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The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick (1988)

A young Jewish adolescent from an overbearing family likes a Christian girl and is helped by a fun-loving rabbi.



(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Augustus Glick
Henry Glick
Sharon Corder ...
Sarah Glick
Bryna Glick
Ken Zelig ...
Morris Moskover
Howard Jerome ...
Zelig Peikes
Maximilian Glick
Alec McClure ...
Sandy Lubchuk
Matthew Ball ...
Sarge Sargent
Derek Blackthorn
Joan Nakamoto ...
Shizuko Blackthorn
William Marantz ...
Rabbi Kaminsky
Casey Chisick ...
Bobby Rosenberg
Allan Stratton ...
Professor LaCoste
Rosalie Rudelier ...
Mrs. Rosenberg


Maximilian Glick is an ordinary Jewish kid in a 1950's small town in Manitoba, Canada. Unfortunately, he is also saddled with overbearing parents, who are intent on railroading his life to meet their expectations of him. The most obvious examples are giving him a piano when he really wanted a bike and pushing him to study for his Bar Mitzfah. Unfortunately, both paths get bumpy when he is partnered with a Christian girl for duo piano playing. His prejudiced parents forbid Max to see her, and his rabbi is killed in an accident. That leads to the appointment of Rabbi Teitelman, an orthodox jew with a unorthodox fun loving look on life. Together, the two must find a way to fulfill their dreams and their own identities in a world that seems dead set against them doing that. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When Max was born they cut off his .... It's 13 years later, 1960, his BarMitzvah, and they're still at it!


Comedy | Drama | Music






Release Date:

19 January 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bright Spark  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$317,670 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Followed by Max Glick (1990) See more »


Eine Kleine Nachtmusik KV525
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as W.A. Mozart)
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User Reviews

an overlooked gem!
7 July 2002 | by (Redmond, Washington USA) – See all my reviews

How refreshing it is to see a film that is beautifully acted, directed and filmed that really has something important to say! Maybe the last time Hollywood did that was American Beauty. That's why I was delighted to happen upon Outside Chance, produced in British Columbia and filmed in Manitoba, far from the schlock, glitz and artifice of Hollywood. This is a "small" movie big enough to be worth seeking out.

On one level, it is a poignant, funny, warmhearted, intelligent exploration of the tensions inherent in being a stranger in a strange land, in this case, being Jewish in a prairie town in Canada. The leaders of the Jewish community (with good reason) don't feel they have been welcomed by the dominant community of non-Jews in the town, and they struggle to maintain their cultural uniqueness while endeavoring to avoid being seen as "different." But these desires inherently conflict, and they come to the surface via the interactions of the community, the 12-year-old protagonist (a boy who is the movie's truth-teller), his Christian friend and incipient girlfriend (who is also his two-hands piano partner), and a Lubovitcher Hasidic rabbi, who offers wisdom that excites the boy's mind and heart while conflicting with the community's wishes. The story looks unblinkingly at both the nontrivial weaknesses and enormous strengths of Jewish culture, yet could just as well have been about Vietnamese in America, Pakistanis in England or Greeks in Australia.

On another level, it is about the struggle to be true to one's individual nature, as opposed to what society expects of us. The boy has to confront the question "Does honoring your parents always mean complying with their wishes." The rabbi faces the question of how he wants to fulfill his life's mission.

These are serious questions, handled with a deft, light touch, in a script with just the right amount of warmth and wit, in a place that is somehow both familiar and strange, far from the usual Hollywood sets. Oh yes, and the klezmir music is wonderful!

Clearly a 10.

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