Hester Street (1975)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  6 August 1976 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 913 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 21 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 »


(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:

Calle Hester, tierra de promisión  »

Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Joan Micklin Silver director and Raphael D. Silver producer were married. This film was the first of a number of feature film collaborations they have worked on together. 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 Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) 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 Wonderful Sleeper
13 August 2004 | by (Jersey City, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

Saw it on local PBS station many years ago not expecting much.

A wonderful and charming movie.

Acting, Sets, costumes, plot, and ironic ending make this a great movie that anyone can enjoy without being deluged with sex, violence, strong language.

Carol Kane and Steven Keats were marvelous.

I just about fell off my sofa laughing at the end.

A true gem!

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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