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Hester Street (1975)

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 »


(screenplay), (novel)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Keats ...
Mel Howard ...
Dorrie Kavanaugh ...
Mrs. Kavarsky
Stephen Strimpell ...
Joe Peltner
Lauren Frost ...
Paul Freedman ...
Martin Garner ...
Leib Lensky ...
Zane Lasky ...
Zvee Scooler ...
Eda Reiss Merin ...
Rabbi's Wife
Robert Lesser ...
Jake's Landlady


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


Goodbye O Lord, I'm Going To America!


Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

6 August 1976 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A Rua da Esperança  »

Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This low-budget film cost only US $400,000 to make but grossed around US $5 million in the USA alone. See more »


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


Featured in The 48th Annual Academy Awards (1976) See more »


Music for Cornet
Composed by Herbert L. Clarke
Adapted by William Bolcom
Performed by Gerard Schwarz
See more »

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User Reviews

A special viewing
22 December 2005 | by (Carlsbad CA) – See all my reviews

Around 1975 I saw this movie with my mother and aunt, born in 1902 and 1903 respectively. They watched it as if it were a replay of a life that they had known, having come to this country just about the time of the characters on the screen.

My mother soon descended into the long goodbye of Alzheimers disease. So this is a memory I especially value. My Aunt, kenehora, is still with us.

They discussed it mater of factly, not so much as a work of art, but a documentary. I can think of no greater compliment to all who were involved in creating this very special film.

Al Rodbell

18 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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