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Welcome to the Movies!



In the advertisement, right:

Today! 7:45 to 9:45 in the evening, and an entire week.
Moishe Oysher in a new musical film, from David Pinski.
"Yankl der shmid."

In the film there participates: Anna Appel, Paul Baratov, Florence Weiss, Miriam Riselle, Leah Naomi, Yudl Dubinsky, Michael Goldstein, Benjamin Fishbein, Max Vodnoy et al.

Personal appearance at the premiere by Moishe Oysher and David Pinski! Special Midnight show for all the Yiddish actors.

The entire cast will perform personally.
Continental Theatre, Broadway at 52nd Street.

The Cast:
  Moishe Oysher ... Yankl
  Miriam Riselle ... Tamara
  Florence Weiss ... Rivke
  Anna Appel ... Chaye-Peshe
  Ben-Zvi Baratov ... Bendet
Mae Schoenfeld Michael Goldstein
(as Michael Gorrin)
... Raffuel
  Leah Naomi ... Mariashe
Mae Schoenfeld Max Vodnoy ... Simche
 Mae Schoenfeld Luba Wesoly ... Frumeh
Yudl Dubinsky ... Reb Aaron
 Mae Schoenfeld Luba Rymer ... Sprintz-Gnesye
Benjamin Fishbein ... Frolke
  Ruben Wendorf ... Elia
Ray Schneier ... Chaika - Rivke's Mother
Mae Schoenfeld R. Shanock ... Leah
Herschel Bernardi ... Young Yankl
Mae Schoenfeld Sophie Bressler ... Dvoshe, Frumeh's Maid
Mae Schoenfeld Libby Charney ... First Girl
Mae Schoenfeld Clara Deutschmann ... Chalke
Mae Schoenfeld Janet Deutschmann ... Second Girl
Mae Schoenfeld Riesa Halpern ... Seamstress
Michel Rosenberg ...  

1938, 105 minutes, B & W
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
Written by David Pinski
Music by Jacob Weinberg
Filmed in New York, NY and Newton, NJ
First released in the United States
on November 1, 1938

Moishe Oysher, the renowned cantor and star of Yiddish radio, stars in Edgar G. Ulmer's musical version of David Pinski's play Yankl der shmid. Singing, dancing, and flashing his eyes, Oysher gives his most robust performance as a  passionate shtetl blacksmith who must struggle against temptation to become a mensch. Recently rediscovered footage makes this the most complete extant version of Ulmer's lively folk operetta, replete with an example of Yiddish swing. With Florence Weiss and Miriam Riselle.
-- The National Center for Jewish Film

Here is a review of the film from the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Daily Eagle, Nov. 2, 1938:

With David Pinski's popular play, "Yankl der shmid," as his vehicle. Moishe Oysher came back to Broadway last night in person, as well as on the screen of the Continental Theatre. Not since "Marie Antoinette" opened, has a night film premiere attracted such an enthusiastic crowd. During two showings of "The Singing Blacksmith," the Continental was packed to capacity.

This was Oysher's crowd. It applauded vigorously after he completed each important scene. But it thrilled as well to a screenplay that bears few of the heavy-handed dramatic trappings that have marred other film efforts of Yiddish players. The action of "The Singing Blacksmith" is not always fluid. At the outset, it is definitely episodic and is badly in need of tightening-up which would at once speed up its pace and cut down its running time of nearly two hours.


Episodic or not, "The Singing Blacksmith" never loses sight of the business at hand. Sometimes that business is to rib the ancient Jewish custom of matchmaking. It does its job inoffensively and, with the help of two comic matchmakers, makes the ribbing an amusing highlight. When it has settled down to characterizing the blacksmith, it fixes the burden firmly on the shoulders of Moishe Oysher. And that, too, is a good choice, for he is [a] splendid actor with diversified talents: a fine comic strain, an invigorating baritone voice, and a sensitive feeling for his drama.

On the Continental screen, Oysher is Yankl the smithy -- a boisterous fellow who has learned his trade by apprenticeship and has made it pay. Without responsibilities, he enjoys life and refused to settle down. Strong, personable and fun-loving, he charms the village girls.

But when he sees Tamara, the orphaned niece of the town's most aristocratic family, he realizes that he really hasn't been happy. Refusing to recognize the difference in rank. Yankl engages a matchmaker to arrange the marriage and pledges himself to abandon his easy living.

Tamara accepts him though her uncle warns her against him. Their married life is happy until one of the smithy's old flames breaks with her husband and comes to Yankl's house to room. He is tempted to return for a spree and almost does -- but not quite -- in the gay celebration that follows the birth of his first son.

There is no smooth gradation of emotion in Yankl's reform. If there were, "The Singing Blacksmith" might easily be the best thing the Yiddish screen has produced. But even in its episodic manner, it manages to be bright, frequently thrilling, entertainment. To those who know the language, the dialogue, is evidently richer than the English captions which, nevertheless, are adequate.  -- H.C.

You can see a film clip of this movie:



You can see the entire film (for now) at:


Cast listings courtesy of

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