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December 12, 1975 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-12-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

`Voyage' Movie Depicts Fateful Journey of St. Louis Aid Ship

By HERBERT G. LUFT

(Copyright 1975, JTA, Inc.)

"Voyage" is the title of a
star-studded, multi-million
dollar feature from the
book, "Voyage of the
Damned," by Gordon
Thomas and Max Morgan
Witts, and a screenplay by
Steve Shagan and David
Butler, which deals with the
conscience of the world or
rather with the lack of con-
science when the lives of
millions of innocent civil-
ians were at stake in 1939.
The trek of the M/S St.

Louis from Hamburg to
Havana in early May 1939
was only one example of
man's inhumanity to man,
but it is a pointed example.
There were 937 Jews,
men, women and children;
some of them had been in
concentration camps; others
threatened to be impris-
oned. All had bought semi-
official passport visas at Cu-
ban consulates in Germany
to escape further persecu-
tion and ultimate death. Up
to this journey, the authori-
ties in Havana always ac

Shp loam mu t

WANT TO TAKE A
SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY?

REMEMBER WHEN . . . you saved $10 to
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OPEN XMAS DAY AND
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Delightful 'Hester Street' Film

59

No Coupons Accepted

OUR SOUPS
ARE ALL
HOME MADE

comes Richard Attenbor-
ough who depicts the key
character of Admiral Whil-
helm Canaris, the deadly
director of German Foreign
Counter-Intelligence, Later
himself to become a victim
of Nazi treachery.
"The Front," the Colum-
bia film currently in pro-
duction, with Woody Allen,
Zero Mostel and Herschel
Bernardi in leading roles,
reflects another dark chap-
ter of recent history, this
one with a direct focus on
Hollywood.
Some 25 years ago, ac-
tor-director Martin Ritt,
who is co-producing and
directing the current film,
and Walter Bernstein
(author of "The Front")
were among the most ac-
claimed contributors to
"The Golden Age of Live
Television." Among their
collaborative efforts was
"The Paper Box Kid,"
written by Bernstein and
starring Ritt, a veteran of
the Group Theater. Within
a few months after airing
of that show, both Ritt and
Bernstein were blackl-
isted.
Ritt returned to the "live"
theater where the blacklist
had been less effective than
in the cinema, while Bern-
stein wrote teleplays under
a variety of pseudonyms,
with the assistance of var-
ious "fronts" — of names of
people who had remained
untarnished.
Ritt and Bernstein have
always wanted to make a
film of the dark period of
the 1950s era that impeded
their own careers and de-
stroyed many of their
friends.

AN

CHOPPED SIRLOIN

With Potato,

cepted the immigrants upon
presentation of the some-
what dubious papers for
which the Jews had paid
large sums of money.
When the St. Louis ar-
rived on May 27, the pas-
sengers learned that there
had been a change of pol-
icy. They were refused
landing and also denied
sanctuary anywhere else
in the Western hemis-
phere. The ship went back
to Europe. Only one-fourth
of the emigrants survived
in England. The balance
were dropped off in Hol-
land, Belgium and France
where, a year later, they
perished during the
"blitzkrieg," or were
shipped off to extermina-
tion centers in the east.
They had been off the
coast of Florida, had
smelled the air of freedom
but were condemned to
return.
Among the stars portray-
ing Jewish refugees are a
number of non-Jewish per-
formers, evidently chosen
for audience identification
and to prove that there is no
creed-and-color deviding
line when human survival is
the issue today. There are
Faye Dunaway, Oscar Ber-
ner, Julie Harris, Wendy
Hiller, Katherine Ross and
Maria Schell. Ben Gazzara,
the Leon Uris character in
"QB VII," now essays the
role of Morris Troper, head
of the Jewish Agency in
Europe.
Jewish actors portraying
refugees on board ship are
Lee Grant, Victor Spinette,
Luther Adler, Janet Suz-
man and Nehemia Persoff.
From the British screen

December 12, 1975 31

New York's Lower East
Side was a proving ground
— a place where "green-
horns" proved they could
survive in America.
"Hester Street," an enter-
taining new film about
turn-of-the-century Jewish
life in New York, emphas-
izes that newly arrived im-
migrants are not as naive as
one may think. The film will
be shown beginning Dec. 19
at the Somerset Cinema I
Theater.
A delightful film, "Hester
Street" is based on Abra-
ham Cahan's "Yekl" and
focuses on a Jewish sweat
shop employe, Jake, who
became "a real Yankee" in
his three years in America. -
Since he came from Russia,
he attained the accoutre-
ments of a true American —
stylish mustache without
the traditional beard, styl-
ish clothes and a girlfriend,
toward whom his affections
are directed while his wife
and son remain in Russia.
Yet, he is still very much a
Jew.
The black and white
film details Jake's mean-
dering, while his wife and
child remain under his
father's care in the old
country. When the father
dies, Jake sends for his
wife, Gitl, and son, Yos-
sele. Upon their arrival
her old-country ways come
in conflict with Jake's
American lifestyle.

Jake berates his wife for
her East European dress,
the wig required for mar-
ried women by Jewish law
and her Yiddish, and tries to
impress upon her that in
America she must speak
and dress like an American.
When a neighbor speaks to
her in Yiddish, Jake yells,
"You want she should be
green always?"
When Jake's girlfriend,
Mamie Fein, makes an ap-
pearance at the house, Gitl
is awed by her stylishness
and calls her a noblewoman.
However, Gitl isn't dis-
mayed by her and proves
she is not so "green" after
all.
Bernstein, the yeshiva-
bokher boarder, provides a
sympathetic ear for the
cuckolded housewife. Dur-
ing their conversations a
relationship builds, lead-
ing to an expected, but
happy ending to the movie.
The Gentile actors' skills
are notable, as evidenced in
the hard work put forth in
having to learn the Yiddish
language and dialect which
come across as convincing in
the film.
An enjoyable film, fla-
vored with Yiddish language
and humor, "Hester Street"
is a delight for those who
appreciate Jewish humor
and find an interest in the
Jewish experience in Amer-
ica.
—H.P.

SUNDAY MORNING
BREAKFAST

at the

19460 W. 10 MILE RD. (1 BIk. E. of Evergreen)

352-7466

IS THE PERFECT WAY
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• SATURDAY & SUNDAY ... BROILED WHITE
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• MONDAY & TUESDAY . . DELMONICO
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ALL ABOVE DINNERS INCLUDE: SOUP, SALAD, VEG.,
CHOICE OF POT., ROLLS & BUTTER,_TEA OR COFFEE

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FRI. & SAT., 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
SUNDAY, 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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Also Include
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