7.1/10
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The Chosen (1981)

PG | | Drama | 30 April 1982 (USA)
In 1944, in Brooklyn, two Jewish kids become friends. One is from a very conservative family, and the other is more liberal. The issues of importance of tradition, parental expectations and the formation of Israel cause constant friction.

Director:

(as Jeremy Paul Kagan)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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5 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Professor David Malter
...
Reb Saunders
...
Danny Saunders
...
Reuven Malter
Hildy Brooks ...
Mrs. Saunders
Kaethe Fine ...
Shaindel Saunders
...
Baseball Coach
...
Levi Saunders (as Robert Burke)
...
Davey
...
Sidney Goldberg
Douglas Warhit ...
Sam
...
Schwartzi (as Jeff Marcus)
Stuart Charno ...
1st Baseman
Richard Lifschutz ...
Hassidic Coach
Clement Fowler ...
Doctor
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Storyline

Brooklyn 1944. Despite being the same age, having grown up within blocks of each other, and both being Jewish, late teens Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter don't really know each other - knowing each other only by name and by sight - as Orthodox Danny stays largely within his own Hasidic community, which is just fine in Reuven's mind. An incident between the two which on the surface threatens to tear them even further apart instead blossoms into a friendship between the two. They begin to learn more and more about the other and their lives, which for Danny includes becoming a rabbi, solely as it is a several generations old family calling. In Reb Saunders' mind, he who rules his family by strict Hasidic traditions, Danny becoming the next rabbi in the family is not even a question, despite Danny, deep in his heart, wanting other secular pursuits which he has not told his father. Conversely, Reuven has modern sensibilities, being raised in a two-person household by his widowed academic ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

30 April 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Os Escolhidos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Maxwell's final feature film. See more »

Goofs

While Danny and Reuvan discuss the Ba'al Shem Tov, he is referred to as "Master of the Good Word." "Shem" is Hebrew for name. The Ba'al Shem Tov's name is "Master of the Good Name" - not Master of the Good Word. See more »

Quotes

Reb Saunders: A heart I need for a son. A soul I need for a son. Compassion and mercy I need from a son. And strength to carry pain I need from a son... self-pride, feeling of superiority, indifference, began to fade away. He learned through the wisdom and the pain of silence that a mind without a heart is nothing... My Daniel is a tzadik. And the world needs a righteous man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Hebrew Hammer (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

That Old Black Magic
(uncredited)
Instrumental version
Music by Harold Arlen
The song is playing when Reuven is sitting at the soda counter with his friends
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The World Needs Righteous Men
19 December 2010 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

As World War II winds down, young and assimilated Jewish-American Barry Miller (as Reuven Malter) and his New York City street team agree to play a group of "very orthodox" Hasidic young men. The traditionally dressed Jews turn out to be quite good at the game, especially steely-eyed power hitter Robbie Benson (as Daniel "Danny" Saunders); he's also a genius. When Mr. Miller tries to strike Mr. Benson out at bat, Benson retaliates with a line-drive to Miller's face. Hospitalized, Miller is told he could possibly lose sight in his left eye, from the injury. Filled with guilt and curiosity, Benson decides to visit Miller.

Benson and Miller are intrigued by their cultural differences, and slowly become close friends.

However, politics rears an ugly head when the post-war partitioning of Palestine threatens Benson and Miller's friendship. A Zionist like his Professor father Maximilian Schell (as David Malter), Miller favoring the creation of Israel. A fundamentalist like his Rabbi father Rod Steiger (as Isaac Saunders), Benson believes the Jewish state should be created according to scripture. With great source material from writer Chaim Potok, and fine poetic performances, "The Chosen" overcomes some of its mid-section sluggishness. The opening parts are captivating, and Benson's closing scene with Mr. Steiger is a tearful peak.

******* The Chosen (8/81) Jeremy Kagan ~ Robbie Benson, Barry Miller, Rod Steiger, Maximilian Schell


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