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Yentl (1983)

PG  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  6 January 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,994 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 15 critic

A Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy to enter religious training.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Yentl (1983)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Reb Mendel 'Papa'
Reb Alter Vishkower
Ruth Goring ...
Esther Rachel
David de Keyser ...
Rabbi Zalman (as David De Keyser)
Bernard Spear ...
Doreen Mantle ...
Mrs. Shaemen
Lynda Baron ...
Peshe (as Lynda Barron)
Jack Lynn ...
Anna Tzelniker ...
Mrs. Kovner
Mary Henry ...
Mrs. Jacobs


Dramatization of "Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy," by Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991); originally published in Yiddish c. 1960, then in English c. 1983. The story: In an Ashkenazic shtetl in Poland, Yentl Mendel is the boyishly klutzy daughter and only child of long widowed Rebbe ("Talmud Teacher") Mendel, who teaches Talmud (a codification of Jewish Law) to local boys - and to Yentl, but secretly because girls were not allowed to learn the law in those days. When her father dies, Yentl is all alone in the world. She takes the momentous decision to leave the village and - disguised as a boy and calling herself by the name of her late brother, Anshel - seeks and gets admitted to a Yeshiva, to study the texts, traditions, subtleties and complexities of Torah, Talmud, etc. She befriends Avigdor who is engaged to Haddas, but her family discovers his brother committed suicide so they call off the wedding (in case Avigdor possesses the same madness). Anshel then finds "him"-self in the awkward ... Written by Micheal McLoughlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

study | yeshiva | talmud | wedding | love | See All (53) »


A film with music. See more »


Drama | Musical | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Йентл  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)


$30,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Dolby Magnetic 35mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Steven Spielberg called the film "the best directorial debut since Citizen Kane (1941)". See more »


Anshel's suit coat is buttoned as if it were a woman's coat. It's not a flipped shot; Avigdor is wearing a man's coat in the same frame. See more »


Rabbi Zalman: It's by their questions that we choose our students, not only by their answers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the closing credits: This film is dedicated to my father... and to all our fathers. See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Girls Just Want to Have Sums (2006) See more »


No Wonder
Music by Michel Legrand
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Barbra Streisand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Sorry, was as I suspected
4 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I would like to be a Barbra Streisand fan. She has a spectacular musical instrument in her voice. Her politics are my politics and her heart is in the right place. That being said, I finally watched Yentl. It was a beautiful looking film, fresh from the dry cleaners. What bothers me is that albeit far fetched, it is a wonderful story. It needs more than a Readers Digest sensibility. In any kind of reality the facts of the storyline are frightening and fraught with dire consequence, not mildly upsetting as played. In any kind of reality the Yentyl character would have moved heaven and earth to be a convincing boy and certainly not looked so cloyingly cosmetisized. But that was not for our Barbara. I kept on wondering how Meryl Streep would have played it ....and how about Robert Altman directing? They would have captured the motivation behind the progression of misbegotten choices. Meryl would have not been afraid of smearing some dirt on her face and yucking it up with the boys. Robert Altman would not have been afraid of exploring sexual tension and ambiguity ......but not our Barbara. And Oh! How's about a Philip Glass score. Let's do a remake.

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'Yentl' is why I ignore the Oscars trob226
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Barbra Streisand was WAY to old to play a teenage girl kedem524
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the movie is fantastic and so is the book pudwhacker
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