Play for Today: Season 7, Episode 1

Bar Mitzvah Boy (7 Mar. 1977)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 57 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

On the eve of his Bar Mitzvah, young Elliot finds that all the grown men in his life are somewhat wanting.

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Title: Bar Mitzvah Boy (07 Mar 1977)

Bar Mitzvah Boy (07 Mar 1977) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Jeremy Steyn ...
Eliot Green
Maria Charles ...
Rita Green
Bernard Spear ...
Victor Green
Adrienne Posta ...
Lesley Green
...
Harold
Cyril Shaps ...
Grandad Wax
Jack Lynn ...
Rabbi Sherman
Pamela Manson ...
Sylvia
Sabina Michael ...
Salon Customer
Harry Landis ...
Solly
Harold Reese ...
Synagogue Warden
Robert Putt ...
Caretaker
Kim Clifford ...
Denise
Mark Herman ...
Squidge
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On the eve of his Bar Mitzvah, young Elliot finds that all the grown men in his life are somewhat wanting.

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Drama

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7 March 1977 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Cyril Shaps who played the maternal grandfather was only six years older than Maria Charles who played the mother. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic if you're Jewish
19 September 2001 | by (Liverpool, England) – See all my reviews

The Bar Mitzvah Boy is not quite classified as a film, more as a play, though it is worthy of film status in my view. It is a very comical look at the dynamics of a British Jewish family on the eve of their son's Bar Mitzvah.

The film was written by Jack Rosenthal (Jewish, and husband of popular British comedienne, Maureen Lipman) and obviously aimed at an audience of British Jews. I'm no racist, but the nature of the humour is such that only those with an intimate knowledge of the way a Jewish family works can gain full enjoyment from it. Every character is a hilarious caricature, instantly recognisable as a Jewish stereotype, with Maria Charles' Rita stealing the show as the highly-strung mother.

However, Rosenthal's humour can be enjoyed on all levels, from the one-liners delivered with perfect sincerity down to the subtleties such as the relationships between the sister and her boyfriend and between the rabbi and the synagogue caretaker. The film is incredibly detailed, even in the conduction of the synagogue service, recitation of the Hebrew and liberal use of Yiddish idioms. Of all the Hollywood blockbusters I have seen, none could be more detailed than this simple, low-budget production.

My father and I both find The Bar Mitzvah Boy hilarious, and an amazingly accurate, yet hilarious take on the Anglo-Jewish way of life, despite its age.

As I say, non-Jews would probably find it mildly amusing, but anyone brought up Jewish in middle England in the 20th Century, especially those of us who have had a Bar Mitzvah ourselves, will be in stitches at regular intervals!


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