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Portrayals of Jews in Recent Films

by Elliot B. Gertel FROM LATE SUMMER to early fall, I saw four films that were short-lived in theaters but widely discussed. These movies presented different portraits of Jews — the first, very indirectly; the others, pervasively. Here are some short reviews for the curious, who may be interested in tracking down any or all […]

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October 5: A Walking Film Studio

Hal B. Wallis (Aaron Blum Wolowicz), producer of more than four hundred films that garnered thirty different Academy Awards, died at 88 on this date in 1986. The classic movies that he produced included Little Caesar (1930), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1937), Sergeant York (1941), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), Come Back, Little […]

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August 23: A Bonanza of Melodies

London-born David Rose (Rosenberg), who wrote the theme songs for Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Highway Patrol, and seventeen other television series (some under the pseudonym Ray Llewellyn) — and was married to both Martha Raye and Judy Garland — died in Burbank, California at the age of 80 on this date in 1990. Rose […]

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Kvetching about Judaism in “Café Society”

by Elliot B. Gertel WHILE WOODY ALLEN’S movies can be formulaic, this has rarely prevented him from telling a good story and providing interesting characters. But except for the fine cast and the enchanting luster provided by new production partner cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, Café Society comes across simply as a checklist for many a Woody […]

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May 24: Real Jewish Films

Independent filmmaker Joan Micklin Silver, one of the first screenwriters and directors to bring unadulteratedly Jewish themes, settings, and characters to the modern screen with Hester Street (1975) and Crossing Delancey (1988), was born in Omaha, Nebraska on this date in 1935. Silver began making educational films in New York during the late 1960s. She […]

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April 29: Directed by Fred Zinnemann

Fred Zinnemann, director of High Noon, From Here to Eternity, Oklahoma!, The Nun’s Story, A Man for All Seasons, The Day of the Jackal, and Julia, among other films, was born in Poland on this date in 1907. “At the core of Mr. Zinnemann’s finest films,” said the New York Times in a 1997 obituary, […]

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Dough Rises

by Esther Cohen I ACTUALLY didn’t think I would like Dough, a British movie directed by John Goldschmidt and starring Jonathan Pryce, which is opening around the country on April 29th. It’s full of clichés, yet in the end I enjoyed watching. Even though viewers could predict what would happen, almost completely, the movie was […]

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Pie in the Sky

Eye in the Sky and the Propaganda of Drone Warfare by Martha and Marty Roth Reviewed in this essay: Eye in the Sky, directed by Gavin Hood. Bleecker Street Media, 2015, 103 minutes. THE NEW drone-kill film Eye in the Sky mobilizes major star power and technical virtuosity to persuade its viewers of a number […]

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