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Welcome to the Movies!


The Cast:
Berta Gerstin ... Mirele Efros
Ruth Elbaum ... Shaindel (the Country Girl)
Albert Lipton ... Yosef "Yosele' Efros
Michael Rosenberg ... Nuchumize (Shaindel's father)
Moishe Feder ... Shalmon
Paula Walter ... Machle (Maid)
Jerry Rosenberg ... Shloimele Efros
Sarah Krohner ... Chaya-Dvoire
Ella Brodner ... Dina (Shalmon's Sister)
Rubin Wendroff ... The Badchen
Jacob Mestel ... Pogorelsky
Moishe Schorr ... Coachman
Eugene Sigaloff ... Peasant
Clara Deutschmann ... Barwoman
Louis Brandt ... Donye Efros

(The Jewish Queen Lear)
Based on a play by Jacob Gordin
Directed by Joseph Berne
1939, 80 minutes
The film was released in the U.S. on October 20, 1939.

Mirele Efros, "the Jewish Queen Lear," was the masterpiece of Ukrainian-born Jacob Gordin, an enormously influential Yiddish playwright whose works sought to describe and promulgate the ethos of mentshlekhkeyt: the practice of honesty, decency, and devotion toward family and community. This sophisticated version of his stage classic faithfully recreates Jewish life in turn-of-the-century Grodno, Poland. Berta Gersten gives a memorable performance as Mirele, a wealthy and pious widow whose devotion to her children extends to hand-picking a wife for her eldest son, gravely mistaking the young woman's character as giving and devout. The resulting conflict between the noble Jewish matriarch and her ungrateful, self-serving daughter-in-law provides both a cautionary tale and a lesson in the value of filial piety.

-- The National Center for Jewish Film



Manhattan: Now showing -- The only New York theatre that will be showing this ...!
A great play -- then a greater film! Berta Gerstin in a new version of Jacob Gordin's "Mirele Efros."
With Michael Rosenberg and Ruth Elbaum ("Pines and Needles") ... Adpated by Ossip Dymow
from Jacob Gordin's international stage success -- directed by Joseph Bern.
Today a special midnight show ... The cast will personally appear.
25 cents until 2 p.m. weekdays.
Cameo Theatre, 42nd Street, East of Broadway, Wisconsin 7-1789.
(This ad appeared in the Forverts newspaper on October 21, 1939.)


Brooklyn: "Mirele Efros" ... A great play -- then a greater film! Berta Gerstin,
together with a great company of artists, in Jacob Gordin's great masterpiece.
Tomorrow Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Supreme Theatre, 520 Livonia Avenue, corner of Williams avenue.
Wednesday and Thursday: Alba Theatre, 750 Flushing Avenue;
Senate Theatre, 18th Avenue and 74th Street; Benson Theatre, 20th Ave. and 86th St.
(This ad appeared in the Forverts newspaper on January 15, 1940.)

Bronx: Today (February 9, 1940) is the last day. Berta Gerstin in Jacob Gordin's international classical stage work,
"Mirele Efros." At the Ward Theatre on Westchester and Ward Aves., and the Pelham Theatre on Lydig Ave. and White Plains Rd.


You can see a film clip of this movie:



Cast listings courtesy of

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