Yidl mitn fidl
- 1h 32min
Director Green returned to his native Poland from America to produce this film, the most commercially successful musical in the history of the Yiddish cinema, starring Molly Picon, consummate comedienne of Yiddish theater, vaudeville, and film. This is the classic folk comedy about a man and his daughter who, penniless, decide to become traveling musicians. The daughter disguises herself as a boy to relieve her father's anxiety about unforeseeable problems that could befall a young woman "out in the world." They then join together with "another" father-son duo for music, comedy and romance. Green's original screenplay was enhanced by the folksy lyrics of Yiddish poet Itzik Manger and the memorable musical score of Abraham Ellstein, as well as the talents of Leon Leibold, the romantic lead who later starred in The Dybbuk and Tevye, and Max Bozyk, a character actor par excellence. Breaking away from the studio-bound cinematography of the early Yiddish talkies, the film was shot on location in the picturesque town of Kazimierz and nearby Warsaw. With shtetl inhabitants as extras, the film captures the vitality and invincible spirit of traditional small town Jewish life. —Anonymous
On the bum in Poland before the war from one party to another, playing music all the way
Molly Picon in the lead as the girl who joins her father and two other musicians roving the countryside of Poland to play at gatherings, bars, weddings and other occasions, steals the film at first sight from the first scene to the last, with her marvellous acting, her extremely expressive mimicry and her fantastic musical lyricism - as an actress, the one she most reminds of is Giulietta Masina in films like "La strada" and others, but Molly Picon is in addition definitely also a stage primadonna, although rather a picturesque one than a grand one. The music in the film is throughout wonderful and constantly performed with inspiration and true musical joy, and the story is also as charming as any yarns like "Fiddler on the Roof". She plays the violin, her father plays the double bass, and her best friend also plays the violin, he is performing a great solo in the most lyrical episode of the film, while the fourth member plays the clarinet. They enjoy life in poverty in the countryside sleeping in barns and getting frequently into quarrels with local people and between themselves - it's the first major conflict that leads to their forming a quartet. The film is dominatingly hilarious, sparkling of good humour from the first to the last, and after 84 years it has acquired a quality of timelessness in its universal simple humanity in plain enjoyment of the basics of life, glorifying the simplicity of human contentment.
- Oct 21, 2020
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