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Pawnbroker (The)

USA, English, 116 mins

  • Director: Sidney Lumet
  • Writer: Morton S. Fine; David Friedkin
  • Producer: Philip Langner; Roger Lewis

CGiii Comment

This is a Holocaust film like no other.

It's not a tearjerker by any stretch of the imagination.

This film basically ended the Hayes Code - which, in itself, is hugely important, especially for CGiii.

Staggeringly, Steiger lost the Oscar to Lee Marvin for the vile Cat Ballou. Just another example of the Academy getting it completely wrong.

It also has the worst drag act ever and the music - from the inexplicable Quincy Jones - is an assault on the ears.

But...it will chill you - to the point of hypothermia.

Stunning.


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

In a poor neighborhood of New York, the bitter and lonely Jewish pawnbroker Sol Nazerman is a survivor from Auschwitz that has no emotions or feelings. Sol lost his dearest family and friends in the war and his faith in God and belief in mankind. Now he only cares for money and is haunted by daydreams, actually flashbacks from the period of the concentration camp. Sol's assistant is the ambitious Latino Jesus Ortiz, who wants to learn with Sol how to run a business of his own. When Sol realizes that the obscure laundry business he has with the powerful gangster Rodriguez comes also from brothels, Sol recalls the fate of his beloved wife in the concentration camp and has a nervous breakdown. His attitude leads Jesus Ortiz to tragedy and Sol finds a way to cry.

Cast & Characters

Rod Steiger as Sol Nazerman;
Geraldine Fitzgerald as Marilyn Birchfield;
Brock Peters as Rodriguez;
Jaime Sanchez as Jesus Ortiz;
Thelma Oliver as Ortiz' Girl;
Marketa Kimbrell as Tessie;
Baruch Lumet as Mendel;
Juano Hernandez as Mr. Smith;
Linda Geiser as Ruth;
Nancy R. Pollock as Bertha;
Raymond St. Jacques as Tangee;
John McCurry as Buck;
Ed Morehouse as Robinson;
Eusebia Cosme as Mrs. Ortiz;
Warren Finnerty as Savarese

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