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



(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 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


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) »


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?


For this film, Barbra Streisand became the first woman ever to win the Golden Globe for Best Director. She was later nominated for Best Director at both the Golden Globes and Directors Guild of America Awards for The Prince of Tides (1991). She has to this day never been nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards but handed out the Oscar for Best Director the first and only time it has been won by a woman (by Kathryn Bigelow). 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 »


Bookseller: You're in the wrong place, storybooks for women are over here.
Yentl: [holding a book] I'd like this one, please.
Bookseller: [takes the book away] Sacred books are for men.
Yentl: Why?
Bookseller: It's the law.
Yentl: Where's it written?
Bookseller: It doesn't matter where it's written, it's the law.
Yentl: Well if it's the law it must be written somewhere, perhaps in here
[the book]
Yentl: . I'll take it.
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 »


Papa, Can You Hear Me?
Music by Michel Legrand
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Barbra Streisand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

just beautiful
5 September 2012 | by (Romania) – See all my reviews

for basic idea of equal rights out of any feminism. for the flavor of "80 years and for slices of shtetl life, for Jew space in Russian Empire as place of interior freedom, for music and for the delicate story. for last image of a way to happiness. for fabulous role of young Yentl/Anschel and for fragile performance of Amy Irving. it is difficult to define it.because it is a profound humanist pledge for normality. not accusation against a community. not stone against rules.but a open window.that is all. central piece - courage. central message - nothing is impossible. axis - force to be yourself. after 20 years, it is more important today.because in time of globalization, time of positive discrimination, Yentl is a wise advise. and good model to build personal trip in life.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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