7.8/10
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74 user 53 critic

The Pawnbroker (1964)

Approved | | Drama | 20 April 1965 (USA)
A Jewish pawnbroker, victim of Nazi persecution, loses all faith in his fellow man until he realizes too late the tragedy of his actions.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Morton Fine), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jaime Sánchez ...
Jesus Ortiz (as Jaime Sanchez)
Thelma Oliver ...
Ortiz' Girl
Marketa Kimbrell ...
Tessie
Baruch Lumet ...
Mendel
Juano Hernandez ...
Mr. Smith
Linda Geiser ...
Ruth Nazerman
Nancy R. Pollock ...
Bertha
Raymond St. Jacques ...
Tangee
John McCurry ...
Buck
Charles Dierkop ...
Robinson
Eusebia Cosme ...
Mrs. Ortiz
Warren Finnerty ...
Savarese
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Talked About Picture!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

20 April 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El prestamista  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Baruch Lumet (Mendel) was the father of the director Sidney Lumet. See more »

Goofs

When the gun goes off, it is clearly aimed to Ortiz' side (toward the camera) and not at his stomach. See more »

Quotes

Sol Nazerman: I do not believe in God, or art, or science, or newspapers, or politics, or philosophy.
Jesus Ortiz: Then, Mr. Teacher, ain't there nothing you do believe in?
Sol Nazerman: Money.
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Soundtracks

Soul Bossa Nova
(uncredited)
Written by Quincy Jones
Performed by Quincy Jones and His Orchestra
Courtesy of Mercury Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

Is Diane Arbus somewhere around here?
26 December 2005 | by (Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques, Norfolk, VA.) – See all my reviews

"The Pawnbroker" (1964): Directed by Sidney Lumet, scored by Quincy Jones, and starring Rod Steiger. This is one of the most powerful character studies in all of film history. It's up there with "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Taxi Driver". Shot in some of the most beautiful, gritty, black and white photography, set in Harlem, often using the real environment and passersby, this work has the feel of anti-Hollywood, which is completely appropriate for the story of a Jew tortured by the memories of the Holocaust, and the environment of pawn brokering. There's not a single moment of comedy, and many moments that feel like Diane Arbus could be seen lingering nearby. Steiger's ability to express withheld expression – anger and pain trying to burst from his impenetrable shell - is awe inspiring. When I first saw this film in the 60's, I knew I wanted to see everything this man did.


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