What’s a Jewish film? My definition is quite simple. It is a film that deals with Jewish subject matter. Thus, Woody Allen does not make Jewish films. In truth, Hollywood movies that do deal with Judaism are quite rare. Take a look at the subject headings in Netflix. There is no category for Jewish films.
However, there are now quite a few interesting indie films on Amazon Prime and Netflix that deal seriously or humorously with Jewish subject matter. But those movies will be the subject of a future blog post. I’m also planning a blog post about Yiddish films, a fascinating genre.
For now, I’d like to bring your attention to a few obscure Jewish Hollywood films that can usually be found on TCM. And if you’re lucky, some may show up on You Tube.
In the beginning of his legendary career, Kirk Douglas (1916 – ) b. Issur Danielovitch, was almost typecast as a well-meaning but ineffectual husband in two fine films, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, 1946, and A Letter to Three Wives, 1949. But his career ascended into mega-stardom when he played cynical heroes motivated by rage: Champion, 1949, Ace in the Hole, 1951, The Bad and the Beautiful, 1952, Paths of Glory, 1957, Spartacus, 1960, and his favorite picture, Lonely Are the Brave, 1962,
Douglas was never a conventional leading man. Though handsome as a fairy tale prince, he wielded his masculine beauty like a weapon. There was none of the gruff, working class charm that made Gable the King. Douglas was not an urbane gentleman like William Powell, nor a witty charmer like Cary Grant.
Kirk Douglas excelled at playing, in his own words, “sons of bitches.”
In her disarmingly modest, and revealing autobiography, On the Other Hand, film actress Fay Wray (September 15, 1907–August 8, 2004), best known for her role as Ann Darrow in the classic film King Kong, unveils her life in a lovely, impressionist style that is at the same time sharply focused.
As Seraphic Secret wrote in Part I, Wray, a fatherless beauty from Canada, made her way to Hollywood with her stage-door mother, her sister Willow, and Willow’s husband, William Mortensen. Her brother-in-law sexually abused fourteen-year-old Fay. Part II, was devoted to Wray’s tragic brother Vivien, who attempted incest with Fay, and then, in despair, almost certainly committed suicide by flinging himself from a moving train.
Yet another beast in human form was to play a major role in Wray’s life.
Here at Seraphic Secret we pay particular attention to the use and abuse of language by the left. The left has always lied and twisted reality to conform to its utopian ideology. But Barack Obama and the leftist media have ushered in a new Orwellian age where their morally depraved rhetoric has gone mainstream. George Orwell understood that those who control language control thought. Thus the American left have staged a quiet coup of public grade schools, most colleges and universities. American children rarely learn. They are now indoctrinated in leftism.
Jewish leftists have long tried to use Jewish texts to support their ideology. It’s a heavy push because Torah Judaism is inherently Conservative. Which is why over 80% of Torah Jews are Conservative Republicans.
Most abused by the Jewish left is the concept of Tikkun Olam. The literal translation is Repairing (or Perfecting) the World. Not surprisingly, leftist/secular Jews claim this concept as part of the social justice movement. But in Torah Judaism there is no such thing as social justice. There is only justice. Social justice is, let’s be clear, code for Marxism.