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Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht, a writer of wide-ranging accomplishments and great fame and influence who became especially active in American Zionist efforts to save Jews from the Holocaust, died at 70 on this date in 1964. Hecht’s screenplays included The Front Page (1931), Scarface (1932), Gunga Din (1939), Angels Over Broadway (which he also directed, in 1940), […]

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Adrien Brody, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Two prominent Gen-X actors were born on this date in New York: Adrien Brody, whose Oscar-winning performance in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist (2002) brought to life the chaos and cruelty of life in the Warsaw Ghetto, was born in Woodhaven, Queens, in 1973; Sarah Michelle Gellar, best known as television’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), […]

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March 9: Splash

Three Jewish writers — Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, and Bruce Jay Friedman — wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Splash, a romantic comedy film that was released on this date in 1984 and introduced Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah (neither of them Jewish) to stardom. The movie, about a powerful romantic bond between a mermaid and […]

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February 11: Thomas Alva Edison and the Jews

Thomas Alva Edison, modern history’s most prolific and tranformational inventor, with a record 1,093 patents to his name, was born in Milan, Ohio on this date in 1847. Edison (not Jewish) invented  an early motion picture camera and projector in the late 19th century, which soon brought him into conflict with Carl Laemmle and numerous […]

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Channel Esther: Manny Kirchheimer’s Films at MoMA

by Esther Cohen STARTING FEBRUARY 3, New York’s Museum of Modern Art will hold a retrospective of films by longtime Jewish Currents subscriber Manny Kirchheimer. Featured films include, among others, 1) Claw, 1968, which juxtaposes Manhattan’s old facades and gargoyles with “the restless compulsion of the modern city to rise ever upwards, the jowls of […]

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November 30: David Mamet

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (in 1984, for Glengarry Glen Ross) David Mamet was born in Chicago on this date in 1947. Through such plays as Sexual Perversion in Chicago (1974), American Buffalo (1975), Glengarry Glen Ross (1983) and Oleanna (1992), Mamet became associated in public consciousness with a dialogue style filled with interruptions, street smarts, and […]

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