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Skokie (1981)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  17 November 1981 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 247 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

A dramatization of the controversial trial concerning the right for Neo-Nazis to march in the predominately Jewish community of Skokie.

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Title: Skokie (TV Movie 1981)

Skokie (TV Movie 1981) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Max Feldman
...
Herb Lewisohn
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Abbot Rosen
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Bertha Feldman
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Bert Silverman
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Police Chief Arthur Buchanan
...
Frank Collin
Ed Flanders ...
Mayor Albert J. Smith
Stephen D. Newman ...
Aryeh Neier
...
David Hamlin
...
Morton Weisman
Marin Kanter ...
Janet Feldman
...
JDL Girl
David Hurst ...
Sol Goldstein
Ruth Nelson ...
Grandma Jannsen
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Storyline

This is the story of some Modern day Nazi activists who plan to march through the predominantly Jewish community of Skokie. The town officials tell the citizens to ignore them cause there's nothing that they can do. But one citizen (Kaye) who's a death camp survivor says that he was told this nearly forty years ago in Germany and before he knew it he was in a concentration camp. He says this time if they march, he will not ignore them; he will take action. So, the mayor does what he can to stop them, so the Nazi's leader (Dzundza) goes to the ACLU, and the Jewish lawyer (Rubinstein) he speaks to, says that this is a violation of the First Ammendment and takes the case to court. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jewish | march | nazi | aclu | mayor | See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

17 November 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Skokie  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This would be the final appearance of Danny Kaye before motion picture cameras, and the last of only two dramatic performances. The other performance being the "Ragpicker," in the 1969 film _The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969)_ starring Katharine Hepburn. See more »

Goofs

One actress seen in the synagogue protesting the Nazi march is seen later in the ACLU office answering phones and defending the Nazi march. See more »

Quotes

Herb Lewisohn: Doesn't it feel kind of funny?
Bert Silverman: What?
Herb Lewisohn: I mean, you argued the first amendment for us before. In 68, the democratic convention. It's kind of surprising finding you arguing for prior restraint.
Bert Silverman: Well, it's surprising to find you, a Jew, arguing in the defense of a Nazi like Collin.
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User Reviews

Skokie's Extra Special
8 July 2004 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

One day in November 1980 my mother phoned my Chicago office. She had read a newspaper report about a call for TV movie extras being held that evening at a Skokie auditorium. The proposed film, titled Skokie, would detail the late 1970's effort by the Chicago suburb to prevent a march in its large Jewish community by a neo-Nazi group. Although I then lived in Skokie, I had only heard about the commotion through the media.

I fantasized about starring in a movie despite having no acting experience other than grade school plays. Having accumulated much vacation time I was able to take off from work. So I attended the call not knowing what exactly to expect. The long lines moved rather quickly. The interview itself was short, and people were preferred who simply could fit and dress themselves for the part. For example, in real life I was a lawyer, so they assigned me to a court room scene where I played a second assistant attorney.

Extras had no speaking role, but you can see me sitting near Eli Wallach for about 10 minutes, which shoot took two days at a courthouse in Evanston, Illinois. Between takes, extras observed the intricate technical proceedings and got to chat with many of the cast and crew on the set. Makeup was frequently applied to our faces covering up five o'clock shadow or sweat. We were fed a light breakfast and full lunch, but dinner hour came and went. Certain actors kept forgetting their lines, tempers flared as the evening wore on. At the end of the first day as we were reminded to wear the same clothes for the next day's finish, one man jokingly asked if we could at least change our underwear.

Several of us extras, especially those who were prompt and didn't complain about the long schedules, were asked to be in additional scenes. I appeared in two town meeting sequences filmed in a Skokie synagogue, and in a political rally where we sang patriotically in front of the actual Skokie village hall. Skokie's mayor visited us and greeted the actor portraying him, Ed Flanders, later Dr. Westphall of St. Elsewhere. Many extras were in fact concentration camp survivors living in Skokie. There was an authentic intensity underlying the crowd scenes so the "acting" seemed for real.

When I first viewed the movie, telecast on CBS in 1981, I focused strictly on searching for myself. Only mom recognized me at every shot even catching one I missed. My other family and friends concentrated on the story. Using a Betamax I taped the program, eventually putting it away with my other mementos. In 2003, while browsing a video store, I discovered the Skokie DVD and snatched the two shelf copies. I found the disc quality superb and located every semblance of my younger self. In comparison I played the tape and was shocked at how badly it had deteriorated. DVDs are hoped to have a longer life.

Of course the movie Skokie has its flaws. But in retrospect the melodramatic moments seem very true. The film illustrates the dangers to yourself when the rights of others are assaulted. Experiencing Skokie, I felt aware. Watching Skokie, so might you.


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