6.9/10
415
10 user 10 critic

Lies My Father Told Me (1975)

A Jewish boy grows up in 1920s Montreal with a grandfather who tells stories and a father who won't work.

Director:

Ján Kadár

Writers:

Ted Allan (story), Ted Allan (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yossi Yadin ... Zaida
Len Birman Len Birman ... Harry Herman
Marilyn Lightstone ... Annie Herman
Jeff Lynas ... David Herman (as Jeffrey Lynas)
Ted Allan Ted Allan ... Mr. Baumgarten
Henry Gamer Henry Gamer ... Uncle Benny
Barbara Chilcott Barbara Chilcott ... Mrs. Tannenbaum
Carol Lazare Carol Lazare ... Edna
Mignon Elkins Mignon Elkins ... Mr. Bondy
Cleo Paskal Cleo Paskal ... Cleo
Rolland Bédard
Raymond Benoît Raymond Benoît
Bertrand Gagnon
Guy L'Ecuyer
E.M. Margolese E.M. Margolese
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Storyline

It's the 1920's. The Hermans - Harry Herman, his wife Annie Herman née Elias, their adolescent son David Herman, and Annie's father - are a Jewish family living in a small flat in the working class Jewish neighborhood of Montréal. David loves his "Zaida" (grandfather) with who he spends most Sundays driving around in their horse drawn wagon collecting junk - namely "rags, clothes, bottles" - to earn money. David also loves hearing his Zaida's stories about their Jewish culture, although most of those stories are made up and not based based on religious Jewish beliefs. Those stories are only one bone of contention between religious Zaida and secular Harry, as modern thinking Harry feels the stories are old fashioned hogwash and provide David with no grounding in what is real in life. Another issue of contention is money, as Harry is always dreaming of get rich schemes - the latest being to manufacture permanently creased and thus iron-less trousers - for which Zaida will not provide ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No one ever said it was easy being a child. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English | French | Hebrew

Release Date:

26 September 1975 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Ahogy én láttam See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Zero Mostel was originally scheduled to appear in this movie. See more »

Quotes

ZaidaDavid Herman: [in a sing-song voice] Rags! Clothes! Bottles!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Schindler's List (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Rags, Clothes, Bottles
Music and Lyrics by Sol Kaplan
Sung by Kenny Karen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting concept; problems "lie" in the execution
25 February 2018 | by gizmomogwaiSee all my reviews

It's easy to see why people say they hate Canadian movies when you see a film like Lies My Father Told Me. This goes back to the infancy of Canadian cinema, and there's been a huge improvement in Canadian film over the last two decades. It's actually not a bad film; the problem is, Lies My Father Told Me is not for every taste. No Indiana Jones, the family drama about Montreal Jews with turn away most of the audience. And, the audience that stays will notice the flaws and end up divided too.

Lies My Father Told Me starts off promisingly; it looks like an interesting coming-of-age story, though by the end when we realize the climactic battle is over moving a stable, the feeling of dullness sets in. Even before then, the performances are sorely lacking, particularly in the boy who can only shout out excitedly, the father who can't rage right, and the young prostitute ("Kiss my Royal Canadian ***!") The grandfather's song about the Messiah coming is excruciating and feels out of place (By this point of time, we weren't excepting a musical, and the end credit song is nails on a chalkboard as well). For the Montreal Jew story in 1970s cinema, it's no wonder critics preferred The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.


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