Final Day! Thursday, June 6
THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ
$7 Member $12.50 Regular
Directed by TED KOTCHEFF
Starring RICHARD DREYFUSS
NEW RESTORATION BY THE ACADEMY OF CANADIAN CINEMA AND TELEVISION
(1974) In 1948 Montreal, Richard Dreyfuss’ go-getting pisher Duddy screws everyone and anyone to get his hands on the land that’ll one day make him a “somebody” — cheered on by zaydeh Zvee Scooler, cab driver/pimp dad Jack Warden (see 12 Angry Men, July 5-11), nouveau riche junkman Joe Silver, trusting epileptic bumpkin Randy Quaid, and French-Canadian shiksa girlfriend Micheline Lanctôt, but with stern warnings from Marxist factory-owning uncle Joseph Wiseman (Dr. No) — as he hustles tables in the Canadian “Catskills,” runs dope across the border for local gangster legend “Wonder Boy,” and produces alcoholic blacklisted director Denholm Elliott’s ethnographic bar mitzvah movie to end all bar mitzvah movies. Based on the novel by director Ted Kotcheff’s former roommate Mordecai Richler — Kotcheff had already adapted it for Canadian television in the early 1960s — with Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay (by Richler and Lionel Chetwynd). Approx. 120 min. DCP.
Special thanks to Helga Stephenson (Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television), Mitchell Rubin, Laifun Chung, and Ted Kotcheff.
"As fully, boundlessly embodied by the young Dreyfuss… Duddy [is] a cackling force of nature. Kotcheff uses Duddy's abrasive charisma to illuminate the motivations and pitfalls of postwar Jewish enterprise, where self-ownership in a gentile’s world can feel like an act of vengeance."
– Eric Hynes, Time Out New York
"A tremendous showcase for a mid-20s Richard Dreyfuss, whose blazing, restless performance marked him out as a major talent... Duddy exemplifies the youthful ethnic energy that had revolutionised American cinema since Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate."
– Andrew Pulver, The Guardian
“FUNNY, FANTASTIC AND MOVING! SUPERBLY LOONY!
The manic, fragmented structure of the film is an almost perfect reflection of Duddy’s state of mind as he goes barging from one get-rich-quick scheme to the next, never quite sure where he’s headed nor how he’s gotten as far as he has without being arrested. It is superbly loony, a bit frightening and riveting, which is, I suspect, how we’re supposed to feel about Duddy who, as played by Mr. Dreyfuss is part clean-cut con-man, part corrupted prophet”
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times
“No matter how phenomenal Richard Dreyfuss is in other roles, it’s not likely that he’ll ever top his performance in this teeming, energetic Canadian film. His baby-faced Duddy is a force of nature, a pushy 18-year-old con artist on his way to becoming an entrepreneur. Richler’s screenplay, based on his exultant, Dickensian 1959 novel, really enables us to understand ‘what makes Sammy run.’ Duddy waits on tables, he drives a taxi, he deals in pinball machines, he sets up a company to film weddings and bar mitzvahs. He jiggles impatiently and sweats and scratches himself. His drive for success is a comic passion. We feel with him every step of the way; he’s a little monster, yet we share his devastation when his suave uncle tells him, ‘You’re a pusherke, a little Jew-boy on the make. Guys like you make me sick and ashamed.’... And the film has real wit; it even has visual wit when we see a bar mitzvah film made by a drunken, half-mad blacklistee.”
– Pauline Kael
“Somehow manages to be breakneck and curiously touching at the same time. It’s a story of ambition and greed, with a hero that will stop at almost nothing. And yet we like Duddy, with a kind of exasperation, because we get some notion of the hungers that drive him, and because nobody suffers at his hands more than he does himself.”
– Roger Ebert