1 user

Overture to Glory (1940)

A jewish cantor is seduced by the allure of opera when introduced to it by two attractive young Poles.


Max Nosseck


Mark Arnshtein (play), Ossip Dymow | 2 more credits »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Cast overview, first billed only:
Moyshe Oysher Moyshe Oysher ... Yoel Duvid Strashunsky
Florence Weiss Florence Weiss ... Chana Strashunsky, his wife
Maurice Krohner Maurice Krohner ... Aaron, his father-in-law
John Mylong ... Stanislaw Maniusko
Helen Beverley Helen Beverley ... Wanda Mirova (as Helen Beverly)
Baby Winkler Baby Winkler ... Peretz Strashunsky
Benjamin Fishbein Benjamin Fishbein ... Nute, the stadtl shamez [sexton]
Lazar Freed Lazar Freed ... The Stadtl Rabbi
Erika Zaranoya ... Jadwiga Godliewska, blond diva
Ivan Busatt Ivan Busatt ... Director of the Opera
Leonard Elliott Leonard Elliott ... Tilchinski, orchestra conductor
Max Willenz Max Willenz ... The Warsaw Shamez [sexton]
Hermann Blaß ... The Costume Supervisor (as Herman Blass)
Omus Hirschbein Omus Hirschbein ... Peretz's Pal
Werner Bass Werner Bass ... The Pianist


The cantor of the Vilna Synagogue, played by the great real-life cantor Moishe Oysher, leaves behind his prayers to perform in the Warsaw Opera. He struggles to balance the appeal of his newfound fame and notoriety with feelings of guilt and responsibility toward his family and community. Featuring perhaps the most convincing scenes of synagogue life in any fiction film, Overture to Glory begins during the morning service on Rosh Hashanah and ends at Kol Nidre, making the story a kind of redemptive journey during the days of awe. Written by National Center for Jewish Film

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

11 February 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Vilna Town Cantor See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Elite Productions Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in Almonds and Raisins (1984) See more »


Music by Stanislaw Moniuszko
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Small Budget, Fine film
21 January 2007 | by bensonjSee all my reviews

What is most immediately apparent is that, though this was a shoestring production filmed in Astoria, the result is, in every way, an "A" film. It is rich pictorially, with a sense of full sets and backgrounds, and the lighting is particularly detailed and sensitive. The opening is a tour de force, a FIFTEEN MINUTE synagogue service highlighting the extraordinary voice of Oysher. The movements of the camera and Oysher are superbly choreographed, and the whole sequence is powerful, spellbinding. Oysher shows such dynamic presence in this sequence, that afterward, when we become aware of the humility and simplicity of his character, the contrast is startling. Of course, this contrast is intentional, and shows Oysher to be a good actor as well as an extraordinary singer. The story is so obviously the opposite of THE JAZZ SINGER that references to this film invariably comment on it. The Gentiles who lead the cantor away from the synagogue to sing secular music are not villains, but their worldliness and sophistication is very artfully presented. All three of the films that Oysher starred in are worth seeing, but the other two are somewhat more of a patchwork, their threadbare budgets more evident.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed