Director Joseph Green returned to his native Poland from America to produce this film, the most commercially successful musical in the history of the Yiddish cinema, starring Molly Picon, consummate comedienne of Yiddish theater, vaudeville, and film. This is the classic folk comedy about a man and his daughter who, penniless, decide to become travelling musicians. The daughter disguises herself as a boy to relieve her father's anxiety about unforseeable problems that could befall a young woman "out in the world." They then join together with "another" father-son duo for music, comedy and romance.
Green's original screenplay was enhanced by the folksy lyrics of Yiddish poet Itzik Manger and the memorable musical score of Abraham Ellstein, as well as the talents of Leon Leibold, the romantic lead who later starred in The Dybbuk and Tevye, and Max Bozyk, a character actor par excellence.
Breaking away from the studio-bound cinematography of the early Yiddish talkies, Yiddle with His Fiddle was shot on location in the picturesque town of Kazimierz and nearby Warsaw. With shtetl inhabitants as extras, the film captures the vitality and invincible spirit of traditional small town Jewish life.
"With Picon at her pert best, a lilting score, and picturesque scenery, the 1936 Yidl turned into the first truly international Yiddish-movie hit."
- Karen Lipson, New York Newsday
Also Directed by Joseph Green
Yiddle With His Fiddle
Yidl Mitn Fidl
Poland, 1936, 92 minutes,
B&W, Yiddish with new English subtitles
Directed by Joseph Green and Jan Nowina-Przybylski
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