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Focus (I) (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  2 May 2002 (Australia)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,615 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 55 user | 36 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

In the waning months of World War II, a man and his wife are mistakenly identified as Jews by their anti-Semitic Brooklyn neighbors. Suddenly the victims of religious and racial persecution... See full summary »

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lawrence Newman
...
Gertrude Hart
...
Mr. Finkelstein
...
Fred (as Meat Loaf Aday)
Kay Hawtrey ...
Mrs. Newman
...
Carlson
...
Father Crighton
...
Mr. Gargan
Arlene Meadows ...
Mrs. Dewitt
...
Willy Doyle
Robert McCarrol ...
Meeting Hall Man (as Robert Mccarrol)
Shaun Austin-Olsen ...
Sullivan
...
Mr. Cole Stevens
B.J. McQueen ...
Mel
Conrad Bergschneider ...
Tough's Leader
Edit

Storyline

In the waning months of World War II, a man and his wife are mistakenly identified as Jews by their anti-Semitic Brooklyn neighbors. Suddenly the victims of religious and racial persecution, they find themselves aligned with a local Jewish immigrant in a struggle for dignity and survival. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything Is About To Become Very Clear

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, violence and some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 May 2002 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Foco  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$24,139 (USA) (19 October 2001)

Gross:

$717,820 (USA) (15 March 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Trailers for the film erroneously credit Meat Loaf and 'Michael Lee Aday.' See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Finklestein discovers the antisemitic note taped to his store window, it is attached with 3M "invisible/magic" tape developed in the 1970s. During the 1940s, cellophane tape was transparent, not translucent. See more »

Quotes

Lawrence 'Larry' Newman: Really, Gertrude, I never stop thinking about you. It's like I've been thinking about you for years. That's why you struck me so the first time I saw you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In Loving Memory of Frieda Oline Burkhart See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shanghai Kiss (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

'Taint What You Do (It's the Way That Cha DoIt)
(1939)
Written by Sy Oliver and James Young (as James Oliver Young)
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
Published by Music Sales Corp. / Universal MCA Music Publishing
A Division of Universal Studios, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The message is timeless - baseless hatred is stupid
20 November 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The essential message - one which Miller would have surely intended after seeing Vichy war crimes trials - is that hatred of somebody without rational basis is a waste of life. Meat Loaf's character, Fred, has known Lawrence for many years, and yet when the time comes, at the bidding of his fanatical supporters, he allows them to attack a man who is not part of their "target" group. For me, this is the crucial message - it doesn't matter what Lawrence and his wife do from this point onwards - they are marked, and have chance to save themselves by using reason. Animal aggression and anger have blinded Fred's Union thugs to reality.

A friend of mine suggested I should see "The Wave" to study how irrational hatred and evil ideology can take over people without them realising it. I once conducted an experiment in a role-playing game, and was shocked to see how normal and level-headed people welcomed the creation of an oppressive police state - which would ultimate threaten them all - because it crept in in stages.

Fred is the start, his LA friends and preacher idol are the catalyst which pushes his neighbours over the edge into violence without stopping to think that what they are doing in wrong.

The relationship between Lawrence and Finkelstein, the Jewish shopkeeper is a fascinating one, because Lawrence misses the point almost until the end: if the bigots force Finkelstein out, where is he to go? If his family have fled the Nazis, what an irony to be tormented again in the land of "freedom".

That big poster (it's a fairly famous propaganda piece) about American families enjoying the highest standard of living in the world is a very important detail. When you see this film, watch for the grafitti on the subway train, and all the little posters. The message lurks there too.

This movie should be on the curriculum of every school, especially in our time when baseless hatred is being promoted so widely by "reasonable" people who are just extremists in thin disguises.


12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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