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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Funny Girl (1968)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early-1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford
Funny Lady (1975)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Story of singer Fanny Brice's stormy relationship with showman Billy Rose.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Barbra Streisand, James Caan, Omar Sharif
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A has-been rock star falls in love with a young, up-and-coming songstress.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Busey
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A troubled man talks to his suicidal sister's psychiatrist about their family history and falls in love with her in the process.

Director: Barbra Streisand
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Nick Nolte, Blythe Danner
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two desperate people have a wonderful romance, but their political views and convictions drive them apart.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Rose and Gregory, both Columbia University professors meet when Rose's sister answers Gregory's "personals" ad. Several times burned, the handsome-but-boring Gregory believes that sex has ... See full summary »

Director: Barbra Streisand
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Jeff Bridges, Lauren Bacall
Nuts (1987)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A high-class call girl accused of murder fights for the right to stand trial rather than be declared mentally incompetent.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Richard Dreyfuss, Maureen Stapleton
Hello, Dolly! (1969)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.

Director: Gene Kelly
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Hillary Kramer, successful Perfume magnate awakes one morning to find that her accountant has robbed her blind and left for South America. Going through all of her remaining assets she ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Zieff
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Paul Sand
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Daisy Gamble, an unusual woman who hears phones before they ring, and does wonders with her flowers, wants to quit smoking to please her fiancé, Warren. She goes to a doctor of hypnosis to ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Yves Montand, Bob Newhart
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Can a bickering odd couple in Manhattan become friends and maybe more? Owlish Felix is an unpublished writer who vents his frustration by reporting to the super that the woman in a ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Barbra Streisand, George Segal, Robert Klein
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young wife and mother, bored with day-to-day life in New York City and neglected by her husband, slips into increasingly outrageous fantasies: her mother breaking into the apartment, an ... See full summary »

Director: Irvin Kershner
Stars: Barbra Streisand, David Selby, Ariane Heller
Edit

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
Edit

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

Taglines:

Nothing's Impossible See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Some reviews claimed that all the songs sounded the same. In response, songwriters Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman said they wanted the songs to reflect the lessons of the Talmud, in which each lesson often reflects the lesson before it. 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.
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 »

Connections

Spoofed in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Oy gevalt
20 February 2007 | by (Oklahoma) – See all my reviews

"Yentl" is based on the story "Yentl the Yeshiva Boy" by the late Isaac Bashevis Singer, the last great Yiddish author. Yentl is the bright, intelligent daughter of Reb (Rabbi) Mendl, a widower, played by the great Nehemiah Persoff. She looks after her father's household and almost by osmosis learns the Torah (Pentateuch) and the Talmud by listening to the lessons of the young men who come to study with her father. She also wants to become a Jewish scholar, but in the rigidly patriarchal society of Eastern European Jewry, only boys are allowed to study. After her father's death, she decides to disguise herself as a boy to get into a yeshiva (school). Now going by the name Anschel, she succeeds in getting into a yeshiva, and becomes close friends, and eventually falls in love, with fellow student Avigdor (Mandy Patinkin; Avigdor is Hebrew for "father protects"), who is in an arranged betrothal to a beautiful young woman named Hadass (Amy Irving). But when Hadass's family learns Avigdor's brother committed suicide, the wedding is called off. Yentl/Anschel is then selected to marry Hadass. Avigdor supports this, because he sees this as a way to remain close to his friend Anschel (Yentl) and Hadass. Yentl/Anschel goes through with the marriage, and manages by clever subterfuge to live with Hadass but never consummate the marriage or reveal "himself" to be a woman. Eventually, Yentl/Anschel and Avigdor go away for a few days, and Yentl/Anschel reveals her secret to him. But rather than accepting her as a woman and returning her love, Avigdor rejects her. Avigdor returns to Hadass, and the movie ends with Yentl on a ship to (we suppose) America to make a new start, where presumably she will change her name to Fanny Brice and become a big star in vaudeville, then years later, as an old woman, be reduced to visiting Max Bialystock's office for some lovin'.

Visually, "Yentl" looks perfect. The village, the landscape, the people, their language and dress, are a convincing reconstruction of the lost world of the shtetl and its denizens. The actors look perfect, too, although there are problems: It's a stretch to believe that Barbra Streisand could pass herself off as a boy for an extended period, but if the Hilary Swank character in "Boys Don't Cry" could do it, I guess we can suspend disbelief for the duration of "Yentl." Streisand puts in a capable performance, as do Mandy Patinkin and the actors in the other major roles. You have to figure that Hadass was pretty dumb to be hoodwinked the way she was, but I guess that's supposed to be part of the "charm" of the story.

However, "Yentl" suffers from a major problem: The music. What cabbagehead decided that Michel Legrand would be the right composer for this movie?!? His score was completely inappropriate, and Streisand's constant singing under the action drove me crazy. Barbra, shut up once in a while and let the action speak for itself! It was like "Fiddler on the Roof" collides with "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," and that's the kind of road accident I'd rather not see. I suppose that in order to get the project made, Streisand had to agree to sing in the film. Would making "Yentl" into a typical musical, à la "Fiddler," have ruined it? Probably a whole lot less than it was ruined by Legrand's music. After all, "Fiddler," which came out 12 years before "Yentl," had a number of dark moments as well as some light and humorous scenes, and the songs worked. But the score of "Fiddler on the Roof" deliberately used musical motifs and themes derived from and inspired by the rich musical tradition of Eastern European Jewry. They should have stuck with that very serviceable approach. The clash of the music and the rest of the film is a fatal flaw from which "Yentl" does not recover.


20 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Isaac Bashevis Singer ... EJF
'Yentl' is why I ignore the Oscars trob226
Why doen't Mandy sing? mjwally62
Barbra Streisand was WAY to old to play a teenage girl kedem524
New Convert eavey
When is the DVD coming out? matoschi
Discuss Yentl (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?