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The Pawnbroker (1964)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  20 April 1965 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,428 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 50 critic

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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(screenplay) (as Morton Fine) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 5 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:

| |

Release Date:

20 April 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El prestamista  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 1999 interview with Robert Osborne, Rod Steiger said he based the silent scream at the end of the film on the faces in Pablo Picasso's masterpiece "Guernica". See more »

Goofs

In the very last scene of the film, Sol pierces his left hand on a receipt spindle. When he walks out of the pawn shop, he is looking in pain at his right hand. See more »

Quotes

Jesus Ortiz: Say, how come you people come to business so naturally?
Sol Nazerman: You people? Oh, let's see. Yeah. I see. I see, you... you want to learn the secret of our success, is that right? Alright I'll teach you. First of all you start off with a period of several thousand years, during which you have nothing to sustain you but a great bearded legend. Oh my friend you have no land to call your own, to grow food on or to hunt. You have nothing. You're never in one place long enough to have a geography or an army ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

I Don't Wanna Be a Loser
(uncredited)
Written by Ben Raleigh and Mark Barkan
Performed by Lesley Gore
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Steiger gives greatest performance of all time
9 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Rod Steiger gives the greatest lead-actor performance I have ever seen in the title role of the Pawnbroker. Lumet's direction strikes no false note and neither does the incredibly well-researched and painfully honest script. It's hard to believe how virtually forgotten this true masterpiece of a survivor's private hell. It shows very vividly that even those of us lucky enough to survive the camps need to be ever more rare of spirit to survive without significant trauma scars. Steiger extracts every piece of emotion from his character with a performance that exceeds all that came before it and has never been surpassed. Every aspiring actor needs to view Steiger's performance to realize how magnificent it truly is.


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