6.7/10
2,864
60 user 37 critic

Focus (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 2 May 2002 (Australia)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
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 »

Director:

Neal Slavin

Writers:

Arthur Miller (novel), Kendrew Lascelles (screenplay)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ex-con tries to get back custody of her son with the help of an idealistic young public defender and at the same time falls into a romantic fling with a traumatized former US soldier.

Director: Matthew Newton
Stars: Julianne Nicholson, Zachary Quinto, Jess Weixler
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A successful veternarian & radio show host with low self-esteem asks her model friend to impersonate her when a handsome man wants to see her.

Director: Michael Lehmann
Stars: Uma Thurman, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Chaplin
Fido (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Space radiation turns the dead into Zombies. Zomcon fights zombies and finds ways to pacify and use them. On pre-teen Timmy's (Kesun Loder's) 1950s suburban street, they all have a zombie doing menial chores. Timmy's zombie becomes his pet and friend, and is named Fido (Sir Billy Connolly).

Director: Andrew Currie
Stars: Kesun Loder, Billy Connolly, Carrie-Anne Moss
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The true story of a disillusioned military contractor employee and his drug pusher childhood friend who became walk-in spies for the Soviet Union.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, Pat Hingle
The Cooler (2003)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In an old school Las Vegas casino, its top gambling jinx breaks his curse when he falls in love, much to his boss' consternation.

Director: Wayne Kramer
Stars: William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin
All the Way (TV Movie 2016)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes the President of the United States in the chaotic aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination and spends his first year in office fighting to pass the Civil Rights Act.

Director: Jay Roach
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Anthony Mackie, Melissa Leo
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A journalist goes undercover to ferret out businessman Harrison Hill as her childhood friend's killer. Posing as one of his temps, she enters into a game of online cat-and-mouse.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi
Within These Walls (TV Movie 2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Imprisoned after a drug arrest and bitter from a life marred by tragedy, Joan Thomas wants nothing to do with the world around her. But when a nun with a tragic past invites Joan to ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Robe
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Laura Dern, LaTanya Richardson Jackson
Novocaine (2001)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A dentist finds himself a murder suspect after a sexy patient seduces him & steals all of the drugs from his practice.

Director: David Atkins
Stars: Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, Chelcie Ross
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When King George III (Sir Nigel Hawthorne) goes mad, his Lieutenants try to adjust the rules to run the country without his participation.

Director: Nicholas Hytner
Stars: Nigel Hawthorne, Helen Mirren, Rupert Graves
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An indiscretion between two close friends tears down their respective marriages.

Director: John Curran
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Krause
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William H. Macy ... Lawrence Newman
Laura Dern ... Gertrude Hart
David Paymer ... Mr. Finkelstein
Meat Loaf ... Fred (as Meat Loaf Aday)
Kay Hawtrey ... Mrs. Newman
Michael Copeman ... Carlson
Kenneth Welsh ... Father Crighton
Joseph Ziegler ... Mr. Gargan
Arlene Meadows Arlene Meadows ... Mrs. Dewitt
Peter Oldring ... Willy Doyle
Robert McCarrol Robert McCarrol ... Meeting Hall Man (as Robert Mccarrol)
Shaun Austin-Olsen Shaun Austin-Olsen ... Sullivan
Kevin Jubinville ... Mr. Cole Stevens
B.J. McQueen 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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 May 2002 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Foco See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,139, 21 October 2001

Gross USA:

$645,418

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$645,418
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Neal Slavin claimed to have wanted to make this film since college. 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

Finkelstein: They are a gang of devils and they want this country!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the residents of Campbell Avenue & Wallace Avenue, Toronto, Ontario. See more »

Connections

Version of Theatre 625: Focus (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Never Smile Again
(1939)
Written by Ruth Lowe
Performed by Glenn Miller
Published by Universal-MCA Music Publishing
A Division of Universal Studios, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of the RCA Music Corporation, a Division of BMG Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

American Anti-Semitism Confronted in "Focus"
19 November 2001 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

In 1947, two films, "Crossfire" and "Gentlemen's Agreement," opened a queasy Hollywood's examination of anti-Semitism in our society. "Gentlemen's Agreement" dealt with religious bigotry at the level of high, or at least upper middle-class, America while "Crossfire" exposed the brutal violence that always accompanies irrational hatred and bias. Both films made, and continue to make, an impression.

Overall, Hollywood has left anti-Semitism in the U.S. pretty much alone. That many Jews have found success at both ends of the movie camera is well-known. That some of those Jews, many with Anglicized names, particularly feared the sting of the anti-communist fervor of the HUAC and Mc Carthy era, is a still disturbing and lasting legacy of a difficult time in our history. The controversy several years ago about the special Oscar for Elia Kazan brought the issue to the attention of millions ignorant of the heyday of Hollywood's involvement with the anti-communist campaign. Kazan, incidentally, directed "Gentlemen's Agreement."

"Focus," which is showing in remarkably few theaters (only two in Manhattan and I wouldn't bet on a long run) both exaggerates and encapsulates a strain of anti-Semitism in New York City during the Second World War that, even today, few who recall it say much about its pervasiveness.

The War Department was discomfited to learn through surveys that a surprising minority of servicemen thought the war was being fought for Jewish interests or that actually it had been caused by Jews. These beliefs, possibly spawned by the virulent rhetoric of Father Coughlin, the near treasonous utterances of Charles Lindbergh and the organized pro-Nazi rallies of the Bund (the U.S. arm of the Nazi Party), were more widespread than most accounts of the war recognize let alone explore.

"Focus" takes place in a Brooklyn neighborhood of seeming homogeneity marred only by the presence of Finkelstein, the candy store proprietor on the corner. To insure that the audience understands the depth of the community's fear of Jews, quick shots of his unmistakably "frum" (Orthodox) relatives from the Lower East Side are presented several times.

The cohort of organized thugs who harass both the nerdy-with-glasses-mistaken-as-a-Jew guy, William H. Macy, and his glamorous-in-a-forties-way, also mistaken as Jewish, bride, Laura Dern, didn't exist in New York City. Anti-semitic assaults occurred but they were sporadic and involved local youths, not followers of a priest who in the film is the spitting image of Father Coughlin back from hell.

What is so chilling is that the married couple's abhorrence of the growing and organized anti-Semitic harassment is not matched by any introspection as to the baseness of their own feelings about Jews. Both Mr. Macy and Ms. Dern are extraordinary as actors in a small, local drama that recasts their lives without, perhaps, causing them to reshape their own bigoted views. Or do they change?

This is a moving drama that invites exploration of part of the reality of World War II on the Home Front not covered in the continuing outpouring of Greatest Generation memoirs. When available for rental or purchase it should secure the much wider audience it deserves.


16 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 60 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed