Goy Meets Girl: Frank Capra’s Fable of Jewish-American Assimilation The Younger Generation – 35mm Screening

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Wednesday, March 8 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Frank Capra • 1929
Adapted from a play by Humoresque author Fannie Hurst, The Younger Generation is Columbia Pictures’s answer to The Jazz Singer, an altogether heartbreaking portrait of intergenerational conflict in New York’s Jewish community. Julius Goldfish (Jean Hersholt, namesake for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’s Humanitarian Award) is a modest man who lives on Delancey Street and earns his living by hawking kitchenwares from a pushcart. His son Morris (Ricardo Cortez) has his eyes set on tonier things; after demonstrating marketing acumen at an early age by turning a tragic tenement fire into a fire sale, Morris grows his father’s business until it becomes a respectable Fifth Avenue antique dealership. Faced with pressure to assimilate into Park Avenue society, our striver changes his name to the decidedly goyish Maurice Fish and proceeds to push away his family, particularly his sister (Lina Basquette) and her song-plugger boyfriend (Rex Lease). Originally shot as a silent picture, four talking sequences were added prior to release, if only to demonstrate the proper pronunciation of “Oy gevalt” to inhabitants of America’s Heartland. (KW)
84 min • Columbia Pictures • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory
Preceded by: “The Spider and the Fly” (1938) – 16mm – 12 min

Introduced by Nancy McVittie, Instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences at NEIU, and co-author of Fade to Gray: Aging in American Cinema

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