Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
In a poor neighborhood of New York, the bitter and lonely Jewish pawnbroker Sol Nazerman is a survivor from Auschwitz that has no emotions or feelings. Sol lost his dearest family and friends in the war and his faith in God and belief in mankind. Now he only cares for money and is haunted by daydreams, actually flashbacks from the period of the concentration camp. Sol's assistant is the ambitious Latino Jesus Ortiz, who wants to learn with Sol how to run a business of his own. When Sol realizes that the obscure laundry business he has with the powerful gangster Rodriguez comes also from brothels, Sol recalls the fate of his beloved wife in the concentration camp and has a nervous breakdown. His attitude leads Jesus Ortiz to tragedy and Sol finds a way to cry. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As Jesus runs down the street, his shirt changes from a V-neck to a turtle neck, and then back again. See more »
[Jesus Ortiz points to the tattooed numbers on Sol Nazerman's arm]
You want to tell me something, Mr. Nazerman? What is that? That... is that a secret society or something?
Well... what do I do to join?
What do you do to join? You learn to walk on water.
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It's strange to say that this very grim movie is one of my all-time favorites. "The Pawnbroker" might make you suicidal in it's deep cynicism of the human condition, but I think there is a positive side to the film. The main character, a deeply-wounded Holocaust survivor, initial has no feelings for anyone or anything--he's just going through the motions of life. But by the end of the film he learns that people are not all bad--and maybe that's the most shocking revelation of them all!
Certainly Rod Steiger's greatest role. Do see it.
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