Images of minorities and
foreign groups in
American films, 1958-1973 (part 2)

by Patricia Erens

from Jump Cut, no. 8, 1975, pp. 21-23
copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1975, 2004

[This is a continuation of the essay and filmography begun in the previous issue. See Part One, Jump Cut, no. 7.]


THE ANGEL LEVINE (Jan Kadar, 1970). Story of an old Jewish couple who pray for help and find God sent them a black angel. UA

BYE BYE BRAVERMAN (Sidney Lumet, 1968). Bittersweet comedy about four New York Jewish intellectuals who gather together to bid their friend a final farewell. AB, FC, MOD, TWY, UF

CABARET (Bob Fosse, 1972). Story of life in Berlin during early thirties and of two Jewish Germans caught in the turmoil. CIN

CAST A GIANT SHADOW (Melville Shavelson, 1966). Fictionalized bio-flick of U. S. hero Mickey Marcus who helps Israelis defeat Arabs in War of Independence. UA

COME BLOW YOUR HORN (Bud Yorkin, 1963).; Domestic comedy about two Jewish sons (Frank Sinatra and Tony Bill) who go it on their own without help from mama and papa (Molly Picon & Lee J. Cobb). FI

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (George Stevens, 1959). Film version of young Jewish girl’s adolescence in hiding during Nazi occupation of Holland. FI

THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS (Paul Newman, 1973). Story of shy, intelligent girl who gets encouragement from Jewish science teacher to seek horizons beyond the limitations of her chaotic home. Fl

ENTER LAUGHING (Carl Reiner, 1967). Fictionalized auto-biography by director of entry into the world of entertainment. MOD

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK (Woody Allen, 1972). Satiric film about sex with Woody as the sick patient. Many ethnic jokes which run gamut between accuracy and bad taste.

EXODUS (Otto Preminger, 1960). Saga of Jews’ efforts to establish the State of Israel. UA

THE FIXER (John Frankenheimer, 1968). Adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s novel based on anti-Semitic trial of young Jew (Alan Bates) in Czarist Russia. FI

FOR PETE'S SAKE (Peter Yates, 1974). Comedy focusing on young couple trying to make it with help of Jewish madam (Molly Picon).

THE GAMBLER (Karl Reisz, 1974). Story of young Jewish college prof (James Caan) who can't kick the habit,

GOODBYE, COLUMBUS (Larry Peerce, 1969). Adaptation of Philip Roth’s novella about a failed romance between a sensitive young Jew (Richard Benjamin) and a “Jewish princess” (Ali McGraw). Fl

THE HEARTBREAK KID (Elaine May, 1973). Story of young Jew who succeeds in dumping new Jewish-bride for blond shiksa. FI

HEAVY TRAFFIC (Ralph Bakshi, 1973). X-rated animated feature about Jewish-Italian cartoonist with a stereotyped Jewish mother.

HIT (Sidney J, Furie, 1973). Blaxploitation film which involves middle-aged Jewish couple in revenge mission in France. FI

I ACCUSE (Jose Ferrer, 1958). Story of anti-Semitic trial of French officer Alfred Dreyfus. Fl

IVANHOE (Richard Thorpe. 1952). Screen version of Scott classic about old Jew and his beautiful daughter (Elizabeth Taylor). FI

THE JAZZ SINGER (Michael Curtiz, 1956). Remake of first sound film about cantor’s son who prefers show biz to synagogues. UA

JENNIFER ON MY MIND (Noel Black, 1971). Story of young Jewish drifter in drug scene, UA

THE JERUSALEM FILE (John Flynn, 1972). Confusing suspense story about Arab-Israeli conflict shot on location in Israel. FI

JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG (Stanley Kramer, 1961). Didactic film about truth and responsibility in Nazi Germany as revealed by war criminal trials in Nuremberg. No Jewish characters. UA

JUDITH (Daniel Mann, 1965). Drama about disillusioned Israeli immigrant (Sophia Loren) who helps capture former Nazi officer. FI

THE JUGGLER (Edward Dymtryk, 1953). Story of emotionally damaged Jew (Kirk Douglas) who finds new life in Israel after the war. AB, CLW, FC

THE LAST ANGRY MAN (Daniel Mann, 1959). Story of dedicated Jewish doctor who becomes the subject of a TV documentary. AB, CIN, FC, MOD, BUD, TRANS, TWY, CON, WC, CLW

THE LONG GOODBYE (Robert Altman, 1973). Modern detective story which includes portrait of a swinging, sadistic Jewish gangster who smashes coke bottle across face of girlfriend.

I LOVE YOU ALICE B, TOKLAS (Hy Averback, 1968), Knowing comedy about uptight young lawyer (Peter Sellers) who “drops out.” AB, BUD, CIN, MOD, WC, CLW, UF, NAT, SWA, TWY

MADE FOR EACH OTHER (Robert B. Bean, 1971). Semi-autobiographic comedy about love and marriage between Jewish writer Renee Taylor and Italian writer husband Joseph Bologna. FI

A MAJORITY OF ONE (Mervyn LeRoy, 1961). Comedy about Jewish widow (Rosalind Russell) who finds companionship with Japanese widower (Alec Guinness). AB, BUD, CIN, FC, MOD, TRANS

MARJORIE MORNIIGSTAR (Irving Rapper, 1958). Story of life and romance of beautiful “Jewish Princess” (Natalie Wood). BUD, FC, MOD

MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT (Delbert Mann, 1959). Story of older Jewish businessman (Fredric March) and romance with much younger gentile secretary. AB, BUD, MOD, FC, TWY

MINNIE AND MOSCOWITZ (John Cassavetes, 1971). Comedy about oddball Jew who falls in love with lonely gentile girl. CIN, CLW, SWA, TWY, UNIV

NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY (Jack Smight, 1968). Story of Jewish cop (George Segal) who catches psychotic murderer with mother fixation (Rod Steiger). FI

THE PAWNBROKER (Sidney Lumet, 1965). Story of embittered German-Jewish immigrant who cannot find a new life after concentration camp experiences. AB

THE ODESSA FILE (Ronald Neame, 1974). Suspense thriller about writer who tracks down concentration camp commandant.

PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT (Ernest Lehman, 1972). Film version of Philip Roth novel about young Jew’s efforts to reach manhood. WB

THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (Ronald Neame, 1973). Suspense story of group who struggle to escape from wrecked ship; mixed group with middle-aged Jewish couple (Shelley Winters). FI

ROMANCE OF A HORSE THIEF (Abraham Polonsky, 1971). Comic romance about life in the shtetl during Czarist period. Jews manage to outsmart the Cossack officers.

SAVE THE TIGER (John G. Avildsen, 1973). Story of disillusioned, middle-aged garment manufacturer who finally gives way to lax morality of world around him. Jack Lemon plays Jewish merchant. FI

SHIP OF FOOLS (Stanley Kramer, 1965). Mixed group of people on board ship headed for Bremen. Group includes a Jew and a Nazi sympathizer. BUD, CIN, CLW, MOD, SWA, TWY, UNIV

SOYLENT GREEN (Richard Fleischer, 1973). Science fiction flick about overpopulation in year 2022. Edward 0. Robinson in his last screen role plays the bookish Sol Roth, probably the last Jew in the world. FI

THE STEAGLE (Paul Sylbert, 1971). Story of young Jewish professor who leads fantasy life as result of missile crisis. AB

TOBRUK (Arthur Hiller, 1967). War film about group of German Jews who help British defeat Rommel at Tobruk. CIN, CLW, UNIV


THE AMBUSHERS (Henry Levin, 1968). Adventure story filmed in Mexico about flying saucers and sabotage. AB, BUD, TWY, WC, CIN, MOD, CLW, FC, SWA

BADGE 373 (Howard W. Koch, 1973). Detective story which leads to group of Puerto Rican revolutionaries and illegal arms shipments.  

BLUE (Yakima Canutt, 1968). Story of transformation of adopted U. S. boy from Mexican bandit to moral man. FI

BORN WILD (Maury Dexter, 1968). Story of young Mexican-American teenager who works to eliminate racial tensions in border-town high school. UPA

THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE (Don Murray, 1972). Story of efforts of white preacher to help and reform Puerto Rican gang members in New York City slum.

GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (Paul Wendkos, 1969). Spin-off of samurai film set in 19th century Mexico during revolutionary period. UA

HOMBRE (Martin Ritt, 1967). Story of Indians and Mexicans in mid-1880’s. FI

THE HONEYMOON KILLERS (Leonard Kastle, 1970). Story of trial and execution of young Latino and his partner known as the “Lonely Hearts Killers.” SWA

100 RIFLES (Chuck Roberson, 1969). Action film about half-breed (Burt Reynolds) who helps Yaqui Indians fight against corrupt Mexican governor. FI

JOE KIDD (John Sturges, 1972). Western which pits band of Mexican-Americans seeking their own justice against white hired killers. SWA, UNIV

LOVE HAS MANY FACES (Alexander Singer, 1965). Melodrama about rocky marriage of Americans living in Acapulco and death of young beach boy.

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (John Sturges, 1960). Adaptation of THE SEVEN SAMURAI set in Mexico with the banditos as the villains. UA

OUR MAN IN HAVANA (Carol Reed, 1960). Twisting plot based on Graham Greene novel about Englishman caught up in espionage in Cuba. AB, CON, FC, MOD, TRANS, BUD

PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID (Sam Peckinpah, 1973). Western of famous legend shot in Mexico. FI

THE PAWNBROKER (Sidney Lumet, 1965). Story of embittered Jewish immigrant and his Puerto Rican employee. AB

PEPE (George Sidney, 1960). Comedy starring Cantinflas as Mexican ranchhand who becomes big Hollywood producer. AB, BUD, CIN, MOD, CLW, NAT, TRANS. TWY

POCKET MONEY (Stuart Rosenberg, 1972). Action story of two buddies’ adventures in Mexico. SWA

POPI (Arthur Hiller, 1969). Happy film about Puerto Rican widower who tries to raise his two sons in New York’s Spanish Harlem. UA

THE POSSESSION OF JOEL DELANEY (Waris Hussein, 1972). Story of young boy who becomes possessed by spirit of Puerto Rican youth. FI

RED SKY AT MORNING (James Goldstone, 1971). Story of young white boy growing up at interracial high school in New Mexico during WWII. CIN, CLW, SWA, TWY, UNIV

RIO CONCHOS (Gordon Douglas, 1964). Western involving stolen rifles, Apache Indians, and a murderous Mexican (Tony Franciosa). FI

STRANGERS IN THE CITY (Rick Carrier, 1962). Film about life and hardships of immigrant Puerto Rican family living in New York’s Upper East Side. AB

THEIR BREAKFAST MEANT LEAD (Ivan Nagy, 1972). Action story of four petty thieves who cross border into Mexico to celebrate in house of pleasure.

THEY CAME TO CORDURA (Robert Rossen, 1959). Story of U. S. punitive mission against Pancho Villa in 1916. AB, MOD, BUD, CIN, CLW, FC, TRANS

TOUCH OF EVIL (Orson Welles, 1958). Dark drama in Mexican border town which pits U. S. detective (Welles) against Mexican investigator (Charlton Heston). CIN, TWY, UNIV

THE UNDEFEATED (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1970). Western involving two expeditions which bring the men into contact with a wily Mexican general. FI

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE (Robert Mulligan, 1967). Story of inexperienced teacher in New York multiracial high school and relationship with Puerto Rican student. AB, BUD, FC, MOD, TWY

VALDEZ IS COMING (Edwin Sherin, 1971). Western which pits Mexican-American (Burt Lancaster) against a wealthy cattle baron. UA

VILLA RIDES (Buzz Kulik, 1968). Fictionalized bio-flick about life of Pancho Villa and the Mexican Revolution. FI

THE VIOLENT ONES (Fernando Lamas, 1967). Story of law and order in Mexican American border town. UF

THE VISITORS (Elia Kazan, 1972). Drama about convicted Puerto Rican soldier who raped and killed a Vietnamese girl.

VIVA MAX (Jerry Paris, 1970). Comedy about incompetent Mexican brigadier (Peter Ustinov). FC, WC

WAY OUT (Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr., 1967). Independent production about young Puerto Rican in New York slum and his bout with drugs and gangland life.

WEST SIDE STORY (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 1961). Musical of life in New York’s upper West Side with Romeo and Juliet plot. UA

THE WILD BUNCH (Sam Peckinpah, 1969). Powerful western about U. S. outlaws and Mexican bandits. WB


AMBUSH BAY (Ron Winston, 1966). Story of nine U.S. Marines on Philippine Island during WWII who get help from Japanese woman spy.

BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA (Paul Wendkos, 1959), WWII film about Americans in the Pacific. BUD, CLW, MOD, WC

BRIDGE TO THE SUN (Etienne Perrier, 1961). Story of trials of intermarriage between U. S. woman and Japanese diplomat who meet in 1930 and weather WWII, FI

THE CAREY TREATMENT (Blake Edwards, 1972). Drama involving Asian doctor accused of performing illegal abortion who gains help from white doctor. FI

THE CHAIRMAN (J. Lee Thompson, 1969). Story of Nobel Prize winning U. S. scientist who goes to Red China to obtain formula for special enzyme. FI

FLIGHT FROM ASIA (Michael Anderson, 1964). Story of rescue mission of Japanese shipwreck by three Americans, one a Nisei played by Yul Brynner. Plot involves racial prejudice. UA

FLOWER DRUM SONG (Henry Koster, 1961). Musical about life in San Francisco’s Chinatown with mixture of old and new world customs. CIN, UNIV, WC

THE GAMBLERS (Ron Winston, 1969). Story of U.S. gambler who is outwitted by a Japanese valet. WB

A GIRL NAMED TAMIKO (John Sturges, 1963). Story of embittered Eurasian photographer (Laurence Harvey) living in Tokyo and the Japanese women in his life. FI

HELL IN THE PACIFIC (John Boorman, 1969). Struggle between U.S. pilot and Japanese naval officer (Toshiro Mifune) on deserted Pacific atoll in 1944. Fl

HELL TO ETERNITY (Phil Karlson, 1960). Story of U.S. orphan who grows up with Nisei family and becomes U.S. interpreter during WWII. HUR

THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS (Mark Robson, 1958). Story of British missionary (Ingrid Bergman) who becomes Chinese citizen and leads hundreds of children to safety during Japanese invasion. FI

IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD'S FAIR (Norman Taurog, 1963). Elvis Presley vehicle about his trip to the Fair as the chaperon of a small Chinese girl. FI

MAJORITY OF ONE (Mervyn LeRoy, 1962). Film version of Jewish widow who finds love with a Japanese widower (Alec Guinness) in Tokyo. AB, BUD, CIN, FC, MOD, TRANS

MARINES, LET'S GO (Raoul Walsh, 1961). Comedy about group of Marines on leave who have spree in Japan. WC

McCABE AND MRS. MILLER (Robert Altman, 1971). Unusual portrait of Asians in Old West. WB

THE MOUNTAIN ROAD (Daniel Mann, 1960). War story which shows situations of hungry, homeless civilians in China, 1944. BUD, CIN, CLW, FC, MOD, TRANS

MY GEISHA (Jack Cardiff, 1962). Story of U. S. director who goes to Japan to film new version of Madame Butterfly. Shot in Japan. FI

NOBODY'S PERFECT (Alan Rafkin, 1968). Romance between U. S. sailor and Japanese girl who is a U.S. nurse. CIN, UNIV

THE QUIET AMERICAN (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1958). Romance and intrigue in Saigon, 1952, with pretty Asian woman, the ‘catch.’ UA  

RED SUN (Terence Young. 1972), Adventure story set in the 1870s which involves a cowboy (Charles Bronson) and samurai (Toshiro Mifune) who set out to recover Japanese sword meant for president of the U.S..

SEVEN WOMEN (John Ford, 1966). Story of white missionary women and group of wild Mongolian bandits. FI

THE SILENCERS (Phil Karlson, 1966). WWII spy film about Asian enemy ring, who want to divert U.S. missiles, AB, CIN, CLW, FC, MOD, SWA, TWY

TOKYO AFTER DARK (Norman T. Herman, 1959). Low-budget drama about U.S. soldier in Japan who has real interest in the foreign culture. FI

TORA! TORA! TORA! (Richard Fleischer, 1970). Story of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from point of view of both Americans and Japanese. FI

WALK, DON'T RUN (Charles Walters, 1966). Comedy about British industrialist in Tokyo for the Olympic Games. Locations filmed in Japan. AB, CIN, CLW, MOD, FC, TRANS, TWY, SWA, WC

THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG (Richard Quine, 1960). Story of U. S. painter living in Hong Kong and relationship with Chinese prostitute. FI


A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME (Russell Rouse, 1964). Story of Polish immigrant (Shelley Winters) and rise as successful New York ‘madam.’ AB

IN ENEMY COUNTRY (Harry Keller, 1968). Espionage film which involves Polish resistance worker in dangerous mission inside Germany during WWII. CIN, CLW, UNIV

ME AND THE COLONEL (Peter Glenville, 1958). Serio-comedy about Polish officer (Curt Jurgens) and Jewish refugee (Danny Kaye) during WWII. AB, CIN, FC, TRANS, CLW, TWY, MOD


ANASTASIA (Anatole Litvak, 1956). Story of woman (Ingrid Bergman) who may or may not be heir to Romanoff throne. FI

THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV (Richard Brooks, 1958). Spirited adaptation of Dostoyevsky novel with Yul Brynner and Maria Schell in key roles. FI

THE FIXER (John Frankenheimer, 1969). Adaptation of Bernard Malamud novel about trial of young Jew in turn-of-the-century Russia. FI

THE KREMLIN LETTER (John Huston, 1970). Suspense story about efforts of western agents to recover a document in Moscow. FI

MAN ON A STRING (Andre de Toth, 1960). Espionage thriller about a Russian-born film producer (Ernest Borgnine) living in America who agrees to work for CBI as counterspy. Based on life of Boris Morros. CIN, CLW, MOD, TRANS

NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA (Franklin J, Schaffner, 1971). Adaptation of bestseller on private lives of the Czar and Czarina. COL

THE OTHER (Robert Mulligan, 1972).   Psychic drama about ten-year-old boy’s fantasy about his dead brother and their Russian-born grandmother. FI

PROMISE AT DAWN (Jules Dassin, 1971). Story of devotion of Russian silent Russian film star (Melina Mercouri) for her none too talented son. AB

ROMANCE OF A HORSE THIEF (Abraham Polonsky, 1971). Comic romance about relationships between the Cossacks and Jews in Czarist Poland. Yul Brynner as Cossack captain.

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING (Norman Jewison, 1966). Story of comic events which follow when Russian sub runs aground off New England coast. Russian captain played by Alan Arkin. UA

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (Terrence Young, 1964). James Bond fantasy involving beautiful Russian clerk and other agents.

THE SEAGULL (Sidney Lumet, 1969). Screen version of 19th century Russian play by Anton Chekhov with James Mason and Vanessa Redgrave. AB, CLW, MOD, UF, WC, TWY

SCORPIO (Michael Winner, 1973). Spy thriller with CIA agents pitted against Russian sympathizers. Film includes Russian agent who bemoans that espionage isn't what it used to be.

THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN (Michael Anderson, 1968). Screen adaptation of best-seller about rise of Russian political prisoner to position of Catholic Pope. FI

DR. STRANGELOVE (Stanley Kubrick. 1964). Sharp satire on problems of international cooperation between Russians and Americans. COL

TWELVE CHAIRS (Mel Brooks, 1970). Riotous comedy about search for treasure in Russia during post-revolutionary times. WB


THE CHRISTINE JORGENSEN STORY (Irving Rapper, 1970). Story of transformation of George to Christine with the help of a Danish doctor and other Scandinavian relatives. UA

THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR (George Seaton, 1962). Story of American-Swede (William Holden) who works as U. S. counterspy in Germany during WWII. FI

THE HUNTERS (Dick Powell, 1958). Romance between U. S. pilot (Robert Mitchum) and Swedish woman (May Britt) during Korean War. CON

THE MALTESE BIPPY (Norman Panama, 1969). Story of U. S. producer of porno flicks and assortment of friends  —one a Swedish violinist. FI

THE MARRIAGE-GO-ROUND (Walter Lang, 1961). Light entertainment about Swedish woman (Julie Newmar) who has liberated ideas about motherhood. CLW, MOD, WB

TEENAGE MOTHER (Jerry Gross, 1968). Triangle between two high school teachers and Swedish arrival who teaches sex education.

THE VIKINGS (Richard Fleischer, 1958). Adventure story set in ninth century Denmark starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis as the young savages. UA


Landay, Eileen. Black Film Stars (Drake Publishers: New York, 1973). Deals with prominent black screen stars and their image in specific films.

Patterson, Lindsay, ed. Black Films and Film-Makers (Dodd, Mead and Co.: New York, 1975). A collection of essays on blacks in early and recent films as well as their image as actors and heroes.


AB—MacMillan Audio Brandon. AEPC—Avco Embassy Pictures Corp. BUD—Budget Films. CIN—Cine-Craft Co.. CLW—Clem Williams Films, Inc.. COL—Columbia Cinematheque. CON—Contemporary Films/McGraw-Hill. FC—The Film Center. FI Films Incorporated. HUR—Hurlock Cine World. IMP—Impact Films. IVY—Ivy Films. MOD—Modern Sound Pictures, Inc.. NAT—National Film Service. RBC—RBC Films. SWA—Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.. TRANS- Trans-World Films, Inc.. TWY—Twyman Films, Inc.. UA—United Artists 16. UF—United Films. UNIV—Universal 16. UPA—United Productions. WB—Warner Bros., Inc.. WC—Westcoast Films. WR—Walter Reade 16.