Hester Street


Action / Drama / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO

Top cast

Carol Kane Photo
Carol Kane as Gitl
Lin Shaye Photo
Lin Shaye as Whore
Doris Roberts Photo
Doris Roberts as Mrs. Kavarsky
Steven Keats Photo
Steven Keats as Jake
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
699.04 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S ...
1.24 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 1 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg10 / 10

Joan Micklin Silver, RIP

Joan Micklin Silver died last week, so I decided to watch her directorial debut. "Hester Street" is based on Abraham Cahan's "Yekl", about Jewish immigrants in 1890s New York. The studios were convinced that audiences wouldn't be interested in a movie featuring a lot of Yiddish. Well, the movie is a fine piece of work. Both a look at the traditions and the hardships that the immigrants faced upon arriving in the US, it's very much a movie that tests your attention span; the polar opposite of a Michael Bay movie.

Steven Keats plays the lead role. His character has lived in New York for a few years until he can make enough money to bring his wife over. In that time, he's made efforts to assimilate into US society. His wife doesn't feel so comfortable doing so. The only other recognizable cast members are Carol Kane (known for plenty of roles, most recently as the landlady on "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"),Doris Roberts (of "Everybody Loves Raymond") and Lin Shaye (the sunburned neighbor in "There's Something About Mary" and the retiring flight attendant in "Snakes on a Plane").

All in all, it's an outstanding film. Anyone interested in the history of the Jews in the United States would do well to watch it.

Reviewed by rmax3048237 / 10

Agreeable Story of Immigrants In New York.

Well, in 1972 "The Godfather" was a sensation, so why not other stories about immigrants adapting to life in the New World? This one is about Jews on Hester Street which was, at the turn of the century, the heart of the community on the Lower East Side. The adaptation of immigrants is never smooth, and it's a bit bumpy in this story.

Steven Keats is Jake, who shares quarters with Bernstein. It's 1898 and Jake is a rake, going to dancing classes, flirting with the looser local girls, wearing a fashionable mustache, speaking English quickly and cockily. He's not making much money -- twelve dollars a week behind a sewing machine -- but he's happy.

But then his comfortable routine is busted up by the arrival from Russia of his wife, Carol Kane, and their young son. Kane speaks no English, wears traditional clothes, and an outlandish wig considered suitable for observant women in the old country.

I mentioned speaking English and I must admit I love the locutions that immigrants bring to American English. They can be utterly charming, whether or not they're amusing.

Scene: Keats has met his wife and child and is trying to maneuver them through the immigration obstacle at the station. The uniformed official behind the desk is skeptical when Keats claims they are his family. "For what purpose are you bringing this woman into the country?", asks the bureaucrat with a squint. (Dumb stare from Keats.) "For what purpose are you bringing this woman into the country?" Keats, angrily: "For the poipous dat she is my WIFE!" The marriage doesn't work out in the new environment.

Keats loves the gay life and Kane is quiet and seems antiquated. So Keats sends a lawyer to her to discuss divorce. How much does she want to grant him a divorce? "Fifty dollars," says the lawyer in a theatrical manner. "You'll be a rich woman. You can get another husband just like that." No? The lawyer shakes his head sadly. Okay. "You got a little one you need to take care of. I can go seventy-five dollars. No? What kind of business are we doing here, Lady? What do you want, a HUNDRED DOLLARS? Oy -- what am I saying! Okay, it's out. I said it. A hundred dollars."

I'm still laughing as I write this, but the whole movie isn't made up of such comic gems. I've seen it twice, the first time on its release, and was completely involved. The second time there were fewer surprises, although some scenes -- the ritual of the divorce, for instance -- were just as touching as the first time around. I believe, too, that the low budget may have drained the film of some energy.

The movie ends with Keats walking down the street with his new hotsy-totsy wife and wondering if they should peddle vegetables for a living. They have no money and their choices are not exactly limitless. A thought drifted into my mind. Sigmund Freud as Jewish immigrant living on Hester Street. Freud would have been 32 years old in 1898. I can almost hear the exchange between him and his wife. "Siggie, should we leave the soda water out on the sidewalk or keep it in the shop?" And Freud stops and rubs his chin before replying, "YES and NO."

Reviewed by trilogyrich10 / 10

Delightful film that evokes a unique era in Jewish and American history

I saw this movie when it premiered in 1975, and enjoyed it. Thanks to DVDs, we can watch and re-watch movies whenever we want. My wife has also become a fan of this film. The DVD's commentary by director Joan Micklin Silver and her producer husband, Raphael, is fascinating. If you are interested in the process of making movies, these commentaries are always a treasure trove of information and insight into the craft. Silver also directed Crossing Delancy, another classic, especially for anyone of the Jewish-American subculture, or familiar with it, though anyone who likes a love story will enjoy it as well.

To learn that the entire budget of Hester Street was $500,000 is astounding. This is a beautiful little movie that is driven by it's story and characters. Here is an unknown Carol Kane, who got the best actress nomination for this one, surrounded by great performances by veteran actors and first time non-actors alike. Doris Roberts does a fantastic job in a big role as the neighbor.

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