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Hester Street (1975)

It's 1896. Yankel Bogovnik, a Russian Jew, emigrated to the United States three years earlier and has settled where many of his background have, namely on Hester Street on the Lower East ... See full summary »

Writers:

Joan Micklin Silver (screenplay), Abraham Cahan (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Keats Steven Keats ... Jake
Carol Kane ... Gitl
Mel Howard Mel Howard ... Bernstein
Dorrie Kavanaugh Dorrie Kavanaugh ... Mamie
Doris Roberts ... Mrs. Kavarsky
Stephen Strimpell Stephen Strimpell ... Joe Peltner
Lauren Friedman ... Fanny (as Lauren Frost)
Paul Freedman Paul Freedman ... Joey
Martin Garner Martin Garner ... Boss
Leib Lensky Leib Lensky ... Peddler
Zane Lasky Zane Lasky ... Greenhorn
Zvee Scooler Zvee Scooler ... Rabbi
Eda Reiss Merin Eda Reiss Merin ... Rabbi's Wife
Robert Lesser Robert Lesser ... Lawyer
Joanna Merlin ... Jake's Landlady
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Storyline

It's 1896. Yankel Bogovnik, a Russian Jew, emigrated to the United States three years earlier and has settled where many of his background have, namely on Hester Street on the Lower East Side of New York City. He has assimilated to American life, having learned English, anglicized his name to Jake, and shaved off his beard. He is working at a $12/week job as a seamster, the money earned to be able to bring his wife Gitl and his son Yossele to America from Russia. Regardless, he has fallen in love with another woman, a dancer named Mamie Fein. Nonetheless, he is excited when he learns that Gitl and Yossele are indeed coming to America. His happiness at their arrival is dampened when he sees that Gitl is not "American" looking like Mamie and has troubles assimilating as quickly as he would like. Except to Mamie, he tries to show a public façade that everything is fine at home with Gitl. But can their marriage survive these differences, and if not, will Gitl be able to manage in this new... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Goodbye O Lord, I'm Going To America!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

6 August 1976 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A Rua da Esperança See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Midwest Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Joan Micklin Silver wrote the film's screenplay in six weeks. Silver changed the emphasis of the film's source novel "Yekl" from a man's the point-of-view (the husband's POV) to a woman's perspective (the wife's POV). See more »

Goofs

Early scene at table with Gitl, her husband, son and boarder, one can see the mic in the upper right-hand corner. See more »

Quotes

Jake: [on his mistress Mamie] Uh... she used to work in my shop. She's looking for a job, that's all.
Gitl: The way she looked, I thought she was nobility.
Jake: Gitl, stop being a greenhorn. In America, anyone can dress like that!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 48th Annual Academy Awards (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Music for Cornet
(uncredited)
Composed by Herbert L. Clarke
Adapted by William Bolcom
Performed by Gerard Schwarz
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A special viewing
22 December 2005 | by alrodbelSee all my reviews

Around 1975 I saw this movie with my mother and aunt, born in 1902 and 1903 respectively. They watched it as if it were a replay of a life that they had known, having come to this country just about the time of the characters on the screen.

My mother soon descended into the long goodbye of Alzheimers disease. So this is a memory I especially value. My Aunt, kenehora, is still with us.

They discussed it mater of factly, not so much as a work of art, but a documentary. I can think of no greater compliment to all who were involved in creating this very special film.

Al Rodbell


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