I know most people haven't even seen this movie...I don't know why. It is another one of those labors of love, as "Schindler's List" is to Steven Spielberg, so "Yentl" is to Barbra Streisand. Perhaps it is the fact that it is a musical that causes people to turn away from it...but ask a Streisand fan if they have seen "Hello, Dolly!" and they will all say yes. This movie is such a masterpiece - she wrote it, directed it, starred in it, sang in it. Ahhh.
See Mandy Patinkin before he got too big for his britches.
The cinemetography is georgeous. The film was done inPrague, New York and Liverpool. The scenes in Prague are stunningly beautiful and capture that Eastern European flavor.
This is a great story for girls and women that illustrates how much our world has changed - from a time when the book vendors recommended "Picture books for women" and would not allow girls to study or learn to read. Here is a quote from the movie:
Yentl: If we don't have to hide my studying from God, then why from the neighbors?
Yentl's Father: Why? Because I trust God will understand. I'm not so sure about the neighbors.
There is the most stunning scene between Yentl (Barbra Streisand) and Avigdore (Mandy Patinkin) that I think is one of the most perfect love scenes ever filmed - she reveals herself to him as a woman and falls to her knees - the light is pouring in from the window and she looks up at him for this brief moment - perfection.
The music- if for no other reason than the music..."Where is it Written?", "Papa Can You Hear Me?", "A Piece of Sky"...it doesn't get much better than this. If you want to give a little listen, you can listen to pieces of the songs here. People haven't really heard "Papa Can You Hear Me?" if they have never heard the movie version. People started mocking it and doing parodies, but it is really a beautiful song and a beautifully realized piece of film.
Here are some clips to tempt you. Meanwhile, I'm going to go watch it!
"Papa Can You Hear Me"
Original 1983 Trailer