7.8/10
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77 user 56 critic

The Pawnbroker (1964)

Approved | | Drama | 20 April 1965 (USA)
A Jewish pawnbroker, victim of Nazi persecution, loses all faith in his fellow man until he realizes too late the tragedy of his actions.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Morton S. Fine (screenplay) (as Morton Fine), David Friedkin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Steiger ... Sol Nazerman
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Marilyn Birchfield
Brock Peters ... Rodriguez
Jaime Sánchez ... Jesus Ortiz (as Jaime Sanchez)
Thelma Oliver Thelma Oliver ... Ortiz' Girl
Marketa Kimbrell ... Tessie
Baruch Lumet ... Mendel
Juano Hernandez ... Mr. Smith
Linda Geiser ... Ruth Nazerman
Nancy R. Pollock Nancy R. Pollock ... Bertha
Raymond St. Jacques ... Tangee
John McCurry John McCurry ... Buck
Charles Dierkop ... Robinson
Eusebia Cosme ... Mrs. Ortiz
Warren Finnerty ... Savarese
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Storyline

In a poor neighborhood of New York, the bitter and lonely Jewish pawnbroker Sol Nazerman is a survivor from Auschwitz that has no emotions or feelings. Sol lost his dearest family and friends in the war and his faith in God and belief in mankind. Now he only cares for money and is haunted by daydreams, actually flashbacks from the period of the concentration camp. Sol's assistant is the ambitious Latino Jesus Ortiz, who wants to learn with Sol how to run a business of his own. When Sol realizes that the obscure laundry business he has with the powerful gangster Rodriguez comes also from brothels, Sol recalls the fate of his beloved wife in the concentration camp and has a nervous breakdown. His attitude leads Jesus Ortiz to tragedy and Sol finds a way to cry. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Talked About Picture!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | German

Release Date:

20 April 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El prestamista See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$930,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thelma Oliver didn't realize until filming began that her nude scene would be shot with a full intent of being seen (nudity was usually done over the shoulder). She was highly upset about this but agreed to bare her breasts, thereby creating cinema history. See more »

Goofs

Quantity and location of blood on the lip is inconsistent. See more »

Quotes

Marilyn Birchfield: What makes you so bitter?
Sol Nazerman: Bitter?
[chuckles]
Sol Nazerman: No, no, Miss Birchfield, I am not *bitter*. No, that passed me by a million years ago. I'm a man of no anger. I have no desire for vengeance for what was done to me. I have escaped from the emotions. I am safe within myself. All I ask and want is peace and quiet.
Marilyn Birchfield: Why haven't you found them?
Sol Nazerman: Because people like you will not let me. Miss Birchfield, you have made the afternoon very tedious with your constant search for an answer. And one more thing: ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Wanna Be a Loser
(uncredited)
Written by Ben Raleigh and Mark Barkan
Performed by Lesley Gore
See more »

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User Reviews

An Exercise in Hidden Pain
18 July 2000 | by paul sloanSee all my reviews

Rod Steiger has seldom been better than as Sol the Holocaust survivor running a pawnshop in Harlem.Much of the movie is how he tries to keep his emotions hidden despite almost constant memories and flashbacks of the Holocaust. The editing of these flashback scenes is really powerful and lingers in the memory long after the movie has finished. Rod Steiger in this movie comes over as a simmering pot of pain who colud boil over at any minute. You would love to take his pain away yet you wait for him to explode in some kind of rage. The black & white photography gives a grainy realism to the film while Quincy Jones'music is bombastic big band jazz that sounds typical of 1960's films but sounds weird in the setting of this tale. Star rating- 9/10 One point--- Sol says all he wants is peace and quiet. Now he was never going to get that running a moneylending business in the middle of Harlem!


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