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Enemies: A Love Story (1989)

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A ghostwriter finds himself romantically involved with his current wife, a married woman and his long-vanished wife.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Yadwiga (as Margaret Sophie Stein)
...
Rabbi Lembeck
...
Masha's Mother
Rita Karin ...
Mrs. Schreier
...
...
Yasha Kobik
...
Leon Tortshiner
L.J. Dollinger ...
Reb Nissen Yaroslaver
Zypora Spaisman ...
Sheva Haddas
Arthur Grosser ...
Doctor
Burney Lieberman ...
Yom Kippur Cantor
Nathaniel Katzman ...
Wedding Cantor
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Storyline

Set in 1949 New York, a Holocaust survivor who makes a living as a ghostwriter for a Jewish rabbi, finds himself involved with three women - his current wife, a passionate affair with a married woman, and his long-vanished wife whom he thought was killed during the war and suddenly reappears. The film concentrates on the views of the Jewish survivors, who no longer abide by religious morales and question a God who could let the Holocaust occur. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

13 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enemigos - Una historia de amor  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,754,571
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features Lena Olin's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Quotes

Masha: Herman! This is the last time I'm going to talk to you, and I'm going to tell you you're the worst fraud I've known in my life! If you hear that I'm dead, don't come to my funeral.
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Soundtracks

Mona Lisa
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Performed by Leo Parker
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User Reviews

 
40% Comedy + 60% Drama = 100% Great
18 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

When comedian Alan King passed away last year, I thought of his sweet performance in this should-be classic. One would not expect comedy to come from a story about Holocaust survivors, but this film takes the quirks of human behavior in the wake of tragedy and puts them on display, warts and all. I haven't read Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer's novel, but I can't imagine him not being pleased with Paul Mazursky's winning adaptation. Poor Ron Silver though, he finally gets a lead role, and almost every scene of his is stolen by one of his three outstanding female co-stars.

Lena Olin has the showiest part as a fiery concentration camp survivor. Full of passion, bitterness, and paranoia all at the same time, she puts sex back into an era normally depicted as colorless and empty. I don't want to say too much about Anjelica Huston's role for fear of spoiling the intrigue each revelation about her character brings. She pulls off several humorous moments as well. But the real revelation is Margaret Sophie Stein. As Silver's wife whom he married out of gratitude, she is not as naive as she seems, and her performance anchors the film.

This movie snuck in under the wire at the tail end of the 'eighties, and seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle of high caliber end-of-the-year movies all seeking Oscar consideration. Some feel that its Best Picture nomination was stolen by Dead Poets Society. I am one of those people. But keep in mind that this was the year that Do the Right Thing was ignored in favor of more sentimental fare like Field of Dreams. Olin and Huston were nominated for their roles, but they lost to Brenda Fricker's tour de force performance as Christy Brown's mother in My Left Foot.

It bothers me that this film doesn't have more votes. Rent it, people!!! (Or better yet, buy a copy. When you see it, you'll want to.) You'll love the characters, and it's a great film to watch after you've seen something like Life is Beautiful. It is an unusual tale, but one I am glad someone thought to tell.


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