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Jews in Hollywood Film Series
Jewish people have had a big influence in the entertainment industry and Adult & Senior Director Mindy Cohen is a champion for preserving this history and sharing it with the entire community. She curated this film series to showcase those accomplishments. “Tony Curtis formerly known as Bernie Schwartz and Sophie Tucker formerly known as Sonya Kalish had careers that spanned over 6 decades,” says Cohen. She goes on to explain that both achieved story book fame and wealth and are subjects of these entertaining and revealing documentaries. She also loves the documentary “Lunch” which follows legendary comedy writers and directors for their bi-weekly lunch of 40 years, reflecting on their predominance of Jews in the comedy-writing game. “I think these three films will be most enjoyable and educational for our viewers of all ages,” says Cohen.
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TONY CURTIS: DRIVEN TO STARDOM explores the man's rebellious demeanor, his struggle as a Jew in Hollywood, his difficult childhood, the brief love affair with Marilyn Monroe and his failed marriages to actresses Janet Leigh and Christine Kaufman, his courageous stance to break the color barrier with The Defiant Ones (the film that earned him an Oscar Nomination), and his entire six-decade career. A sex symbol, a matinee idol, a powerful and magnetic actor, Tony Curtis was the original movie star.
It’s all knishes and kibitzing in “Lunch,” Donna Kanter’s charming documentary about a Hollywood institution more enduring than most sitcoms. Every other Wednesday for 40 years a bunch of legendary comedy writers and directors — whose career highlights alone would fill a showbiz encyclopedia — have been meeting for a prandial catch-up session. The location may change (currently it is Factor’s Famous Deli), but the diners remain constant, give or take the odd family or medical event. And though the gathering usually kicks off with
health updates — the so-called “organ recital” — these guys (and they are all guys) would rather not focus on hip-replacement humor.
THE OUTRAGEOUS SOPHIE TUCKER
In this documentary directed by Oscar nominated filmmaker William Gazecki (Waco:The Rules of Engagement), THE OUTRAGEOUS SOPHIE TUCKER focuses on the tumultuous early days of this iconic vaudeville superstar who ruled the 1920’s Flapper Era in the U.S. Features Tony Bennett, Barbara Walters, Michael Feinstein, Carol Channing, Shecky Greene, and Bruce Vilanch.
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