Author Eugene O'Neill gives an autobiographical account of his explosive homelife, fused by a drug-addicted mother, a father who wallows in drink after realizing he is no longer a famous ... See full summary »
Eddie Carbone, a Brooklyn longshoreman is unhappily married to Beatrice and unconsciously in love with Catherine, the niece that they have raised from childhood. Into his house come two ... See full summary »
Film adaptation of Anton Chekhov's story of life in rural Russia during the latter part of the 19th century. An aging actress Arkidana pays summer visits to her brother Sorin and son ... See full summary »
A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.
Hans Muller is a Jewish refugee from Germany. Relocating to Israel after World War II, he can not overcome the psychological effects of the war. After attacking a policeman, Hans becomes a ... See full summary »
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
On March 12, 2014, 50 years after The Pawnbroker was released, a water main break and gas explosion destroyed 2 buildings immediately adjacent to and north of the site of Nazerman's Pawn Shop. The disaster, which killed 4 and injured 63, was headline news for several weeks. See more »
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 »
Say, how come you people come to business so naturally?
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 ...
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Although the supporting cast is uniformly excellent (Brock Peters especially so), they are really only believable props to what is, essentially, a one-man performance by Rod Steiger.
And what a performance it is! Steiger grabs your emotions, and maintains a hold long after the final credits roll. He sucks all the oxygen out of the room, and you're not able to draw a deep breath until it's over.
For some reason, this movie seems to have faded from public awareness, and isn't all that easy to find. I first saw it in 1965, and then again about 30 years later; it packed the same emotional wallop the second time around.
Both Steiger and director Sidney Lumet have done plenty of excellent work since The Pawnbroker, but this remains the highwater mark for both.
It is, unquestionably, one of the most powerful films ever made, and that's a might tough act to follow.
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