Directed by Sidney M. Goldin,
Written by Harry Seckler (play and screenplay)
Re-edited, with additional sound sequences
and narration filmed and recorded in New York City in 1932.
Re-edit released in the United States on May 27, 1933.
100 minutes, silent, B & W
Yizkor dramatizes its theme of
fidelity to one's self, one's community and one's religion
through a plot that revolves around hostage-taking, heroism
and resistance. In a small Volhynian village, the local
Count's daughter falls in love with Leybke, a handsome
Jewish guardsman, but all her attempts to win him fail as he
is in love with and betrothed to Kreyndl. The Countess
desperately tries to seduce Leybke, and avenges her failure
by falsely accusing him of attacking her. Arrested on the
eve of his wedding, Leybke escapes and marries Kreyndl, but
after they flee the entire Jewish community is held hostage.
Leybke gives himself up, is buried alive and the Countess
-- The National Center for Jewish Film
A revamp of an old Yiddish silent. Must
have been quite a production in the old days. The picture
today isn't much to look or listen at, a good deal of it
having been botched. But Jews are easy to please in the
theatre. They'll go for it.
Starts off with a little boy asking the
Rabbi what "Yiskor" means. Rabbi begins telling an old
legend that the prayer is based on. Old silent picture is
used to portray the story he's telling while his voice goes
on describing the action. In a couple [of] spot pieces are
re-enacted for talk and song purposes, and these bits are
pretty well blended in. The editing could have been a bit
better, and the sound could have been improved upon also.
The old film has to do with a haughty
princess who falls in love with a Jewish soldier in her
father's guards. She tries to make love to him; he won't
give in because he's in love with a Jewish girl. So the
princess has him sent to jail, then goes down and commits
suicide in his cell. That looks like murder to the others,
so they bury the lad alive. And for some reason not made
clear in the film, his action calls for prayer from all
Judaism once a year.
The action is pretty bad throughout,
but Maurice Schwartz is a name to conjure with in the