The Singing Blacksmith
Yankl Der Schmid

USA, 1938, 105 minutes, B&W
Yiddish with complete new English subtitles
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer

with complete new English subtitles by
The National Center for Jewish Film

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Public Exhibition Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta


Moishe Oysher, the renowned cantor and star of Yiddish radio, stars in Edgar G. Ulmer’s musical version of David Pinski’s play Yankl der Shmid. Singing, dancing, and flashing his eyes, Oysher gives his most robust performance as a passionate shtetl blacksmith who must struggle against temptation in order to become a mensch. Recently rediscovered footage makes this the most complete extant version of Ulmer’s lively folk operetta, replete with an example of Yiddish swing.

Selected Screenings

Cornell Cinema - Ithaca, NY (2015)
Doc Films, University of Chicago (2014)
Washington Jewish Film Festival Year-Round (2013)
Medias Central European Film Festival (2013)
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (2013)
Edgar G. Ulmer Retrospective, Cinémathèque Française, Paris (2012)
Light Industry, Brooklyn NY (2010)
Edgar G. Ulmer Retrospective, Filmhouse Cinema, UK (2009)
Yiddish Foundation, Amsterdam (2008)
Cracow Jewish Culture Festival, Poland (2007)
Jewish Culture Festival, Poland (2007)
Rochester Jewish Film Festival (2006)
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles (2006)
Haifa Jewish Film Festival (2005)
Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto (2004)
Musee d’Art de Histoire du Judaisme, Paris (2002)

NCJF Film Restoration

Restoration was completed with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, The American Film Institute, The Righteous Persons Foundation and a gift from Sheldon Feinberg. With additional support from The Massachusetts Cultural Council and Brandeis University.


Director Edgar G. Ulmer
Screenplay David Pinski, Ben-Zvi Baratoff & Ossip Dymow
Adapted from the play by David Pinski
Producers Ludwig Landy & Roman Rebush
Original Music Jacob Weinberg
Cinematography William Miller
Editor Jack Kemp
Costume Design Nathan Gaiptman
Makeup Fred Ryle
Assistant Directors Louis Brandt & Sol Chodrow
Sound Edward Fenton & Edwin Schabbehar
Camera William J. Kelly

Moishe Oysher (Yankl)
Miriam Riselle (Tamara)
Florence Weiss (Rivke)
Anna Appel (Chaye-Peshe)
Ben-Zvi Baratoff (Bendet)
Michael Goldstein (Raffuel)
Lea Noemi (Mariashe)
Max Vodnoy (Simche)
Luba Wesoly (Frumeh)
Yudel Dubinsky (Reb Aaron)
Luba Rymer (Sprintz-Gnesye)
B. Fishbein (Frolke)
Rubin Wendroff (Elia)
Rae Schnier (Chaika, Rivke's Mother)
R. Shanock (Leah)
Herschel Bernardi (Young Yankl)

1998 Restoration © The National Center for Jewish Film
Executive Director Sharon Pucker Rivo
Associate Director Miriam Saul Krant
Technical Director Rich Pontius
Translator Daniella HarPaz
Title Animation Frame Shop
Laboratory Cinema Arts, Inc.
Special Thanks Arianne Ulmer Cipes & Shirley Ulmer

Critical Acclaim

“Sincerity and richly Jewish characters taken from the source.”
– Archer Winston, New York Post

“...advances the art of the Yiddish film and adds to the gayety of Jewish life.”
Daily Worker

“…bright, frequently thrilling entertainment.”
– Brooklyn Eagle

“…fine photography and good direction make the film an outstanding comedy-drama.”
– Daily News

Home Use DVD: $29.95

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information


Classroom/Library Use DVD: $250

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us

Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us

Arrange a screening - Contact us


Special Offer

Save when you purchase this DVD as part of the Edgar Ulmer Collection! More

U Also with Moishe Oysher

The Cantor’s Son

Overture to Glory

Singing in the Dark

Great Cantors 2 Disc Set

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