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Hester Street (1975)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 768 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 9 critic

It's 1896. Yankel Bogovnik, a Russian Jew, emigrated to the United States three years earlier and has settled where many of his background have, namely on Hester Street on the Lower East ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Hester Street (1975)

Hester Street (1975) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Keats ...
Jake
...
Gitl
Mel Howard ...
Bernstein
Dorrie Kavanaugh ...
Mamie
...
Mrs. Kavarsky
Stephen Strimpell ...
Joe Peltner
Lauren Frost ...
Fanny
Paul Freedman ...
Joey
Martin Garner ...
Boss
Leib Lensky ...
Peddler
Zane Lasky ...
Greenhorn
Zvee Scooler ...
Rabbi
Eda Reiss Merin ...
Rabbi's Wife
Robert Lesser ...
Lawyer
...
Jake's Landlady
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Storyline

It's 1896. Yankel Bogovnik, a Russian Jew, emigrated to the United States three years earlier and has settled where many of his background have, namely on Hester Street on the Lower East Side of New York City. He has assimilated to American life, having learned English, anglicized his name to Jake, and shaved off his beard. He is working at a $12/week job as a seamster, the money earned to be able to bring his wife Gitl and his son Yossele to America from Russia. Regardless, he has fallen in love with another woman, a dancer named Mamie Fein. Nonetheless, he is excited when he learns that Gitl and Yossele are indeed coming to America. His happiness at their arrival is dampened when he sees that Gitl is not "American" looking like Mamie and has troubles assimilating as quickly as he would like. Except to Mamie, he tries to show a public façade that everything is fine at home with Gitl. But can their marriage survive these differences, and if not, will Gitl be able to manage in this new... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

america | beard | marriage | dancer | russia | See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 August 1976 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Hester utca  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Joan Micklin Silver said of this film to 'American Film' magazine in 1989: "I thought, I'm going to make [a film] that will count for my family. My parents were Russian Jewish, and my father was no longer living, but I cared a lot about the ties I had to that world. So that was how Hester Street (1975) started." See more »

Goofs

Early scene at table with Gitl, her husband, son and boarder, one can see the mic in the upper right-hand corner. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Two Goals
24 June 2007 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Its not true that there as many ways of seeing a movie as there are people. The art depends on there being only a few ways.

But still, you have choices. If what you want is a dramatic exercise you may like this, because that's its intent.

But it relies on storytelling gimmicks that you have to decide how to take.

The story is about Jewish Immigrants in New York in the 1890s, and one husband and wife. I chose to see it as an adventure into a world I do not know. It rewarded somewhat, perhaps less so than "The Jazz Singer" which was made near that era by people who lived in it. Here, all the clothes, faces, teeth are clean. There's no defecation and disease, no Jewish mafia and petty crime Jew-on-Jew. No bad people of any kind in fact. Somehow, squalor, crime and deprivation have been erased from history. Everyone on the street is happy.

Still, it was a voyage for me. But the film announces otherwise. It depends on memory of that very same stuff that I valued because I don't have them. In fact, this film seems to have been made by Jews for Jews, and mostly shown in Jewish venues rather than general release. Its a celebration of strength and adaptation, of the new layered on a preserved old, of the supposed special nature of these self-proclaimed special people.

So its a bit schitzo: part theme park and part nostalgic history lesson for those in the history. Too bad, because Carl Kane was engaging.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


6 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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