IMDb > A Price Above Rubies (1998)
A Price Above Rubies
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A Price Above Rubies (1998) More at IMDbPro »

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A Price Above Rubies -- Renée Zellweger portrays a Brooklyn Hasidic woman struggling for fulfillment while hemmed in by tradition and an arranged marriage. Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans) directs.


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6.6/10   2,339 votes »
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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Boaz Yakin (written by)
View company contact information for A Price Above Rubies on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 March 1998 (USA) See more »
In a world of rules... one woman is ruled by her passion.
About a young woman who is married to a devout Jew and the problems that trouble their marriage because... See more » | Full synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Emotionally Involving Film See more (45 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Renée Zellweger ... Sonia Horowitz

Christopher Eccleston ... Sender Horowitz

Julianna Margulies ... Rachel

Allen Payne ... Ramon Garcia

Glenn Fitzgerald ... Mendel Horowitz

Kim Hunter ... Rebbitzn

John Randolph ... Rebbe Moshe

Kathleen Chalfant ... Beggar Woman

Peter Jacobson ... Schnuel

Edie Falco ... Feiga
Timothy Jerome ... Dr. Bauer (as Tim Jerome)
Phyllis Newman ... Mrs. Gelbart
Joyce Reehling ... Shaindy
Shelton Dane ... Yossi
Jackie Ryan ... Young Sonia

Faran Tahir ... Hrundi Kapoor
Martin Shakar ... Mr. Berman
Teodorina Bello ... Mrs. Garcia

Glenn Fleshler ... Chief Gabbai
Adam Dannheisser ... Young Gabbai #1

Stephen Singer ... Gabbai #2
Marvin Einhorn ... Gabbai #3
Mark Zimmerman ... Doctor
Richard Lifschutz ... The Moel (as Richard 'Izzy' Lifschutz)
David Deblinger ... Baruch
Sam Jennings ... Heshie
Erin Rakow ... Tsipi
Asher Tabak ... Yechiel
Allen Swift ... Mr. Fishbein

Daryl Edwards ... Nelson

Peter Marx ... Mr. Sugarman (as Peter Slutsker)
Lauren Klein ... Sonia's Mother

Tonye Patano ... Earring Woman

Don Wallace ... Ty
Asia Minor ... Homegirl
Rosanna Plasencia ... Homegirl #2

Jerry Matz ... Mr. Engelberg

Michael Stuhlbarg ... Young Hassid
Karen Contreras ... Young Woman

Wai Ching Ho ... Lady Vendor
Mel Duane Gionson ... Paranoid Vendor

Paul J.Q. Lee ... Smooth Vendor
Leyla Aalam ... Israeli Woman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bill Cook ... Hasidic Man (uncredited)
Khalid Gonçalves ... (uncredited)

Alex Kalognomos ... Gabi Bodyguard (uncredited)

Antonio Robles ... Jewish Student (uncredited)

Scott Roman ... Witness (uncredited)

Marc Sebastian ... Chasid (uncredited)

Nick Stellate ... Hasidic Bodyguard (uncredited)

Directed by
Boaz Yakin 
Writing credits
Boaz Yakin (written by)

Produced by
Lawrence Bender .... producer
Adam Brightman .... line producer
JoAnn Fregalette Jansen .... co-producer (as Joann Fregalette Jansen)
John Penotti .... producer
Bob Weinstein .... executive producer
Harvey Weinstein .... executive producer
Original Music by
Lesley Barber 
Cinematography by
Adam Holender 
Film Editing by
Arthur Coburn 
Casting by
Douglas Aibel 
Production Design by
Dan Leigh 
Set Decoration by
Leslie E. Rollins 
Costume Design by
Ellen Lutter 
Makeup Department
Wayne Herndon .... key hair stylist
Lori Hicks .... key makeup artist
John Quaglia .... key hair stylist (as John D. Quaglia)
Production Management
Heidi Vogel .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rick Lange .... second second assistant director
Marco Londoner .... second assistant director
David 'Wex' Wechsler .... first assistant director (as David Wechsler)
Art Department
Peter Betulia .... construction key grip (as Peter Anthony Betulia)
John Billeci .... shop electrician
Dennis Causey .... set dresser (as Dennis Lee Causey)
Rodney Clark .... carpenter
Robert A. Conroy .... construction grip
James Curry .... carpenter (as James J. Curry)
Chris DeTitta .... lead man (as Christopher J. Detitta)
Cyd Fenwick .... scenic artist
Rossana Fiore .... camera scenic artist
John J. Flugel .... set dresser
Laura G. Gillen .... scenic artist
Elizabeth Goodall .... scenic artist
Anne Beiser Haywood .... charge scenic artist (as Ann Haywood)
Brent Haywood .... construction coordinator
Eryka Seimona Henderson .... art department facilitator
Elaine Housman .... sculptor
Duncan Hoxworth .... stand-by carpenter
Tyler Kim .... assistant property master (as Tyler H. Kim)
Julius Kozlowski .... scenic artist
Kevin Ladson .... property master (as Kevin C. Ladson)
Ulf Lovén .... carpenter (as Ulf Loven)
Salvatore Sirico .... carpenter
William J. Stabile .... draftsperson (as William Stabile)
Kenneth Stopsky .... construction foreman
Mitch Towse .... set dresser
Gary Wimmer .... scenic artist
Robert Currie .... on-set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Pembrooke Andrews .... dialogue assistant
John Chandler .... foley editor
Paul Curtis .... dialogue editor
Robert Fitzgerald .... sound effects editor
Robert Fitzgerald .... supervising sound editor
Elisabeth Flaum .... sound effects editor
Shawn Kennelly .... dialogue assistant (as Sean Kenelly)
Alan Kerr .... foley artist
George Leong .... boom operator
Jason Lezama .... adr recordist
Jason Lezama .... foley editor
Richard Murphy .... second boom operator
Tim Rakoczy .... assistant sound editor
Sergio Reyes .... sound re-recording mixer
Joan Rowe .... foley artist
Katie Rowe .... foley artist
Sean Rowe .... foley artist
William Sarokin .... sound mixer
B. Tennyson Sebastian III .... sound re-recording mixer
Frederick H. Stahly .... adr editor
Frederick H. Stahly .... dialogue editor
John C. Stuver .... adr editor (as Stuv)
John C. Stuver .... dialogue editor (as Stuv)
Eric Thompson .... foley mixer
Jeff Vaughn .... adr mixer
Special Effects by
John Ottesen .... special effects coordinator (as John M. Ottesen)
Visual Effects by
Randall Balsmeyer .... visual effects
Mindy Minkow .... optical camera (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael J. Betzag .... best boy grip (as Michael Betzag)
John Cambria .... first assistant camera
Michael Cambria .... second assistant camera
Andrew Casey .... Steadicam operator
Joe Donohue III .... company grip (as Joseph Donohue III)
Damien F. Donohue .... company grip
John Donohue .... dolly grip
Abbot Genser .... still photographer
Shaun Gilbert .... electrician (as Shaun C. Gilbert)
Chris Hayes .... camera operator
Michael 'Flash' McDonald .... electrician (as Michael McDonald)
Billy Miller .... key grip (as William A. Miller)
Rocco Palmieri .... electrician
Linda Phillips .... electrician
Francis A. Porter .... camera trainee
Scott H. Ramsey .... gaffer
Mike Reed .... electrician (as Michael Reed)
Mark Schwentner .... best boy electric
Christopher Vaccaro .... company grip
Craig Vaccaro .... key rigging grip
Nicky 'Nuckles' Vaccaro .... company grip
Casting Department
Peggy Adler .... casting associate
Jordan Beswick .... casting associate
Dena Trakes .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Barbara Krauthamer .... wardrobe supervisor (as Barbara Krauthamer)
Sally Lesser .... costume shopper
Winsome G. McKoy .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Gregg Apirian .... second assistant editor
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter
Tracey D'Arcy .... post-production coordinator
Blake Maniquis .... assistant editor: Los Angeles
Anne McCabe .... assistant editor: New York
Ricardo Olivero .... color timer
Anil Urmil .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Location Management
Alexander Berberich .... location assistant
Tom Betterton .... location scout
Seth Burch .... location manager
Janet Henry .... location assistant
Jabbar E. McDonald .... location assistant
Gary Scott .... assistant location manager
Joseph Zolfo .... assistant location manager
Music Department
Lesley Barber .... orchestrator
Stuart Brawley .... music engineer
Dan DiPrima .... music editor (as Dan Diprima)
Ken Kugler .... conductor
David Low .... music contractor
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
Paul Hepker .... additional orchestrator (uncredited)
Denise Okimoto .... music editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
William Baker .... driver: props
Rich Battista .... driver: grip (as Richard Battista)
Kerry Clark .... parking coordinator
Dennis Drogan .... driver: maxi van (as Ronald Dennis Drogan)
Robert Dwyer .... driver: camera
Leo Fotopoulos .... driver: honeywagon
Kevin Griffin .... driver: swing (as Kevin P. Griffin)
Robert Lansing .... driver: electric
John Leonidas .... transportation captain
Dennis Radesky .... transportation co-captain
Luis Rodriguez .... driver: wardrobe
Barry Sweeney .... driver: set dressing
Other crew
Jerome Best .... adr voice
Corey Bobker .... production assistant
Hunter Carson .... set production assistant
Jake Chipps .... adr voice
Jason Cramer .... post-production accountant
Denise T. Davidson .... assistant: Ellen Cutter
Pete Dominick .... set production assistant
Ann Du Val .... legal
Maureen Duffy .... completion bond
Joe Facey .... craft service
John B. Finn .... payroll accountant
Mary Gambardella .... script supervisor
Ellen Gannon .... production coordinator
Joyce Goldman .... adr voice
Henry Goldscher .... adr voice
Carlos K. Goodman .... legal services (as Carlos Goodman)
Alicia Haldenwang .... production assistant
Marlus Harding .... assistant accountant (as Marlus C. Harding)
Kali R. Harrison .... set production assistant (as Kali Rashad Harrison)
Eddi Herschler .... adr voice (as Eddie Herschler)
Bernie Hiller .... adr voice (as Bernard Hiller)
Winnie Hiller .... adr voice
Rob Ludwig .... Ramon's studio consultant (as Robin David Ludwig)
Lev Mailer .... adr voice
Courtney McDonnell .... assistant: Lawrence Bender
Margo Myers .... production accountant (as Margo A. Myers)
Neil Orlowski .... key set production assistant
Deborah Owen .... post-production accountant
Dan Perri .... producer: title sequence
Dan Perri .... title designer
Tom Piechura .... unit publicist
Jay Richard Piro .... set production assistant
Jess Platt .... dialect consultant
Jeremy D. Pratt .... stage manager
Sally Rainer .... adr voice
Burton Sharp .... adr group coordinator
Burton Sharp .... adr voice
Jamie Sheridan .... set production assistant (as James E. Sheridan)
Jeff Springer .... legal
Bill Stern .... adr voice
Anita Sum .... production associate
Jeff Swafford .... assistant: Lawrence Bender
Glen-Bob Sweet .... adr voice
Shane Sweet .... adr voice
Ruthie Tanami .... product placement
Andrew Vogliano .... production secretary
Henry Winston .... post-production accountant
Kurt Woolner .... completion bond
Yogi .... parking production assistant
Jennifer Yun .... assistant: John Penotti
King Lee .... production assistant (uncredited)
Eli Roth .... stand-in (uncredited)
Shelley Zacharia .... tutor (uncredited)
Joseph Byrne .... special thanks (as Lt. Joseph Byrne)
John Carrabino .... special thanks
Lisa Davidowitz .... special thanks
John Diemer .... special thanks
Kevin Doyle .... special thanks
Scott Fleischer .... special thanks
Kim Green .... special thanks
Alice Hughes .... special thanks
Julie Kirkham .... special thanks
Barbara Koplin .... special thanks
Stephen Koplin .... special thanks
Jack Lechner .... special thanks
Matt Loeb .... special thanks
Tory Metzger .... special thanks
Tom O'Donnell .... special thanks
Nicole Pennington .... special thanks
Elyse Scherz .... special thanks
Pat Scott .... special thanks (as Patricia Reed Scott)
Eric Shonz .... special thanks
Mike Simpson .... special thanks
Nick Stevens .... special thanks
Lee Stollman .... special thanks
Jessica Tuchinsky .... special thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sexuality and brief language
117 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Mendel says Sonia's birthstone is the ruby, this would make her birthdate somewhere in July.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): After the bris (circumcision ceremony), Mendel apologizes to Sonia for naming their son Shimmie "after the Rebbe." Shimmie is a nickname for Shim'on (Simon). However, the Rebbetzin (the Rebbe's wife) calls her husband Moishe. Also, at the eulogy for the Rebbe, the speaker refers to the him as "our own Moishe Rabbenu," clearly making a connection between him (and his name) and the prophet Moses.See more »
ArovechaSee more »


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46 out of 49 people found the following review useful.
Emotionally Involving Film, 20 April 2001
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon

The self-imposed standards regarding matters of faith to which an individual must adhere, the priorities one sets, and giving precedence to one matter of importance at the expense of another are issues addressed in `A Price Above Rubies,' written and directed by Boaz Yakin and starring Renee Zellweger. After the birth of her first child, a son, a young New York City woman, Sonia Horowitz (Zellweger), struggles with emotional and sexual frustration as she attempts to cope with the extreme ideals of her husband, Mendel (Glenn Fitzgerald), an Hasidic Jew who holds God above all things, including his wife and their marriage. Mendel is a good man, a holy man, but in his youthful zeal to please God and live according to His Word, he woefully neglects Sonia, a fact to which he has been blinded by his religious fervor. His devotion to God is so all consuming that he is not only unable to meet, but is unaware of, the needs of his wife.

Sonia is a good wife and mother, a good person who loves God, but is simply incapable of effecting Mendel's degree of devotion and sacrifice. His concerns are of a spiritual nature, while hers are more immediate. Increasingly discontent and striving for a means through which she can rise above the stature of non-entity bestowed upon her by Mendel, her life takes a turn only when her brother-in-law, Sender (Christopher Eccleston), intercedes on her behalf. A jeweler by trade, Sender sees a value in Sonia that he likens to a price above rubies, but his efforts soon prove to be a mixed blessing for her, as ultimately her life becomes more complicated than ever.

Yakin is to be commended for his objective approach to this story; any judgment of those involved is left to God and the audience. He neither condemns Mendel for his-- what may be deemed by some-- excessive piety, nor does he absolve him of it's implications. By the same token, he neither condemns nor absolves Sonia for her actions. And by avoiding any subjective judgment of the characters, it heightens the impact of the film in that it forces the involvement of the individual viewer, who must then decide if what has transpired is appropriate or not. It's a very subtle and effective way of drawing in the audience, wisely employed by Yakin, as it maintains a balance in the film while allowing the actions of the characters to speak for themselves.

As Sonia, Zellweger turns in an excellent, understated performance, through which she makes you feel the exasperation of this woman in need of self-esteem and acknowledgement. There's something of Ibsen's `A Doll's House' in this story, for Sonia (like Ibsen's Nora) is not motivated by selfishness, but by the desire for her family to be able to function as a whole, and to be, herself, an invaluable part of that whole. It's a selfless pursuit for recognition and equality, rather than an ego driven quest for autonomy, and because of this it is easy to empathize with her. Zellweger does not play Sonia for sympathy, though it would be the easy road to take with this character; she opts instead for credibility in her actions and reactions, and succeeds with an honest portrayal that makes her entirely believable.

Fitzgerald also gives a solid performance as Mendel, a man you are neither able to like nor dislike, mainly because Fitzgerald does such a good job of maintaining the integrity of the character. And as Sender, Eccleston does a notable turn, as well, and again the filmmaker's objectivity in presenting the relationship between the brothers adds that ring of truth that makes the contrast between the two convincing.

The supporting cast includes Julianna Margulies (Rachel), Allen Payne (Ramon), Kim Hunter (Rebbitzn), John Randolph (Rebbe Moshe), Kathleen Chalfant (Beggar Woman), Edie Falco (Feiga), Shelton Dane (Yossi) and Jackie Ryan (Young Sonia). Yakin's delicate handling of the sensitive subject matter, as well as the unqualified non-judgmental tone of the film, puts the value of `A Price Above Rubies' at a cut above the usual drama that seeks to deal with the issues of religious ardor. The ending of the film may not resolve the matters at hand to every viewer's satisfaction, but it's honest, and consistent with the rest of the story. What minor flaws the film may contain can be easily overlooked in light of Zellweger's memorable performance, and the fact that it proffers an emotionally complex and involving experience, especially for the discerning viewer. I rate this one 8/10.

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