6.2/10
4,451
55 user 36 critic

The Hebrew Hammer (2003)

An orthodox Jewish blaxploitation hero saves Hanukkah from the clutches of Santa Claus' evil son.

Director:

Jonathan Kesselman

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Goldberg ... Mordechai Jefferson Carver
Judy Greer ... Esther Bloomenbergensteinenthal
Andy Dick ... Damian Claus
Mario Van Peebles ... Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahim
Peter Coyote ... JJL Chief Bloomenbergensteinenthal
Nora Dunn ... Mrs. Carver
Sean Whalen ... Tiny Tim
Tony Cox ... Jamal
Richard Riehle ... Santa
Melvin Van Peebles ... Sweetback
Rachel Dratch ... Tikva
Harrison Chad Harrison Chad ... Schlomo
Jim Petersmith Jim Petersmith ... Skinhead Bartender
Annie McEnroe ... Mrs. Highsmith
Grant Rosenmeyer ... Young Mordechai
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Storyline

Mordechai Jefferson Carver, aka the Hebrew Hammer, is an orthodox Jewish stud who goes on a mission to save Hanukkah. When Santa Claus's evil son Damian is pushed over the edge by his father's liberal policies, he does away with the Christian patriarch. Subsequently stepping into his father's role, Damian launches a campaign to eradicate the Jewish Holiday. The Hammer joins forces with Esther Bloomenbergensteinenthal, the gorgeous and dangerous daughter of the leader of the Jewish Justice League; and his brother-in-arms Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahim, the head of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front, to topple Santa's evil progeny and to save Hanukkah for future generations of Jews. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This Hanukkah, All He Wants For Christmas Are Santa's Two Front Teeth See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual references and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew | Yiddish

Release Date:

25 March 2004 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Hammer o exolothreftis See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,539, 21 December 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,539, 21 December 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The original script called for a cameo from US Senator Joe Lieberman (Democrat, later Independent, of Connecticut), but Lieberman turned it down, so the role went to former New York City mayor Ed Koch, who was recruited at the last minute by one of the producers. See more »

Goofs

Mordechai is portrayed as a faithful Orthodox Jew, but during a scene with his shirt off, the morning after Mordechai and Esther make love, it's clear that Mordechai has several tattoos, which are forbidden in traditional Judaism. Adam Goldberg has stated in interviews that the only reason for this is that he was too lazy to get up early in the morning to have the makeup artists cover up the tattoos. The tattoos go without comment in the dialogue because, according to director Jonathan Kesselman, the Hebrew Hammer has already gone against tradition by engaging in premarital sex, and so a couple tattoos are nothing compared to that. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Carver: What with all the attention the newspapers and television has been giving you, you'd think you were the Pope or something.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Uncle Bernie, Aunt Shelly and all the Long Island Kesselmans - Thanks for letting us eat by you on Shabbat See more »

Alternate Versions

When the Hebrew Hammer enters the Duke's Nazi bar, he walks over to the Jukebox and plays a song. That song is played through the entire scene. However the Comedy Central and DVD versions of the movie each play a different song for the same scene. See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Seven Year Itch (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Terrible, But Not Great
8 December 2003 | by kensmarkSee all my reviews

The concept is good, the performances are good, but this film is too uneven to be great. Writer/director Jonathan Kesselman should've watched the much better blaxploitation parody "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!" a few times and thought harder about *why* it's a good parody. Even then, that film, too, could have been improved.

When you do satire, you get the best results when you stick pretty closely to your target. The funniest moments in "The Hebrew Hammer" are those in which it really mirrors blaxploitation films. When it degenerates into really broad parody, lame social commentary, and random jokes about Jewish stereotypes, it goes downhill quickly.

That's too bad, because the principle cast really does do an excellent job. The villains are weaker than the heroes -- conceptually and by performance -- but I can't really blame the actors (much as I might be tempted to blame Andy Dick) because the villains are *too* over-the-top just as they're written.

Satire works as comedy because it keeps moving back and forth over the line of plausibility -- or, at least, the line of genre convention. "The Hebrew Hammer" has many good moments but, in the end, it strays too far, too often. There's about thirty minutes of really good material in there.


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