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Welcome to the Movies!


  The Cast:    
Chaim Tauber ... Motel Friedman
Seymour Rechtzeit ... Jacob 'Jack' Rosenwald
Yetta Zwerling ... Chane Belle 'Annabella' Frumkin
Jacob Zanger ... Jacob 'Joseph' Frumkin
Maurice Krohner ... Benjamin Rosenwald
Mae Schoenfeld Izidor Frankel ... The Boss
Bertha Hart ... Rebecca Rosenwald
 Mae Schoenfeld Gertrude Krause ...  Ruth Frumkin
Malvina Rappel ... Esta Friedman
Mae Schoenfeld Herman Rosen ...  
Joseph Schoengold ...  
Louis "Leibele" Waldman ... The Cantor

Clinton Theatre, 80 Clinton Street, Telephone: Gramercy 5-8331. Now Playing ... The new Yiddish picture, "Motel the Operator," with Chaim Tauber (the "Singer Poet"), Yetta Zwerling, and a large artistic company ... Music by Sholom Secunda.

(Motel the Operator)
Director: Joseph Seiden
Writer: Chaim Tauber (play)
The film was released in the U.S. on January 15, 1940.
1939, 88 mins., B & W


This classic melodrama captures the sentimental, emotional characters and the convoluted plots and fantastic coincidences which dominated the Second Avenue Yiddish theaters. Focusing on a labor dispute in the garment district of New York City, the film survives as an important historical document highlighting the hardships of the Jewish immigrant experience in America. Motel, a poor laborer, loving husband and new father, leads cloakmakers in a strike for better working conditions. When he is severely injured by strikebreakers, his wife, Esther, and infant son are left destitute. Desperate to save her starving child, Esther gives him up for adoption to a wealthy couple, and then commits suicide. The richly-rendered beautiful Yiddish songs by Sholem Secunda featuring Cantor Leibele Waldman and Joel Feig's famous choir are a good example of the bittersweet melodrama in the finest tradition of the Yiddish theater.

-- The National Center for Jewish Film



Cast listings courtesy of

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