6.7/10
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80 user 23 critic

Yentl (1983)

A Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy to enter religious training.

Director:

Barbra Streisand

Writers:

Jack Rosenthal (screenplay), Barbra Streisand (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbra Streisand ... Yentl
Mandy Patinkin ... Avigdor
Amy Irving ... Hadass
Nehemiah Persoff ... Reb Mendel 'Papa'
Steven Hill ... Reb Alter Vishkower
Allan Corduner ... Shimmele
Ruth Goring Ruth Goring ... Esther Rachel
David de Keyser David de Keyser ... Rabbi Zalman (as David De Keyser)
Bernard Spear Bernard Spear ... Tailor
Doreen Mantle ... Mrs. Shaemen
Lynda Baron Lynda Baron ... Peshe (as Lynda Barron)
Jack Lynn Jack Lynn ... Bookseller
Anna Tzelniker Anna Tzelniker ... Mrs. Kovner
Miriam Margolyes ... Sarah
Mary Henry Mary Henry ... Mrs. Jacobs
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Storyline

Eastern Europe, 1904. A Jewish woman, Yentl, has a thirst for knowledge but is prohibited from learning due to the restrictions of her religion. When her father dies, she sets off to increase her knowledge, posing as a man in order to gain admission to a Jewish religious school. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a time when the world of study belonged only to men, there lived a girl who dared to ask why? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

6 January 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Йентл See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$341,768, 20 November 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$40,218,899
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | 4-Track Stereo (Dolby Magnetic 35mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Features Amy Irving's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Goofs

Anshel's suit coat is buttoned as if it were a woman's coat. It's not a flipped shot; Avigdor is wearing a man's coat in the same frame. See more »

Quotes

Bookseller: You're in the wrong place, storybooks for women are over here.
Yentl: [holding a book] I'd like this one, please.
Bookseller: [takes the book away] Sacred books are for men.
Yentl: Why?
Bookseller: It's the law.
Yentl: Where's it written?
Bookseller: It doesn't matter where it's written, it's the law.
Yentl: Well if it's the law it must be written somewhere, perhaps in here
[the book]
Yentl: . I'll take it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the closing credits: This film is dedicated to my father... and to all our fathers. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

No Matter What Happens
(uncredited)
Music by Michel Legrand
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Barbra Streisand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Leave Babs alone
11 March 2003 | by clydefroggSee all my reviews

When watching Yentl, there is one criticism that you have to throw to throw out immediately, or you will not make it. And this criticism applies to any film ever made about a man or a woman who tries to pretend he/she is of the other gender. Barbara Streisand/Yentl is a woman, not a man. She does not look like a man, no matter how hard she tries (and she didn't try very hard in this film). And those who make consistent close contact with he/she should be horse whipped for not knowing the difference. But I gradually just ignored that fact as the movie got better and better.

No one can deny that this is yet another vanity project for Babs. Or that the music in Yentl pretty much all sounds the same. Or that Babs has no problem showing overly gratuitous male nudity, but won't even give us a glimpse herself. But Yentl is a very deep character and film, which are always hard to come by. Not just of one character, but of three, which is really hard to come by. Babs herself is servicable as an actress, but it is Amy Irving and Mandy Pitakin who really shine in this film. Both really laid it all on the line. It shows, and they make this film.

As a writer, director and producer, Babs tries to make her mark (as she does in all her films), but who doesn't? She makes her mark with reliable "different" techniques in dialogue and direction, but doesn't try to throw it in our face. She's serviceable as producer, director, and actress. Of course, you're crazy if you try to deny the woman her musical talent. All the songs in Yentl SOUND the same, but they are not written the same. All the songs fit well within the framework, and tell us what Yentl is feeling at the time. Exactly what they were meant to. Perhaps the film shouldn't have ended in a song.

Not that affirmative action has any place in Hollywood, but Babs has really gotten the shaft over the years. With Penny Marshall, she's arguably the most accomplished female director in Hollywood HISTORY and has nothing to show for it. I'm not saying that everything she's ever done is even worthy of attention, but surely this was. I have a feeling that if Yentl had been directed by a man, it would have had a picture and director nomination, especially in a year where The GOD AWFUL Big Chill was so recognized.

Yentl is a film that tells a story of a turn of the century Jewish girl who wants to study like the boys do. It's a somewhat interesting story, but the real meat of the story is what happens as a result of Yentl's decisions and the performances of Pitakin and Amy Irving.


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