Reel Jewish / Edition 1

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Movies about the Jewish experience or featuring a Jewish character in a central role contain some of the most memorable images in motion picture history. Who could ever forget Moses majestically parting the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments; the Exodu arriving safely off the shores of Palestine; Tevye and Golde serenading each other with "Do You Love Me?" in Fiddler on the Roof; or lovable young Giosué being hoisted atop an American tank in the closing moments of Life Is Beautiful?

For Reel Jewish, film aficionado Joel Samberg has selected the best Jewish movies of all time and organized them into intriguing groupings such as The Old Jewish Neighbor Hoods, The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Patient, In the Face of Insanity, and License to Kvell. Film by film, from Avalon to Zelig, he brings outstanding musicals, adventures, love stories, heartbreakers, and biblical epics to life, offering witty comparisons, discerning criticisms, and refreshing insights into old themes.

Occasionally, our engaging guide interrupts his reel tour with sidebars that provide entrée into the minds of the studio heads, writers, directors, and stars who gave Jewish movies their life. We get the inside scoop on the casting of Omar Sharif as Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl (Streisand wanted Marlon Brando), on Steven Spielberg's insistence on filming Schindler's List in black-and-white (the studio feared dismal video sales), even on the romantic sparks that flew as Warren Beatty and Annette Bening shot Bugsy.

Brimming with Joel Samberg's infectious enthusiasm and delightful humor, Reel Jewish is a passionate celebration of the Jewish presence both on the screen and behind the scenes. Whether you are a serious film buff or someone who simply likes to escape once in a while into the magical world of movies, Reel Jewish will take you on a

About the Author:
Joel Samberg, author of The Jewish Book of Lists, has written for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, Moment, the Daily News magazine, New Jersey Monthly, Young Judaean, and 3-2-1 Contact. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in theater and journalism, Joel has also been involved in corporate communications and community theater. He lives in Verona, New Jersey, with his wife and three children.

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Editorial Reviews

Dov Peretz Elkins
Fascinating facts about great movies . . . Fun reading for a quiet evening by the fire. —Jewish Media Review
From (1914) to (1999 English- dubbed version), the author of provides plot synopses, production miscellany, and critiques of selected Jewish-themed films organized into such groupings as So it was written, so it shall be filmed; Enduring the darkness; and Between two worlds. Includes b&w film shots and sources for videos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824604240
  • Publisher: David, Jonathan Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 206
  • Product dimensions: 7.85 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: In The Beginning, There Was Tzeitel xi
1 From Henry Street to Hollywood: Musicals, from the first talkie on 1
2 License to Kvell: Families, through thick and thin 17
3 In the Face of Insanity: Comedy, believe it or not 31
4 So It Was Written, So It Shall Be Filmed: The Bible, more or less 43
5 Mixed Doubles: Love, Jewish/Gentile style 57
6 Enduring the Darkness: The Holocaust, to never forget 71
7 A Funny Kind of Elation: Anti-Semitism, to rub it in 85
8 The Old Jewish Neighbor Hoods: Crime, with some not so nice Jewish boys 97
9 The Two Thousand-Year-Old Patient: Israel, for which we live and fight 107
10 Between Two Worlds: Immigrants, and other strangers 121
11 In a Pickle: Relationships, and other mysteries 131
12 Wandering Jews: Spirited tales and magical trails 143
13 Nu, What Else Is There?: Ambition, and other tales of growing older 153
14 Also Playing 167
"Reel" Sources 187
Bibliography 189
Index 195
About the Author 207
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