6.6/10
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77 user 19 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 »
Reviews

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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

After Heaven's Gate (1980) lost nearly all of its $40 million budget, this movie was almost canceled. Between its starting budget and storyline, studio heads felt it wouldn't sell tickets. See more »

Goofs

When Yentl sings "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" her glasses are laid down in front of her. They have modern temple and ear pieces. In other scenes Yentl's glasses are the old-fashioned, wrap-around-the-ear-style glasses. 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 South Park: Mecha-Streisand (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Papa, Can You Hear Me?
(uncredited)
Music by Michel Legrand
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Barbra Streisand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Blazing a New Professional Trail for Women
21 August 2007 | by BetteDavis08-89See all my reviews

Barbra Streisand has referred to herself as 'an actress who happens to be a singer'. I doubt I am alone in viewing her professional legacy in the reverse: as a great singer who happens to be an actress . . . director, producer, screenplay writer, musical score composer, humanitarian, and lately, concerned with using her production and direction talents to bring out important social issues (like ageism--"The Living Century" is about centurions--people a hundred years old or more).

"Yentl" marks the beginning of a woman blazing a new trail as a director, singer, composer, her hands in the screenplay, and production. She's spoken in a segment on "The Directors," about how various cultures have treated her as a result of her deliberate transcendence of Hollywood's gender-biased boundaries. One of her most interesting points reveals how well she was treated in England by the British filming crew. Since gender-bias against women is not even comparable to gender bias in the US, because England is so far advanced beyond gender discrimination because one is a woman, Streisand remarks how much easier it was for her to accomplish her goals on the set because the British film crew treated her without gender-bias, and with the respect she is certainly due.

"Yentl" royally upset the AFI in the US because Streisand entered into no woman's land when she had a hand in nearly every aspect of the motion picture. "Yentl" has some of the most memorable, touching, humanely familiar music and lyrics, yet it received no Academy Award. The direction was brilliant--no Academy Award. The screenplay was one that was serious, hilarious, religious, spiritual, and even addressed the issues of gender-bias head on--no Academy Award. Streisand's and Amy Irving's acting was stupendous--no Academy Award.

Streisand paved the way and took the non-recognition by the Film Academy without stopping. This musical motional picture pales many that are classics. The story is an extra interesting one, the likes of which have not been reproduced with anything close to as much skill and class.

I'll give this classic about six Academy Awards, including several that go to Streisand alone.


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