7.7/10
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77 user 57 critic

The Pawnbroker (1964)

Approved | | Drama | 20 April 1965 (USA)
A Jewish pawnbroker, victim of Nazi persecution, loses all faith in his fellow man until he realizes too late the tragedy of his actions.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Morton S. Fine (screenplay) (as Morton Fine), David Friedkin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Steiger ... Sol Nazerman
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Marilyn Birchfield
Brock Peters ... Rodriguez
Jaime Sánchez ... Jesus Ortiz (as Jaime Sanchez)
Thelma Oliver Thelma Oliver ... Ortiz' Girl
Marketa Kimbrell ... Tessie
Baruch Lumet ... Mendel
Juano Hernandez ... Mr. Smith
Linda Geiser ... Ruth Nazerman
Nancy R. Pollock Nancy R. Pollock ... Bertha
Raymond St. Jacques ... Tangee
John McCurry John McCurry ... Buck
Charles Dierkop ... Robinson
Eusebia Cosme ... Mrs. Ortiz
Warren Finnerty ... Savarese
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Storyline

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. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Talked About Picture! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | German

Release Date:

20 April 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El prestamista See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$930,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2008. See more »

Goofs

As Jesus runs down the street, his shirt changes from a V-neck to a turtle neck, and then back again. See more »

Quotes

Marilyn Birchfield: What makes you so bitter?
Sol Nazerman: Bitter?
[chuckles]
Sol Nazerman: No, no, Miss Birchfield, I am not *bitter*. No, that passed me by a million years ago. I'm a man of no anger. I have no desire for vengeance for what was done to me. I have escaped from the emotions. I am safe within myself. All I ask and want is peace and quiet.
Marilyn Birchfield: Why haven't you found them?
Sol Nazerman: Because people like you will not let me. Miss Birchfield, you have made the afternoon very tedious with your constant search for an answer. And one more thing: ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Voxday Darkstream: The Wicked Sins of Hollywood (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Wanna Be a Loser
(uncredited)
Written by Ben Raleigh and Mark Barkan
Performed by Lesley Gore
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Steiger gives greatest performance of all time
9 February 2006 | by edwardi-kochSee all my reviews

Rod Steiger gives the greatest lead-actor performance I have ever seen in the title role of the Pawnbroker. Lumet's direction strikes no false note and neither does the incredibly well-researched and painfully honest script. It's hard to believe how virtually forgotten this true masterpiece of a survivor's private hell. It shows very vividly that even those of us lucky enough to survive the camps need to be ever more rare of spirit to survive without significant trauma scars. Steiger extracts every piece of emotion from his character with a performance that exceeds all that came before it and has never been surpassed. Every aspiring actor needs to view Steiger's performance to realize how magnificent it truly is.


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