7.0/10
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21 user 22 critic

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 »

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(screenplay), (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 ... Jake
... Gitl
Mel Howard ... Bernstein
Dorrie Kavanaugh ... Mamie
... Mrs. Kavarsky
Stephen Strimpell ... Joe Peltner
... Fanny (as Lauren Frost)
Paul Freedman ... Joey
Martin Garner ... Boss
Leib Lensky ... Peddler
Zane Lasky ... Greenhorn
Zvee Scooler ... Rabbi
Eda Reiss Merin ... Rabbi's Wife
Robert Lesser ... Lawyer
... 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:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 August 1976 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A Rua da Esperança  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the success of this film, and even with both a Writers' Guild Best Screenplay nomination for writer-director Joan Micklin Silver and an Academy Award Best Actress Oscar nomination for Carol Kane, the major Hollywood studios still refused to back the director's subsequent film project. 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

Gitl: You and your Polish whore can jump out of your skins!
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Connections

Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Music for Cornet
(uncredited)
Composed by Herbert L. Clarke
Adapted by William Bolcom
Performed by Gerard Schwarz
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User Reviews

 
A triumph for Carol Kane
30 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

Carol Kane never really found her niche in the movies--only when she switched to sitcoms did her googly-eyed craziness really come off. But in 1975, before we'd gotten used to her comic bravado, she turned in a lovely, Oscar-nominated portrayal of an immigrant Russian Jew in New York that still stuns, even today. Quiet emotions permeate this careful, low-budget, somewhat slight film set on New York's East Side in 1896. Writer-director Joan Micklin Silver has a genuinely sly eye for detail that results in some amusing moments, but for the most part it's a human drama in a thoughtful key which builds momentum as it goes along. **1/2 from ****


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