Yentl (1983) Poster



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  • Yentl Mendel (Barbra Streisand), a young Jewish woman living in a small shtetl (town) in 1904 Poland with her rabbi father (Nehemiah Persoff), wants little more out of life than to cook dinner and darn a man's socks. She wants to study the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) and Talmud (a codification of Jewish Law) and other writings that are forbidden to women. When her Papa dies, Yentl assumes the identity of her late brother Anshel, disguises herself as a boy, applies to a Yeshiva, and is accepted. At the Yeshiva, Yentl/Anshel meets fellow student Avigdor (Mandy Patinkin) and his fiancée Hadass (Amy Irving). Things get complicated when Hadass' parents cancel the wedding and decide that Hadass should marry Anshel instead. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yentl is based on a 1975 play, also titled Yentl, by playwright Leah Napolin and Polish-Jewish author Isaac Bashevis Singer. The play was based on Singer's short story "Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy", published first in Yiddish in 1960 and then in English in a compilation of his short stories titled Short Friday and Other Stories (1983). The screenplay for Yentl was co-written by English playwright Jack Rosenthal and American singer-actress Barbra Steisand, who also starred in, directed, and co-produced the film. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Hadass' father wouldn't let her marry Avigdor because Avigdor's brother committed suicide. He was worried that Avigdor Might possess the same madness. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yentl's age is never mentioned. It is clear by the chatter of the women in the market that Yentl is getting older and, at her age, should be married. However, Yentl has chosen to remain at home with her father and be tutored by him; behind closed shutters, of course. In the DVD commentary, Streisand reveals that she made the character 28 years old in the film, which is ten years older than in the short story. Streisand herself was 40 at the time of filming. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yentl gives Avigdor a statement to take to the rabbis so that they can dissolve the marriage between her and Hadass on grounds that the marriage was never consummated. She also gives him a note for Hadass. Avigdor returns to Bechev. Several months pass, and Yentl gets a letter from Avigdor telling her that something good has come of it, that he and Hadass have apparently reunited. She writes back to tell him that she is going away "to a new place where I hear things are different." The final scene is a protracted scene in which Yentl walks around the deck of the Moskva singing "A Piece of Sky". Edit (Coming Soon)


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