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
"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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