Museum of the Yiddish Theatre
          Visit Us            Exhibitions           
Collections            Research            Opportunities            About the Museum            Site Map            Contact Us            Links 



Welcome to the Movies!



1936, 92 minutes, B & W
Directed by Joseph Green and Jan Nowina-Przybylski
Music by Abraham Ellstein
Original Story by Konrad Tom
Filmed in Kazimierz Dolny and Warsaw, Poland
First released in the United States
on December 31, 1936

Seeking to help her aging father and finding few options for young women in the shtetl, Molly/Yidele disguises herself as a boy to join a band of klezmorim. Their musical travels from shtetl to shtetl lead to Warsaw's Yiddish stage, romantic revelations and Second Avenue America. The irrepressible Molly Picon, consummate character actor Max Bozyk, and romantic lead Leon Liebgold combined talents with composer Abraham Ellstein and poet Itzik Manger to make Yiddle ... the most commercially successful musical in the history of Yiddish cinema.
--The National Center for Jewish Film

Here is the content of the opening-day advertisement (on the left) that appeard in the Yiddish Forward newspaper on December 31, 1936:

The Cast:
Molly Picon ... Itke, aka Yiddle
Simche Fostel ... Arie, Itke's Father
Leon Liebgold ... Efraim Kalamutker
Max Bozyk ... Marszelik
Mae Schoenfeld Dora Fakiel ... Tajbele Lebskierowna
 Mae Schoenfeld Barbara Liebgold ... Mrs. Lebskierowa
Samuel Landau ... Zalman Gold
  Chana Lewin ... Madame Flaumbaum, the Widow
Symche Natan ... R. Singer, Theatre Manager
 Mae Schoenfeld Abraham Kurc ... Theatre Co-Manager
Mae Schoenfeld Laura Glucksman ...  

Today. Greatest premiere in Yiddish that Broadway that Broadway has had.
Molly Picon in a great European Yiddish, musical talkie, "Yiddle With His Fiddle."
Regisseur: Joseph Green and J.N. Przybylski.
Music: Abraham Ellstein.
Songs: Itzik Manger.
Artistic direction: Jacob Kalich.
Original Story: Konrad Tom.
In the main roles: Max Bozyk, S. Fostel, D. Fakiel, S. Landau, M. Brin.
Wonderfully beautiful music! Gorgeous Yiddish songs! Exciting content!
Molly Picon in her entire artistic greatness!
Today! Molly Picon personally.
Will welcome the New Year. 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Every day from 11 a.m. -- Cheap prices until 1 p.m. 25 cents and 35 cents.
Ambassador Theatre, 49th Street and Broadway.

Here is a short review of the film from the January 2, 1937 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper:

Followers of the Yiddish film will be heartened to find it coming into its own through the medium of a sterling performance by Molly Picon in "Yiddle With His Fiddle," now current at the Ambassador Theater in Manhattan. Miss Picon scores a personal triumph in the musical comedy, which is enjoying its American premiere.

Her knack of mimicry, so well suited to the particular needs of the Jewish Theater, is also so well recognized that its description here would make for mere repetition. Suffice it to say that she comes through excellently in a performance which attracts capacity crowds.

Cast as a penniless girl, Itke, who with her father, Ayre, wanders about the market places and courtyards of Polish cities giving street concerts, she infuses life into a rags-to-riches role. In order to be safe on the road, Itke disguises herself as a boy named Yiddle. Complications set in when they team up with another pair of minstrels, one of whom is Efraim, with whom she falls in love. Needless to say, the latter has no idea she is a girl.

Complying with the exigencies of her dual role in a realistic but humorous manner until she is forced to discard her disguise, she comes through a series of cataclysmic events to emerge a great star, and finally smooths outher heart's interests.

Besides Miss Picon's adept handling of her part, the film is well-acted by the minor players, and the situations, pregnant with comedy through the use of funny dialogue, cannot be faulted. The ettings are simple but forceful.

-- Clarence Greenbaum.

You can see a film clip of this movie:



Cast listings courtesy of

Copyright Museum of the Yiddish Theatre.  All rights reserved.















Copyright Museum of Family History. All rights reserved. Image Use Policy