6.8/10
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59 user 36 critic

Focus (2001)

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In the waning months of World War II, a man and his wife are mistakenly identified as Jews by their anti-Semitic Brooklyn neighbors. Suddenly the victims of religious and racial persecution... See full summary »

Director:

Neal Slavin

Writers:

Arthur Miller (novel), Kendrew Lascelles (screenplay)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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When local law enforcement is out of their depth, a unique team are called in. Each member has been selected through a unique government process based on their skills. ""When the truth is blurred, they bring it clearly into focus"

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William H. Macy ... Lawrence Newman
Laura Dern ... Gertrude Hart
David Paymer ... Mr. Finkelstein
Meat Loaf ... Fred (as Meat Loaf Aday)
Kay Hawtrey ... Mrs. Newman
Michael Copeman ... Carlson
Kenneth Welsh ... Father Crighton
Joseph Ziegler ... Mr. Gargan
Arlene Meadows Arlene Meadows ... Mrs. Dewitt
Peter Oldring ... Willy Doyle
Robert McCarrol Robert McCarrol ... Meeting Hall Man (as Robert Mccarrol)
Shaun Austin-Olsen Shaun Austin-Olsen ... Sullivan
Kevin Jubinville ... Mr. Cole Stevens
B.J. McQueen B.J. McQueen ... Mel
Conrad Bergschneider Conrad Bergschneider ... Tough's Leader
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Storyline

In the waning months of World War II, a man and his wife are mistakenly identified as Jews by their anti-Semitic Brooklyn neighbors. Suddenly the victims of religious and racial persecution, they find themselves aligned with a local Jewish immigrant in a struggle for dignity and survival. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything Is About To Become Very Clear

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, violence and some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 May 2002 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Foco See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,139, 21 October 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$717,820, 17 March 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Neal Slavin claimed to have wanted to make this film since college. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Finklestein discovers the antisemitic note taped to his store window, it is attached with 3M "invisible/magic" tape developed in the 1970s. During the 1940s, cellophane tape was transparent, not translucent. See more »

Quotes

Finkelstein: They are a gang of devils and they want this country!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In Loving Memory of Frieda Oline Burkhart See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shanghai Kiss (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Never Smile Again
(1939)
Written by Ruth Lowe
Performed by Glenn Miller
Published by Universal-MCA Music Publishing
A Division of Universal Studios, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of the RCA Music Corporation, a Division of BMG Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Intentions...But Poor Execution
22 June 2003 | by Jennel2See all my reviews

If good intentions were enough to produce a good film, I would have rated the turgid, ponderous, obvious "Focus" a bit higher than 4. Macy does his best, but as an earlier poster commented, Miller's little parable asks us to suspend disbelief too often. Perhaps the novel gives us a bit more background on Newman, so we can understand how someone who is obviously not without intelligence could be so dense in perceiving the attitudes of those around him. I agree with another reviewer that if one is unaware of how bigoted average citizens were in America during this time period, then this movie might be an eye-opener. I grew up in the fifties, and the "good" pastors of my Lutheran church found nothing wrong with having the church picnic at a commercial beach, whose sign prominently indicated that no Jews or blacks would be admitted. It is difficult for young people today to understand that this was the norm, and not just in the South. As late as 1964, when I graduated from a somewhat racially integrated (but sexually segregated) public high school in Baltimore, my black classmates could not attend the traditional "father and son banquet," as it was held at a facility which did not admit blacks. Sadly, it was an establishment owned by a Jewish family. The subject matter of "Focus" is important, and we should never forget, despite the lingering signs of racism in modern America, how truly repulsive the attitudes of that previous generation were.(The "greatest generation," indeed). So, perhaps this film is somewhat valuable in countering the recent wave of sentimental crap about the forties from the likes of Steven Spielberg and Tom Brokow. But in the end, as in "Far From Heaven," the filmmakers' good intentions are undermined by having a protagonist so ridiculously oblivious to the social conventions of their time.


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