewish experience."

 

That is a great movie. TCM aired it a couple of times. The music is wonderful, by Max Steiner. Seems to be modeled after Cantor music.

 

I also like DISRAELI, with George Arliss. That is a fantastic film, with a lot of racial arguments between some of the Anglo Saxons in England and George. He wins every argument. :)

 

The Bank of England refuses to grant him a loan to buy the Suez Canal for England, so he goes to one of his Jewish banker friends and gets the loan.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtH80dw4KOg

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When I looked down the list for this i thought there was something missing,

 

Cast A Giant Shadow 1966 with Kirk Douglas

 

 

An American Army officer is recruited by the yet to exist Israel to help them form an army. He is disturbed by this sudden appeal to his jewish roots.

A very good movie.  I think it shows up on Fox sometimes?

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This is a good movie too, and very hard to find.

 

SWORD IN THE DESERT 1949

 

What surprised me about it is that it shows fighting and shooting between the British troops and the Jewish immigrants, in Palestine, right after WW II. This is set in all Palestine. There is no Israel yet.

 

I'm not sure how to post this link.

 

Try to copy and paste it.

 

 

https://archive.org/details/SwordInDesert353

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I am really looking forward to this series of movies and commentary on the Jewish Experience in as much as the whole movie business was a result, in many ways, of the Jewish experience.  I hope that everyone who watches this series and listens to the Rabbi's commentary takes time out to read several excellent books on the movie moguls and how their families and their own experience factored into the movies they made and the outlook they had on America.

 

For those of you who are interested there was a great book published last year called "Hollywood and Hitler" that spoke to about how difficult it was for the movie executives, based on their roots, to look at the pre World War II climate and how they felt about allowing or not allowing certain movies to be made.  I always am fascinated in "The Mortal Storm" about how the father is taken to a concentration camp, wears a yellow star on his sleeve or jacket, yet the term of "Jew" is never mentioned.  Talk about subtle, it is almost subliminal.

 

I always like to watch Casablanca, beyond the usual, to the cast of extras who were almost all refugees and this led me to read more about how the industry supported a vast number of refugees as they managed to flee Europe.  Portraying the "experience" in the movies was a particularly difficult item to approach when you understand how much anti-Semitism existed in America at the time, and in some ways still does today. 

 

Enjoy the opportunity to watch, learn and listen about an experience may people know little about and understand even less.

It is interesting that  Jewish film executives such as Mayer, Warner, Cohn, Goldwyn, and Selznick stayed away from Jewish subjects, While the non-Jewish Zanuck went and made GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT.

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It is interesting that  Jewish film executives such as Mayer, Warner, Cohn, Goldwyn, and Selznick stayed away from Jewish subjects, While the non-Jewish Zanuck went and made GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT.

 

I wonder if they got any backlash from making films like the two George Arliss films I linked below.

 

Those films seem wide open about old history in England, they are interesting, and they certainly portray the Jewish Disraeli and Rothschild as being very ethnic and quite intelligent and good men, which I like about the films. And in fact they tend to suggest in the films that some Gentiles weren't so bright. But that doesn't bother me because I grew up learning that by observation. Other ethnic Europeans were shown as being nice guys too, in many old films, and harder working and brighter than some of America's Anglo Saxons. Well, I know that too.

 

But those kinds of early Jewish films were phased out, and Jews pretty much weren't mentioned much in Hollywood movies or on TV during the 1950s and 60s and 70s, except in the increasing number of new-type Holocaust films.

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One curious aspect of this story I've never read much about is how silents and precodes had more than a few Jewish characters -- The Jazz Singer, The Cohens and The Kellys, Symphony of Six Million, overtly Jewish comedian Max Davidson, a number of Jewish merchants (The Big Bad Wolf even disguised himself as a Jewish peddler in Disney's Three Little Pigs) -- but after the code they essentially disappeared.

 

The fact that Joe Breen was a notorious anti-semite may well have made Jewish studio heads wary about delving too closely into that subject.  But then this sort of self-censorship was part and parcel of the near complete whitewashing of any ethnic or religious conflicts during the first decade of the code era. You had a bundle of comic character actors with stereotyped foreign or black accents, but that was about it. 

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"Co-hosting the films each Thursday is Dr. Eric Goldman, an expert on Yiddish, Israeli and Jewish cinema, and founder and president of Ergo Media, a video publishing company specializing in Jewish and Israeli video. Goldman is also the author of The American Jewish Story Through Cinema (2013) and Visions, Images and Dreams: Yiddish Film Past and Present (2011)."

 

http://www.tcm.com/projectedimage/overview.html

 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 8:00 PM The Jazz Singer (1927) 9:45 PM The Jazz Singer (1953) 11:45 PM Hester Street (1975) 1:30 AM Avalon (1990) HR.jpg TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 8:00 PM The Stranger (1946) 10:00 PM The Juggler (1953) 11:45 PM The Pawnbroker (1965) 2:00 AM Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) HR.jpg TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 8:00 PM Hill 24 Doesn't Answer (1955) 10:00 PM Sallah (1964) 12:00 AM A Sword in the Desert (1949) 2:00 AM Exodus (1960) HR.jpg TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 8:00 PM The House of Rothschild (1934) 10:00 PM Gentleman's Agreement (1947) 12:15 PM Crossfire (1947) 2:00 AM Focus (2001) HR.jpg TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 8:00 PM The Young Lions (1958) 11:00 PM The Way We Were (1973) 1:15 PM Hearts of the West (1975) HR.jpg

clear.gif

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I thought this had already been done and I had missed it.  I will definitely be watching as I find it interesting that so many moguls and early performers were Jewish but also seemed afraid to be so openly for fear of rejection from the predominately Christian Gentile audiences. 

 

A "Christian" pastor once stated that Jewish people were the unhappiest ones he knew then tried to tie that to our faith.  It didn't work for me because nearly all of the comedians on the radio or TV were Jewish and seemed no different from the rest of us.  Hopefully this series will help debunk some of such nonsense.    

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   Jewish people are a very happy people when they are not harassed or at the worst murdered by people who call themselves Christians. The last two thousand years bear this out. Why did many Jewish actors change their names ? They didn't do it because they were ashamed of their heritage. They did it so they could work and be popular among those misguided souls out there who went to the movies.

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   Jewish people are a very happy people when they are not harassed or at the worst murdered by people who call themselves Christians. The last two thousand years bear this out. Why did many Jewish actors change their names ? They didn't do it because they were ashamed of their heritage. They did it so they could work and be popular among those misguided souls out there who went to the movies.

 

So, instead of talking about films, you are going to use this thread to attack a lot of other people on this board who haven't done anything wrong?

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   Jewish people are a very happy people when they are not harassed or at the worst murdered by people who call themselves Christians. The last two thousand years bear this out. Why did many Jewish actors change their names ? They didn't do it because they were ashamed of their heritage. They did it so they could work and be popular among those misguided souls out there who went to the movies.

 

 

So, instead of talking about films, you are going to use this thread to attack a lot of other people on this board who haven't done anything wrong?

 

While I'll agree cody does not reference any films in his offering here, I'll ALSO say he makes a very valid historical point AND I do NOT see were he's insulted or "attacked" anyone on this board.

 

(...well, UNLESS of course there happens to be a few "Christians" on these boards who ALSO happen to be antisemitic, and THEN I suppose I could see how what he said might "hit too close to home"!!!) LOL

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Yay, another installment!  When TCM first started the "Projected Image" series, I wondered when they were going to do a series from the Jewish perspective; this should be interesting to see. (Save for "The Jazz Singer".  No matter how many times I've seen it, all context aside, I can't take it). There are some films, however, that I wish would have been included in the lineup:

 

"Fiddler On The Roof" 

"The Angel Levine" (raise your hand if you've actually seen it)

"Hungry Hearts" (1922)

"I Accuse!"

"Chariots of Fire"

"Kapo" (extremely difficult to watch but very powerful nonetheless)

"Symphony of Six Million"

"Mr. Skeffington"

"Nowhere in Africa"

"Once Upon A Time In America"

"School Ties" 

"The Chosen" (one of my all-time favorites) 

 

I'm always fascinated in hearing the analysis for films and seeing how they've changed over time.  

 

 

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   Jewish people are a very happy people when they are not harassed or at the worst murdered by people who call themselves Christians.

 

Are they happy if it's by people who call themselves Muslims?

 

How about Communists?

 

As long as we're crediting people who call themselves stuff with being the reason for Jewish peoples' very happy being interfered with, I'd hate to see anyone deserving left out.

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Yay, another installment!  When TCM first started the "Projected Image" series, I wondered when they were going to do a series from the Jewish perspective; this should be interesting to see. (Save for "The Jazz Singer".  No matter how many times I've seen it, all context aside, I can't take it). There are some films, however, that I wish would have been included in the lineup:

 

"Fiddler On The Roof" 

"The Angel Levine" (raise your hand if you've actually seen it)

"Hungry Hearts" (1922)

"I Accuse!"

"Chariots of Fire"

"Kapo" (extremely difficult to watch but very powerful nonetheless)

"Symphony of Six Million"

"Mr. Skeffington"

"Nowhere in Africa"

"Once Upon A Time In America"

"School Ties" 

"The Chosen" (one of my all-time favorites) 

 

I'm always fascinated in hearing the analysis for films and seeing how they've changed over time.  

I haven't seen the whole lost, but CROSSING DELANCEY, GOODBYE COLUMBUS, MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR, and should be included.

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There are some films, however, that I wish would have been included in the lineup:

 

"Fiddler On The Roof" 

"School Ties" 

"The Chosen" (one of my all-time favorites) 

 

 

I think the spotlight is focusing on the Jewish experience in America so I think that is why FIDDLER ON THE ROOF was not considered for airing----although I do like that movie very much. I was thinking YENTL would be a good choice but it is also not set in America.

 

I agree that SCHOOL TIES and THE CHOSEN would have been excellent choices. 

 

fraser-school-ties.jpg

m6_photo_2.jpg

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For another side of the Jewish experience, it would've been great to see Murder, Inc., the classic 1960 film about the hit squad gang headed by the notorious Jewish gangster Abe Rellis.  Peter Falk, who himself was Jewish, got a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his chilling performance in the Rellis role.

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