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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
Rod Steiger has seldom been better than as Sol the Holocaust survivor running a pawnshop in Harlem.Much of the movie is how he tries to keep his emotions hidden despite almost constant memories and flashbacks of the Holocaust. The editing of these flashback scenes is really powerful and lingers in the memory long after the movie has finished. Rod Steiger in this movie comes over as a simmering pot of pain who colud boil over at any minute. You would love to take his pain away yet you wait for him to explode in some kind of rage. The black & white photography gives a grainy realism to the film while Quincy Jones'music is bombastic big band jazz that sounds typical of 1960's films but sounds weird in the setting of this tale. Star rating- 9/10 One point--- Sol says all he wants is peace and quiet. Now he was never going to get that running a moneylending business in the middle of Harlem!
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