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YENTL is a masterpiece

It's time we admitted it. The performances are great, the direction is lush and breathtaking. And the musical numbers are among some of the best ever filmed. Ever.

I would love to see it on the bigscreen. Especially the PAPA number.

It's snub at the oscars was nothing more than pure Streisand envy, and many women in Hollywood publicly stated it at the time. Shelley Winters even went so far as to demanded a recount because everyone she knew in the academy nominated the picture. There was no reason why it shouldn't have been nominated for Best Picture and Director.

I.B Singer did not help matters by trashing the movie, for reasons only he knows.

by Anonymousreply 8304/20/2013

A masterpiece of kitsch, yes.

by Anonymousreply 109/22/2012

The movie was trashed because, in the original story, the two women had sex, and enjoyed it.

No way was Streisand going to do a lesbian scene.

by Anonymousreply 209/22/2012

The movie is not a masterpiece. That said, Streisand should have been nominated for best director. She always gets great performances out of her actors. She should have been nominated as best director for Prince of Tides as well. It is well directed and her actors are all incredible.

by Anonymousreply 309/22/2012

Actually, it wasn't bad. Not great, but not embarrassing.

Still, it's one of those things that makes it hard to remember there was a time when Barbara Streisand was really something. Seriously. I think the rot set in between The Way We Were and A Star Is Born. Her early albums, nightclub performances, and TV specials were fantastic. Color Me Barbara was triumphant.

(Allow me: Mary!)

by Anonymousreply 409/22/2012

And I misspelled her name. B-A-R-B-R-A.

(Again: Mary!)

by Anonymousreply 509/22/2012


by Anonymousreply 609/22/2012

Oscars are meaningless. If a movie holds up and has a special place in your heart, OP, then by all means, call it what you want.

by Anonymousreply 709/22/2012

[quote]I.B Singer did not help matters by trashing the movie, for reasons only he knows.

Perhaps he watched it.

by Anonymousreply 809/22/2012

It's a good movie. Barbra detractors will never admit it.

by Anonymousreply 909/22/2012

Love it!

by Anonymousreply 1009/22/2012

I couldn't sit through it for more than fifteen minutes. Much too Jewy for my tastes. You know those people are going straight to hell, don't you?

by Anonymousreply 1109/22/2012

Singer, ironically, thought Yentl sang too much. I don't think he was thrilled with Babs musicalizing his story.

by Anonymousreply 1209/22/2012

She was a good director, but her vanity ruined it by casting herself.

She was too old, and too vain not to cut her own hair and tone down the fem makeup.

by Anonymousreply 1309/22/2012

I'm so over this bitch. She called us faggots. She had a gay son and a gay following. She should have known better.

by Anonymousreply 1409/22/2012

It IS sentimental, but beautifully designed and directed and all the actors do good work. Great score as well.

If someone else had directed there would have been more nominations, but Streisand was (rightly so) regarded as a pompous bitch at the time. If she made the same movie now that she has mellowed and become more philanthropic, it would be better received.

Her recording of "No Matter What Happens" is right up there with "Before The Parade Passes By" for great vocal performances in a film.

Flashdance for Best Song? I'd take ANY Yentl song over that.

by Anonymousreply 1509/22/2012

The problem for me is that Barbra doesn't direct herself to even vaguely act like a boy. Everyone around her is doing exquisite work, and she is just......Barbra. But I agree, the direction of the film as a whole is quite good.

by Anonymousreply 1609/22/2012

walked out

by Anonymousreply 1709/22/2012

Musically it is amazing when I listen to it. Vocally Barbra was the best she's ever been on that album. I really enjoy listening to a performance and not just someone to impress with merely singing. Interpretation of songs is a lost art.

by Anonymousreply 1809/22/2012

Yentl was an extraordinarily bizarre piece of absolute trash, case closed.

by Anonymousreply 1909/22/2012

If Barbra had tried to even remotely resemble a boy--and she could have, had she eschewed makeup and cut her hair instead of wearing that terrible wig--she would have been nominated. But she didn't bother, so the Academy didn't, either.

by Anonymousreply 2009/22/2012

Amy Irving looked stoned. as she also did in Carrie.

by Anonymousreply 2109/22/2012

Amy Irving has the distinction of being the only actor to be nominated for an Oscar and a Razzie for the same role -- Best Supporting Actress and Worst Supporting Actress, respectively.

by Anonymousreply 2209/22/2012

Patti LuPone Loves this film

by Anonymousreply 2309/22/2012

I think James Coco also got Oscar and Razzie nominations for the same role, for Only When I Laugh.

I like Barbra Streisand, but I can barely stay awake through Yentl. "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" is what has endured from that film.

The director nominees were a strong bunch: James L. Brooks, Ingmar Bergman, Bruce Beresford, Mike Nichols and Peter Yates. If you didn't like "The Dresser", you could argue that that's the spot that Streisand should have gotten, but other films that were looked over included "The Right Stuff" and "The Big Chill", both of which were nominated for Best Picture. She wasn't really in the running.

Now "Prince of Tides"... That's where she got the shaft.

by Anonymousreply 2409/22/2012

I love how Barbra has still tried to promote the movie in her concerts. Her vanity is almost admirable.

by Anonymousreply 2509/23/2012

I know, I know, "Plan 9 from Outer Space" is the worst movie, or maybe "Manos, the Hands of Fate." But I can't get worked up over those sock-monkey movies. Of *course* they're bad. How could they be any good? But if you're talking about movies with respectable production values and bankable talent, the T. rex of all turkeys has to be "Yentl." All the treacly phoniness, all the self-absorbed asininity, that stains everything Barbra Streisand has done since 1964, reaches its culmination in this movie. From its lonely summit of awfulness, "Yentl" looks back to "A Star is Born" and forward to "The Mirror Has Two Faces." There is nothing else quite like it. What emotional undertow dragged Streisand out to make this movie I would rather not speculate, and what audience she was playing to I cannot possibly imagine, although I'll bet there's a nine in ten chance you aren't a member of it.

Nobel Prize-winner and saintly guardian of Yiddish literature Isaac Bashevis Singer was so outraged by what Streisand did to his story that he blasted her in public for it. It is a tribute to Streisand's impenetrable vulgarity that she not only didn't commit suicide, but went on to make more awful movies.

by Anonymousreply 2609/23/2012

Jew here. Yentl = painfully embarrassing schmaltz.

by Anonymousreply 2709/23/2012

I love Yentl even though its been top of my Netflix instant watch list for a long time and still haven't watched it. I'm sure its in my DVD collection somewhere. How come What's Up Doc is the only film on Blu-Ray?

by Anonymousreply 2809/23/2012

I only like how the straight guy started to catch feelings for "boy" Yentl.

by Anonymousreply 2909/23/2012

As a theater manager, I played "Yentl" and it was a big hit for me. Huge crowds and thunderous applause at the end of each performance while 95% of the audience sat through the entire credits for the simple "This film is dedicated to my father".

by Anonymousreply 3009/23/2012

Can you believe a gay magazine made this mistake?

by Anonymousreply 3101/27/2013

This story sounds totally non-credible:

"Her attitude regarding her age quickly changed after she disguised herself as a man, temporarily confusing Jon Peters into thinking that a stranger had broken into the house. Peters, now convinced of her ability to play a male, agreed to sign a three-year production contract with Orion Pictures in March 1978."

by Anonymousreply 3201/27/2013

it was like Buttah!

by Anonymousreply 3301/27/2013

Yentl is a fucking train wreck of a film. The only good thing about it is the music. Streisand is not in the least bit credible playing a boy. Decades later and I still can't get that fucking silly wig with the feathered hair out of my head.

Streisand is completely unimpressive as a film director. Yentl, Prince of Tides, Mirror Has Two Faces....they all suck. She's a great singer who was lucky enough to have turned in a few great screen performances (Funny Girl, The Way We Were, What's Up Doc).

by Anonymousreply 3401/27/2013

NON - jew here. Love the movie for the amazing cinematography, and brilliant editing - including the way the music, and songs, weave so beautifully together, with the scene cuts.. These are all Barbra haters here. The woman did a great job, as she did on "Prince Of Tides".

And Malibu is so lovely today !

by Anonymousreply 3501/27/2013

Pure schlocky crap.

by Anonymousreply 3601/27/2013

RE 36 - you probably love "American Horror Story" Philistine.......look it up Goober.

by Anonymousreply 3701/27/2013

Yentl sucked cunt-water! Horrid!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 3801/28/2013

Tovah Feldshuh originated the part on Broadway

by Anonymousreply 3901/28/2013

[quote] Streisand is completely unimpressive as a film director. Yentl, Prince of Tides, Mirror Has Two Faces....they all suck.

But she did manage to get Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations for Amy Irving (Yentl) Prince of Tides (Kate Nelligan) and Mirror Has Two Faces (Lauren Bacall)

by Anonymousreply 4001/28/2013

[quote]YENTL is a masterpiece

Now THERE'S a sentence you don't hear every day.

by Anonymousreply 4101/28/2013

All of Streisand's directorial efforts are pure garbage. Mirror is of course the worst piece of shit she ever inflicted upon audiences but Yentl and A Star Is Born weren't that far behind. Prince of Tides, in spite of its Best Picture nomination, is treacly soap opera with pop psychology trying to masquerade as some great work of art.

Streisand should have left directing alone and stuck to acting. No, strike that. She's been an awful actress in pretty much everything after What's Up Doc? She should have just quit movies and stuck to making music instead.

by Anonymousreply 4201/28/2013

R42 what about R40 ?

by Anonymousreply 4301/28/2013

Yes, it is a masterpiece. I am not going to lst all the reasons why, .. again. Even the bitchy snarks who practically run this site, in their heart of hearts know that it is of superior quality. Their disdain for Streisand is such, that its transparency is laughable. Kudos to everyone involved in this film. Especially Michel LeGrand, and Marilyn and Alan Bergman. An artistic musical trio made in heaven.

by Anonymousreply 4401/28/2013

If Barbra was/is a difficult perfectionist, Singer is an impossible perfectionist. She courted him, asked his opinions etc long before the movie was shot and he was against it from the start. Lots of pics of the two of them together, obvious that he loved the attention of a huge celebrity and star, but... he was basically a crank.

I have always thought it would have been a much better film if she had the other characters sing as well. A lot of the singing was what her character was thinking (and not saying.) Imagine how interesting it would have been to have the Avigdor character singing what he is thinking and not saying as he is adoring Hadassa or having mixed feelings about Yentl (he thinks he loves a young man!)

So yeah, he ego perhaps got int the way.

Now that would have been interesting and Mandy P can sing.

by Anonymousreply 4501/28/2013

Not only Mandy Patinkin, but Amy Irving, who sang "Why Don't You Do Right?" in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" No bigger monument to Streisand's ego is the fact that only she sang in "Yentl," wasting two terrific voices.

by Anonymousreply 4601/28/2013

Note to r42. She did not direct A Star Is Born.

I also think it's a damn good film, but was marred by the dramatic over-the-top flourish of the last scene, which was a clear echo of the first act finale of the Funny Girl film.

by Anonymousreply 4701/28/2013

The greatest movie ever made (easily the best of the rotten '80s), before 2012's Les Miserables, that is.

by Anonymousreply 4801/28/2013

"It's time we admitted it."

Here's a deal, I'll admit that I'm glad you enjoyed it and will call it a day.

by Anonymousreply 4901/28/2013

R47 wasn't it well documented at the time that Streisand was essentially ghost directing ASIB so much so that the director quit in disgust?

by Anonymousreply 5001/28/2013

[quote]Even the bitchy snarks who practically run this site, in their heart of hearts know that it is of superior quality.

No, honey. Just asserting we share your wretched taste doesn't make it true.

by Anonymousreply 5101/28/2013

I fell asleep during Yentl. Did you know it rhymes with lentil? I think that is the most fascinating thing about the movie.

by Anonymousreply 5201/28/2013

Isn't Patankin a tool?

Yentl? Only on this site is Yentl a topic. Lol.

by Anonymousreply 5301/28/2013

charlie should defend this movie!

by Anonymousreply 5401/28/2013

I almost fell asleep during the opening credits on HBO back in the day. Eventually I sat though the entire thing. A painful & purely awful movie.

by Anonymousreply 5501/28/2013

The more I live - the more I learn. The more I learn - the more I realize Yentl is shite!!!!

by Anonymousreply 5601/28/2013

Um, no.

by Anonymousreply 5701/28/2013

[quote]January 29, 1984


By I.B. Singer

In the 1950's, Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote a story titled 'Yentl the Yeshiva Boy,' about a rabbi's daughter with 'the soul of a man and the body of a woman.' The young woman, Yentl, is so hungry for learning that she defies Talmudic law by disguising herself as a man in order to attend a yeshiva, or religious school. The story, set in 19th-century Poland, was adapted for the stage in 1974 and recently became the basis of a multimillion-dollar Hollywood musical produced and directed by Barbra Streisand, who also plays the title role. In the following article, styled as a conversation with himself, Mr. Singer gives his reaction to Miss Streisand's 'Yentl.'

TEXT: Question: Have you finally seen the Yentl movie?

Answer: Yes, I have seen it.

Q: Did you like it?

A: I am sorry to say I did not. I did not find artistic merit neither in the adaptation, nor in the directing. I did not think that Miss Streisand was at her best in the part of Yentl. I must say that Miss Tovah Feldshuh, who played Yentl on Broadway, was much better. She understood her part perfectly; she was charming and showed instinctive knowledge of how to portray the scholarly Yentl I described in my story. Miss Streisand lacked guidance. She got much, perhaps too much advice and information from various rabbis, but rabbis cannot replace a director. The Talmudic quotations and allusions did not help.

Q: Did you enjoy the singing?

A: Music and singing are not my fields. I did not find anything in her singing which reminded me of the songs in the studyhouses and Hasidic shtibls, which were a part of my youth and environment. As a matter of fact, I never imagined Yentl singing songs. The passion for learning and the passion for singing are not much related in my mind. There is almost no singing in my works. One thing is sure: there was too much singing in this movie, much too much. It came from all sides. As far as I can see the singing did nothing to bring out Yentl's individuality and to enlighten her conduct. The very opposite, I had a feeling that her songs drowned the action. My story, 'Yentl the Yeshiva Boy,' was in no way material for a musical, certainly not the kind Miss Streisand has given us. Let me say: one cannot cover up with songs the shortcomings of the direction and acting.

Q: Is it true that you wrote a script of the play which Miss Streisand rejected?

A: It is true, and when I read her script and saw the movie I understood that she could not have accepted my version. In my script Yentl does not stay on stage from beginning to end. The leading actress must make room for others to have their say and exhibit their talents. No matter how good you are, you don't take everything for yourself. I don't mean to say that my script was perfect, or even good. But at least I understood that in this case the leading actress cannot monopolize the stage. We all know that actors fight for bigger parts, but a director worth his name will not allow one actor to usurp the entire play. When an actor is also the producer and the director and the writer he would have to be exceedingly wise to curb his appetites. I must say that Miss Streisand was exceedingly kind to herself. The result is that Miss Streisand is always present, while poor Yentl is absent.

Q: How do you feel about the writing?

A: It is not easy to make a film from a story. In most cases it is impossible. The great plays such as Shakespeare's, Moli ere's, Ibsen's, Strindberg's were written as plays. My Aunt Yentl used to say to my Uncle Joseph, 'In a pinch I can make from a chicken soup a borscht, but to make from a borscht a chicken soup, this is beyond any cook.' Those who adapt novels or stories for the stage or for the screen must be masters of their profession and also have the decency to do the adaptation in the spirit of the writer. You cannot do the adaptation against the essence of the story or the novel, against the character of the protagonist.

Let's imagine a scriptwriter who decides that Mme. Bovary should end up taking a cruise along the Riviera or that Anna Karenina should marry an American millionaire instead of committing suicide, and Dostoyevski's Raskolnikov should become a Wall Street broker instead of going to Siberia. This is what Miss Streisand did by making Yentl, whose greatest passion was the Torah, go on a ship to America, singing at the top of her lungs. Why would she decide to go to America? Weren't there enough yeshivas in Poland or in Lithuania where she could continue to study? Was going to America Miss Streisand's idea of a happy ending for Yentl? What would Yentl have done in America? Worked in a sweatshop 12 hours a day where there is no time for learning? Would she try to marry a salesman in New York, move to the Bronx or to Brooklyn and rent an apartment with an ice box and a dumbwaiter? This kitsch ending summarizes all the faults of the adaptation. It was done without any kinship to Yentl's character, her ideals, her sacrifice, her great passion for spiritual achievement. As it is, the whole splashy production has nothing but a commercial value.

by Anonymousreply 5801/28/2013

My goodness,sounds like Singer forgot to eat his prunes.

by Anonymousreply 5901/28/2013

IIRC, wasn't there one review entitled MENTL?

by Anonymousreply 6001/28/2013

Huge Streisand fan, but it was a slog to sit through. There were so many dark, candle-lit scenes that looked as if shot through a pane of amber.

The score was beautifully orchestrated and sung, but so forgettable.

by Anonymousreply 6101/28/2013

This is a MARY! thread if I ever saw one.

Musicals suck and do does Striesand.

by Anonymousreply 6201/28/2013

The very first bare butt I saw on the big screen was Mandys. I thought the gay subtext was very erotic. We also get a look at Barbra's tits through a piece of sheer gauze. I thought that was very brave of her as a creative force to share these.

by Anonymousreply 6301/28/2013

I sold this random VHS copy I found of Yentl on Ebay once for over $100. Thanks Babs!

by Anonymousreply 6401/28/2013

How different would Barbra's career have been if she had never deserted Broadway? She was the toast of the 1964 stage then she up and deserted them all. It was quite a betrayal.

by Anonymousreply 6501/28/2013

My main problem with it is that each of the last 4 or 5 songs crescendo to the point where you think it's the end of the film. But then the fucker keeps going!! I just think it could have been tightened up. And yes, much as I loathe him, Patinkin should have been given a number or two. But thanks for the ass shot, Mandy, it's your best scene!

by Anonymousreply 6601/28/2013

I love this outtake where a violent Patinkin looks like he's going to beat the shit out of Streisand. She looks genuinely scared of him.

by Anonymousreply 6701/28/2013

Amy Irving was wonderful in this film. Even Barbra has her moments, but the muzak is pure schmaltz.

by Anonymousreply 6801/28/2013

Once she got her perm, that was it.

by Anonymousreply 6901/28/2013

For RE 63 & 66

Thanks, um, I don't look like that anymore

by Anonymousreply 7001/28/2013

Vocally I love listening to her sings the songs on this album. Her phrasing and interpretation and emotion are really wonderful. People do not sing songs in this way anymore and she does it so well here. The songs may be schmaltz but it is some incredibly well performed schmaltz.

by Anonymousreply 7101/28/2013

Did Streisand sing "If I were a Rich Man"? Did I remember correctly? Gee she's great. She even grew a beard for the part.

by Anonymousreply 7201/28/2013

[quote] The result is that Miss Streisand is always present, while poor Yentl is absent.

LOL. Perfect.

by Anonymousreply 7301/28/2013

I love Barbra, but even I was too bored with this film to see it more than once in the theater. It has beautiful moments but overall just wasn't terribly interesting to me. It's visually beautiful and vocally she sounds great. The songs are lovely. But she is never terribly convincing as a boy, and she could have been had she really gone for it. That's the biggest failing of the movie.

by Anonymousreply 7401/28/2013

From what I read at the time, many critics felt it was a vanity pic. Had no interest in it then; even now.

by Anonymousreply 7501/28/2013

r58 = Tovah Feldshuh

by Anonymousreply 7601/29/2013

Yentl is a master piece (of shit), right up there with Battlefield Earth, Gigli, Waterworld, and Ishtar. I'm Jewish, I'm gay, and I hated Yentl with undying passion.

by Anonymousreply 7701/29/2013

Steven Spielberg said it was the greatest directorial debut since Citizen Kane.

by Anonymousreply 7801/29/2013

"Even the bitchy snarks who practically run this site, in their heart of hearts know that it is of superior quality. Their disdain for Streisand is such, that its transparency is laughable."

You really need to calm down. Many of us who don't like Yentl are not rabid people who have some underlying contempt for Streisand, or need to dismiss her work, let alone those of us who may not dislike the film but are not going to agree with you that it is some kind of masterpiece.

You love the movie. Others do not.

End of story. Relax. Take a valium.

by Anonymousreply 7902/05/2013

Totally unbelievable in her scenes as a young boy/girl. She was forty-one and we are expected to believe that she was a teen or twentysomething? I think not.

by Anonymousreply 8002/05/2013

"IIRC, wasn't there one review entitled MENTL?"

Not sure, but I remember "Tootsie on the Roof."

by Anonymousreply 8102/05/2013

There's a special 30th Anniversary showing of "Yentl" at the Egyptian in Hollywood this Friday (isn't that the Sabbath?) Michel Legrand will be there to discuss the score.

by Anonymousreply 8202/05/2013

Amy Irving got an Oscar nom, but Babs got zilch for this movie? What a statement.

by Anonymousreply 8304/20/2013
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