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Kazablan (1973)

PG | | Musical | 1973 (Israel)
An embittered gang leader seeks the respect of his neighbors and the love of a young woman.

Director:

Menahem Golan

Writers:

Menahem Golan, Haim Hefer (as Chayim Heffer) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yehoram Gaon ... Kazablan
Efrat Lavie ... Rachel
Arieh Elias ... Moshiko
Etti Grotes ... Maryuma
Yehuda Efroni ... Mr. Feldman
Gita Luka ... Mrs. Feldman
Aliza Azikri ... Singer
Yossi Graber ... Yanush
Misha Asherov ... Josh
Abraham Ronai Abraham Ronai ... Sarevsky
Ya'ackov Ben-Sira ... Mr. Spiegel (as Yaacov Ben-Sira)
Gabi Ohad Gabi Ohad ... Mrs. Spiegel
Chaim Banai ... Mr. Shimon
Geula Yeffet Geula Yeffet ... Mrs. Shimon
Yaacov Timan Yaacov Timan ... Russian Neighbor
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Storyline

An adaptation of a popular Israeli stage musical. Kazablan is an army veteran turned gang leader in the Israeli port of Jaffa who masks his feelings of bitterness with a lot of bravado. He's sweet on Rachel, a young woman who lives with her father and stepmother. The budding relationship scandalizes the neighbors (not to mention Rachel's parents) and infuriates Yanush, a middle-aged shoe store owner who wants Rachel for himself. (Yanush feels he's entitled to marry Rachel since they're both Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern European origins, whereas Kazablan is a Sephardic Jew from Morocco.) The neighborhood has something else to worry about besides the antics of Kazablan and his gang: the city wants to tear down their crumbling homes. The residents pool their resources to save their houses, but the money that's collected is stolen. When he's jailed for the theft, Kazablan must find a way to clear himself. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Take the best of "West Side Story" and "Fiddler on the Roof" - add a modern love story - and you have MGM's great new musical

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Israel

Language:

Hebrew

Release Date:

1973 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Kazablan See more »

Filming Locations:

Jaffa, Israel

Company Credits

Production Co:

Noah Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yehoram Gaon reprises his roll from the original 1966 stage musical. See more »

Alternate Versions

Two versions were filmed: one in Hebrew, the other in English. See more »

Connections

Featured in Videofobia: The Apple (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Yafo
Lyrics by Amos Ettinger
Music by Dov Seltzer
Performed by Aliza Azikri
See more »

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User Reviews

`Kazablan' Revisited
21 October 1998 | by genekimSee all my reviews

When MGM released the English version of this Israeli movie musical in the United States in 1974, I dismissed it back then as an interesting but derivative film that seemed to borrow quite a bit from "West Side Story" and "Fiddler on the Roof." Seeing the Hebrew version of "Kazablan" all these years later (with English subtitles), my opinion of its artistic merits hasn't really changed: the songs are mildly catchy, the choreography uninspired, the plot serviceable. But this time, I found the film's slice of Israeli life much more fascinating. There's a marketplace musical number (shades of "Tradition" from "Fiddler") celebrating the diversity of Israeli Jews. But, as the film makes painfully clear, where there is diversity, there is also bound to be discrimination. (A central conflict of the movie involves differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews.)

Never having been to Israel, I can't say personally whether "Kazablan" accurately depicts Israeli society, past or present. (A friend who used to live there tells me that over the years, what with the growing number of native-born Israelis, the schism between the Ashkenazim and Sephardim isn't as great as it used to be.) But this movie does provide an illuminating inside look for those who think they know what Israel is like solely from watching TV newscasts. It's a pointed reminder that there are many different ways of being Israeli (just as there are many different ways of being American).


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