Maven's Jewish & Israeli Jewels

by Mav Ven | created - 19 Jan 2013 | updated - 20 Jun 2017 | Public

The Best Popular movies with Jewish and/or Israeli Themes. Recommended for both English Speaking Jews & non-Jews interested in the Traditions, History, Comedy, Arts and Culture of the Jewish People. Also see:

Maven's Jewish & Israeli Documentaries, Maven's Jewish Essentials, Animated Jewish & Bible Stories and Select Jewish-Israeli non-English Movies

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1. The Ten Commandments (1956)

G | 220 min | Adventure, Drama

The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson

Votes: 55,258 | Gross: $93.74M

2. The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

Approved | 180 min | Biography, Drama, Family

During World War II, a teenage Jewish girl named Anne Frank and her family are forced into hiding in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Millie Perkins, Shelley Winters, Joseph Schildkraut, Richard Beymer

Votes: 10,645 | Gross: $5.01M

3. Exodus (1960)

Approved | 208 min | Action, Drama, History

The state of Israel is created in 1948, resulting in war with its Arab neighbors.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Ralph Richardson, Peter Lawford

Votes: 7,872 | Gross: $18.97M

4. Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)

Approved | 146 min | Adventure, Drama, History

In 1947, following the U.N. decision to split British Palestine into separate Jewish and Palestinian states, a former U.S. Army officer is recruited by the Jews to reorganize the Haganah.

Director: Melville Shavelson | Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Senta Berger

Votes: 2,422

5. Raid on Entebbe (1976 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 145 min | Action, Drama, History

True story of a daring Israeli commando assault on the Entebbe Airport in Uganda to free hostages of a terrorist hijacking.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Peter Finch, Charles Bronson, Yaphet Kotto, Martin Balsam

Votes: 2,583

6. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,029,721 | Gross: $96.07M

7. The Devil's Arithmetic (1999 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

A 16-year-old American girl with an apathetic view towards her Jewish family history finds herself pulled through time into 1941 to a small Polish village where the Nazi have just began their genocidal propaganda.

Director: Donna Deitch | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy, Paul Freeman, Mimi Rogers

Votes: 3,362

8. Sword of Gideon (1986 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 173 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Chronicles a Mossad team hand picked to hunt down the terrorists involved in the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre of Israeli athletes.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Steven Bauer, Michael York, Robert Joy, Laurent Malet

Votes: 1,032

9. A Stranger Among Us (1992)

PG-13 | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Detective Emily Eden is a tough New York City cop forced to go undercover to solve a puzzling murder. Her search for the truth takes her into a secret world of unwritten law and unspoken ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Melanie Griffith, Eric Thal, John Pankow, Tracy Pollan

Votes: 3,115 | Gross: $12.28M

10. A Woman Called Golda (1982 TV Movie)

191 min | Biography, Drama, History

The story of the Russian-born, Wisconsin-raised woman who rose to become Israel's prime minister in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Director: Alan Gibson | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Ned Beatty, Franklin Cover, Judy Davis

Votes: 675

11. Arranged (2007)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

ARRANGED centers on the friendship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman who meet as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of the year they learn... See full summary »

Directors: Diane Crespo, Stefan C. Schaefer | Stars: Zoe Lister-Jones, Francis Benhamou, Mimi Lieber, John Rothman

Votes: 2,577 | Gross: $0.02M

12. Avalon (1990)

PG | 128 min | Drama

A Polish-Jewish family comes to the USA at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. There, the family and their children try to make themselves a better future in the so-called promised land.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth Perkins, Leo Fuchs, Eve Gordon

Votes: 5,209 | Gross: $15.74M

13. Crossfire (1947)

Unrated | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of demobilized soldiers he met in a bar. But which one? And why?

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame

Votes: 6,392 | Gross: $1.30M

14. Every Time We Say Goodbye (1986)

PG-13 | 98 min | Drama, Romance, War

A Protestant World War II pilot and a Jewish girl fall in love in Jerusalem, even though their diverse backgrounds threaten to pull them apart.

Director: Moshé Mizrahi | Stars: Tom Hanks, Cristina Marsillach, Benedict Taylor, Anat Atzmon

Votes: 1,957 | Gross: $0.28M

15. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

G | 181 min | Drama, Family, Musical

In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon

Votes: 33,742 | Gross: $80.50M

16. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Romance

A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Celeste Holm

Votes: 12,770

17. Holocaust (1978– )

475 min | Drama, History, Romance

The saga of a Jewish family's struggle to survive the horror of Nazi Germany's systematic marginalization and extermination of their community.

Stars: Joseph Bottoms, Tovah Feldshuh, Rosemary Harris, Tony Haygarth

Votes: 3,872

18. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1999 Video)

76 min | Musical

A humourously musical retelling of the Biblical story of Joseph.

Director: David Mallet | Stars: Donny Osmond, Maria Friedman, Richard Attenborough, Joan Collins

Votes: 3,080

19. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

59 Metascore

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 520,474 | Gross: $57.60M

20. Miracle at Moreaux (1985 TV Movie)

58 min | Drama, History

A French Catholic boarding school allows three Jewish children to take refuge at Christmas during the Nazi occupation.

Director: Paul Shapiro | Stars: Loretta Swit, Robert Joy, Ken Pogue, Robert Kosoy

Votes: 91

21. Biloxi Blues (1988)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama

A group of young recruits go through boot camp during the Second World War in Biloxi, Mississippi. From the play by Neil Simon.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Matt Mulhern, Corey Parker

Votes: 12,984 | Gross: $43.18M

22. Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy

Eugene, a young teenage Jewish boy, recalls his memoirs of his time as an adolescent youth. He lives with his parents, his aunt, two cousins, and his brother, Stanley, whom he looks up to ... See full summary »

Director: Gene Saks | Stars: Blythe Danner, Jonathan Silverman, Stacey Glick, Lisa Waltz

Votes: 2,825 | Gross: $11.96M

23. Lost in Yonkers (1993)

PG | 114 min | Comedy, Drama

In the summer of 1942, two young boys are sent to stay with their stern grandmother and their childlike aunt in Yonkers, New York.

Director: Martha Coolidge | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Mercedes Ruehl, Irene Worth, Brad Stoll

Votes: 2,303 | Gross: $9.29M

24. The Goodbye Girl (1977)

PG | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

After being dumped by her live-in boyfriend, an unemployed dancer and her 10-year-old daughter are reluctantly forced to live with a struggling off-Broadway actor.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, Paul Benedict

Votes: 10,826 | Gross: $102.00M

25. QB VII (1974– )

390 min | Drama, Mystery

A physician sues a novelist for publishing statements implicating the doctor in Nazi war crimes.

Stars: Ben Gazzara, Anthony Hopkins, Leslie Caron, Dan O'Herlihy

Votes: 546

26. School Ties (1992)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama

65 Metascore

Set in the 1950s, a star-quarterback is given an opportunity to attend an elite preparatory school but must conceal the fact that he is Jewish.

Director: Robert Mandel | Stars: Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell, Randall Batinkoff

Votes: 20,039 | Gross: $14.72M

27. The Chosen (1981)

PG | 108 min | Drama

In 1944, in Brooklyn, two Jewish kids become friends. One is from a very conservative family, and the other is more liberal. The issues of importance of tradition, parental expectations and the formation of Israel cause constant friction.

Director: Jeremy Kagan | Stars: Maximilian Schell, Rod Steiger, Robby Benson, Barry Miller

Votes: 1,634

28. Screen Two (1985–2002)
Episode: The Impossible Spy (1987)

96 min | Drama

Young Israeli husband Eli Cohen is recruited by the Mossad in the early 1960's and sent to Syria. Telling his wife he has a new job that requires extensive business travel, he takes up ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Goddard | Stars: John Shea, Eli Wallach, Sasson Gabai, Michal Bat-Adam

Votes: 206

29. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 605,197 | Gross: $32.57M

30. The Mad Adventures of 'Rabbi' Jacob (1973)

G | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

A bigoted Frenchman finds himself forced to impersonate a popular rabbi while on the run from a group of assassins - and the police.

Director: Gérard Oury | Stars: Louis de Funès, Miou-Miou, Suzy Delair, Marcel Dalio

Votes: 10,275

31. Man of God (2005)

99 min | Drama

A middle-aged Rabbi (Peter Weller) has his faith shaken by a series of events that includes an affair, being stalked by a hate group, and a parishioners crisis of faith followed by his death.

Director: Jefery Levy | Stars: Graham Beckel, Jason Behr, James C. Burns, Steffanie Busey

Votes: 66

32. The Frisco Kid (1979)

PG | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Western

38 Metascore

A Polish rabbi wanders through the Old West on his way to lead a synagogue in San Francisco. On the way he is nearly burnt at the stake by Indians and almost killed by outlaws.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Gene Wilder, Harrison Ford, Ramon Bieri, Val Bisoglio

Votes: 7,658 | Gross: $9.35M

33. Uprising (2001 TV Movie)

Unrated | 177 min | Drama, War

Jews rise up in the Warsaw Ghetto against the Nazis in 1943.

Director: Jon Avnet | Stars: Leelee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Jon Voight

Votes: 4,260

34. Defiance (I) (2008)

R | 137 min | Action, Drama, History

58 Metascore

Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos

Votes: 127,334 | Gross: $28.64M

35. Joseph (1995– )

185 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

The Biblical story of Joseph, who was sold to slavery by his brothers who were jealous of his prophetic abilities to analyze dreams and of his being their fathers' favorite.

Stars: Ben Kingsley, Paul Mercurio, Martin Landau, Lesley Ann Warren

Votes: 1,938

36. Moses (1995– )

180 min | Adventure, Biography, Crime

A retelling of the bible story. Pharaoh Ramses decrees the death of all Hebrew children, but Moses, placed in a basket in the Nile by his mother, is taken by a royal princess and raised as ... See full summary »

Stars: Ben Kingsley, Frank Langella, Christopher Lee, Anna Galiena

Votes: 1,157

37. The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966)

Unrated | 174 min | Drama

Extravagant production of the first part of the book of Genesis. Covers Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood and Abraham and Isaac.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Michael Parks, Ulla Bergryd, Richard Harris, John Huston

Votes: 4,076 | Gross: $34.90M

38. Abraham (1993– )

175 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

The Old Testament story of Abraham and the trials he endures. Commanded by God to lead his family to the promised land of Canaan with the promise that if he does so, his descendants will ... See full summary »

Stars: Andrea Prodan, Gottfried John, Kevin McNally, Simona Ferraro

Votes: 1,149

39. The Hebrew Hammer (2003)

R | 85 min | Comedy

41 Metascore

An orthodox Jewish blaxploitation hero saves Hanukkah from the clutches of Santa Claus' evil son.

Director: Jonathan Kesselman | Stars: Adam Goldberg, Andy Dick, Judy Greer, Mario Van Peebles

Votes: 4,407 | Gross: $0.02M

40. Shalom Sesame (2010– )

Family

A series for preschoolers featuring the globe-trotting Muppet Grover, will explore Jewish identity and traditions and will film on location at several Israeli sites, including the Western Wall.

Stars: Anneliese van der Pol, Ayala Ingedashet, Shahar Sorek, Shosha Goren

Votes: 36

Multiple-episodes in this TV-Series

41. Jakob the Liar (1999)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, War

40 Metascore

In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out near curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Kassovitz | Stars: Robin Williams, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Éva Igó, István Bálint

Votes: 13,850 | Gross: $4.96M

42. Shining Through (1992)

R | 132 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

An American woman of Irish, Jewish-German parentage goes undercover in Nazi Germany.

Director: David Seltzer | Stars: Michael Douglas, Melanie Griffith, Liam Neeson, Joely Richardson

Votes: 8,285 | Gross: $21.73M

43. You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy

54 Metascore

An Israeli Special Forces Soldier fakes his death so he can re-emerge in New York City as a hair stylist.

Director: Dennis Dugan | Stars: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson

Votes: 172,456 | Gross: $100.02M

44. The Wave (1981 TV Short)

TV-G | 44 min | Short, Biography, Drama

An experiment in an American High School where students learn how easy it is to be seduced by the same social forces which led to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Based on a true story.

Director: Alexander Grasshoff | Stars: Bruce Davison, Lori Lethin, John Putch, Johnny Doran

Votes: 2,711

45. Resistance (2003)

R | 92 min | Drama

On 16 January 1944, a reconnaissance pilot survives a plane crash in Delahaut in the Nazi occupied Belgium. The boy Jean Benoit finds the wounded pilot and brings him to the house of Claire... See full summary »

Director: Todd Komarnicki | Stars: Bill Paxton, Julia Ormond, Philippe Volter, Sandrine Bonnaire

Votes: 552

46. One Night with the King (2006)

PG | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History

38 Metascore

In Biblical times, a girl disguises her Jewish origins when the Persian king comes looking for a new bride among his subjects.

Director: Michael O. Sajbel | Stars: Tiffany Dupont, Luke Goss, John Noble, Omar Sharif

Votes: 6,287 | Gross: $13.40M

47. The Odessa File (1974)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Thriller

Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former S.S. Captain, who commanded a concentration camp during World War II.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Jon Voight, Maximilian Schell, Maria Schell, Mary Tamm

Votes: 8,671

48. Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story (1989 TV Movie)

160 min | Biography, Drama, War

A biographical portrayal of Simon Wiesenthal, famous Nazi Hunter. From his imprisonment in a Nazi Concentration Camp, the film follows his liberation and his rise to become one of the ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Gibson | Stars: Ben Kingsley, Renée Soutendijk, Craig T. Nelson, Anton Lesser

Votes: 263

49. Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama

58 Metascore

A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.

Director: Liev Schreiber | Stars: Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Lyoskin, Jonathan Safran Foer

Votes: 54,060 | Gross: