Monday, September 4, 2017

Amerikaner Shadkhn (1940)

Yiddish Performance of the Week


Amerikaner Shadkhn (“American Matchmaker”), a 1940 Yiddish film starring Leo Fuchs and directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. Even if you don’t know any Yiddish, and you watch it with English subtitles, the film is funny—the facial gestures alone make this endeavor worthwhile. The National Center for Jewish Film writes about this 87-minute comedy: “Leo Fuchs, known on Second Avenue as ‘the Yiddish Fred Astaire,’ plays an elegant and eligible bachelor who can never seem to close the marriage deal. Edgar G. Ulmer’s last Yiddish movie was also his most modern, an art deco romantic comedy about male ambivalence and Jewish assimilation. With its urbane, neurotic hero, American Matchmaker looks ahead to the films of Woody Allen.”

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