15 user 3 critic

The Chosen (1981)

PG | | Drama | 30 April 1982 (USA)
In 1944, in Brooklyn, two Jewish kids become friends. One is from a very conservative family, and the other is more liberal. The issues of importance of tradition, parental expectations and the formation of Israel cause constant friction.


(as Jeremy Paul Kagan)


(novel), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

5 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Professor David Malter
... Reb Saunders
... Danny Saunders
... Reuven Malter
Hildy Brooks ... Mrs. Saunders
Kaethe Fine ... Shaindel Saunders
... Baseball Coach
... Levi Saunders (as Robert Burke)
... Davey
... Sidney Goldberg
Douglas Warhit ... Sam
... Schwartzi (as Jeff Marcus)
... 1st Baseman
Richard Lifschutz ... Hassidic Coach
Clement Fowler ... Doctor


Brooklyn 1944. Despite being the same age, having grown up within blocks of each other, and both being Jewish, late teens Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter don't really know each other - knowing each other only by name and by sight - as Orthodox Danny stays largely within his own Hasidic community, which is just fine in Reuven's mind. An incident between the two which on the surface threatens to tear them even further apart instead blossoms into a friendship between the two. They begin to learn more and more about the other and their lives, which for Danny includes becoming a rabbi, solely as it is a several generations old family calling. In Reb Saunders' mind, he who rules his family by strict Hasidic traditions, Danny becoming the next rabbi in the family is not even a question, despite Danny, deep in his heart, wanting other secular pursuits which he has not told his father. Conversely, Reuven has modern sensibilities, being raised in a two-person household by his widowed academic ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

30 April 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Os Escolhidos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Maximilien Schell and Rod Steiger apparently swapped roles just before production begun. See more »


In the scene where Danny and Reuven tangle with the three street bullies, a modern (i.e., not 1940's) commercial bus passes in the cross street in the background. See more »


Reuven Malter: I thought you weren't allowed to talk to me?
Danny Saunders: The ban has been lifted.
See more »


References The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) See more »


Invention No. 4 in D-, BWV 775
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Barry Miller
Reuven practices playing the piece on the piano
See more »

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User Reviews

educational yet entertaining
16 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

I watched this film recently in class (intro to Western Religion) when we were learning about the ethics in Judaism. I was late for class, so I missed the beginning. However, the parts I managed to see were excellent. "The Chosen" might be the most entertaining film I've ever been forced to watch.

I felt that the story was engrossing; I actually cared about the characters and their friendship. I also thought that the acting was superb. However, I kept being distracted by the fact that Robby Benson looked like Hayden Christensen. For a film used as an educational tool, I could not have asked for much better. This is a very well made and interesting movie. It will teach you a lot.

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