The Pawnbroker (1964) - Drama

Hohum Score



A Jewish pawnbroker, victim of Nazi persecution, loses all faith in his fellow man until he realizes too late the tragedy of his actions.

IMDB: 7.7
Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Length: 116 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 9 out of 78 found boring (11.53%)

One-line Reviews (49)

This film is slow depends too much on flashback sequences which give it a choppy disorganized look and interrupts the flow of Steiger's performance.

This is true, as the film's editing proves to be very annoying with its sudden and unexpected cuts which somehow block the characters from developing their performances further as well distracting the audience from the film's force.

Through flashbacks, some fast, mostly slow, we see both the joy and subsequent horror of Sol's life in Nazi Germany, when his wife and children are swept into the camps and killed.

But it's still a fascinating performance.

Money as God makes for an empty life .

Being non-reactive is a high-status trait, and we find it intriguing that Nazerman, essentially a schlemiel who is at the behest of petty crooks, can carry himself with such authority.

The supporting cast are terrific and the outdoor location shooting in New York is riveting.

We left the theater in stunned silence.

Moreover, that the film is in B/W only complements the gritty, intense relationships between the characters.

A gripping character study .

Missing was the contrasting element to these pathetic characters and their equally dreary existence.

His second wife suffers and hopes but is left clutching at empty air.

A stunning study of emotional alienation.

Pretentious and Depressing .

It's confusing, although I think the confusion is meant to be sort of impressionistic.

Some Very Good Acting Makes The Film Compelling .

Steiger's ability to express withheld expression – anger and pain trying to burst from his impenetrable shell - is awe inspiring.

Compelling Movie .

pretty boring .

A viewer should be prepared for an intense experience--as appropriate, the movie is filmed in stark black and white and there is no comic relief.

I feel like what it's trying to say is fascinating, and although it has the drive it needed a tiny bit more focus and balance.

It also comes across as far too slow and too long.

Visually stunning, provocative drama.

Steiger's performance is utterly compelling - it is the heart and soul of the movie.

The film has merit on so many different levels: Steiger's nearly silent suffering protagonist, who says more with his body language and facial expressions than one might believe any actor could muster; an intense 60s jazz soundtrack by the renowned Quincy Jones; Sidney Lumet's masterful direction; Boris Kaufman's brilliant black and white cinematography; and was one of the first American films to directly address a central character's Holocaust memories.

It might have been more entertaining and simple to understand.

Others are amazingly clever at some point, and equally banal at others.

Fourthly, Lumet contrasts the misery of the war years with the increasing banality of the post-war experience.

It is alive precisely because its inhabitants are poor, on the edge and victimized.

Lumet, who would follow up this disappointing effort with the brilliant "Fail Safe," is annoyingly indulgent and pretentious here.

The movement of street life against the heaviness of Sol's plodding.

Steiger is sometimes too intense, bordering on self-parody.

It is Juano's heartbreaking performance of naked wounded dignity, intense loneliness and despair that provides the essential counterpoint to Mr. Nasserman's deadness of heart.

Rod Steiger gave a superb, riveting performance as a holocaust survivor who is now trapped in a very difficult neighborhood and sees for himself what modern day prejudice there is now.

Finally, he had to deal with one heroic deed that was completely unexpected.

Rod Steiger has so immersed himself in the character, that he loses his own identity in this film.

If you let it take you it can be violently intense.

That being said, the pacing is slow and some of the plot elements aren't made very clear (such as the money laundering scheme).

The movie was just so slow and I didn't care about any of the characters.

Haunting and riveting; Steiger's performance is stunning .

An absolutely stunning film...

''The Pawnbroker'' is a gripping and somewhat controversial for its time film about a Jewish genocide survivor struggling to adapt in society while facing his personal traumas.

Some of the limitations in the film might also be the result of the script, while the central story and central character are fascinating some of the other aspects and characters seem to be more hastily sketched and even clichéd.

It was too long and I was bored through some of it.

It should be remarked that the scenes of Nazerman doing business in his shop are fascinatingly varied and intriguing, with Juano Hernandez particularly affecting - even with seemingly insignificant customers, the dialogue is very interesting.

There is much absorbing effect rendered in this Edward Lewis Wallant story, and little cause--especially root cause.

A bit of humor would have added an element of relief to an otherwise pitifully self-indulgent seediness.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

Though brilliant, Steiger's performance itself eventually becomes one note and repetitive.