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

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

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 position of being called into service as substitute bridegroom, so that the wedding can go ahead and Haddas will have a husband. It is a marriage that never ... Written by Micheal McLoughlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

study | talmud | wedding | yeshiva | love | See All (54) »

Taglines:

A film with music. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Йентл  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$30,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Dolby Magnetic 35mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Amy Irving became the first (and, as of 2011, only) actress to be nominated for an Academy Award and a Razzie for the same performance. She won neither. See more »

Goofs

When Yentl sings "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" her glasses are laid down in front of her. They have modern temple and ear pieces. In other scenes Yentl's glasses are the old-fashioned, wrap-around-the-ear-style glasses. See more »

Quotes

Avigdor: I can't believe this, I'm arguing with a woman!
Yentl: It's not the first time.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Happily Divorced: The Back-Up Fran (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Way He Makes Me Feel
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

Blazing a New Professional Trail for Women
21 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Barbra Streisand has referred to herself as 'an actress who happens to be a singer'. I doubt I am alone in viewing her professional legacy in the reverse: as a great singer who happens to be an actress . . . director, producer, screenplay writer, musical score composer, humanitarian, and lately, concerned with using her production and direction talents to bring out important social issues (like ageism--"The Living Century" is about centurions--people a hundred years old or more).

"Yentl" marks the beginning of a woman blazing a new trail as a director, singer, composer, her hands in the screenplay, and production. She's spoken in a segment on "The Directors," about how various cultures have treated her as a result of her deliberate transcendence of Hollywood's gender-biased boundaries. One of her most interesting points reveals how well she was treated in England by the British filming crew. Since gender-bias against women is not even comparable to gender bias in the US, because England is so far advanced beyond gender discrimination because one is a woman, Streisand remarks how much easier it was for her to accomplish her goals on the set because the British film crew treated her without gender-bias, and with the respect she is certainly due.

"Yentl" royally upset the AFI in the US because Streisand entered into no woman's land when she had a hand in nearly every aspect of the motion picture. "Yentl" has some of the most memorable, touching, humanely familiar music and lyrics, yet it received no Academy Award. The direction was brilliant--no Academy Award. The screenplay was one that was serious, hilarious, religious, spiritual, and even addressed the issues of gender-bias head on--no Academy Award. Streisand's and Amy Irving's acting was stupendous--no Academy Award.

Streisand paved the way and took the non-recognition by the Film Academy without stopping. This musical motional picture pales many that are classics. The story is an extra interesting one, the likes of which have not been reproduced with anything close to as much skill and class.

I'll give this classic about six Academy Awards, including several that go to Streisand alone.


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