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A List of Our Own

Tablet Magazine’s ‘100 Greatest Jewish Films’ premieres Monday

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The season of lists.(IMDB)

It’s holiday season, and, like Santa, we are in the mood to make lists. Last year, we gave you our top 100 Jewish songs of all time. This year, we’re taking it to the big screen with our definitive selection of the greatest 100 Jewish films in history.

Coming up with the list was no easy task. We spent hours arguing about just what it was that made a film Jewish, and what made one Jewish film more important than another. We’re sure what we came up with will inspire some and infuriate others, but, hopefully, it will get us all thinking about what makes motion pictures such a great–and a greatly Jewish–art form.

Starting Monday, we’ll present you with a new batch of cinema magic each day of the week. Can you guess what our number one pick is? Which movies would you have chosen? Which are overlooked? Which overrated? We’d love to know your thoughts (see: comments!). And don’t forget to grab some popcorn.

Related: Song of Songs [Tablet Magazine]

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Susan Zuckerman says:

Number One all-time great: The Chosen.
Others I hope you picked: Au Revoir Mes Enfants, Crossing Delancey, Schindler’s List,
Europa, Europa.

Steve Stein says:

My guess for #1: Ten Commandments. The Egyptian army played the Israelites. And all the Jews in the movie played Egyptians. (Well, maybe that last one isn’t true.)

Steve Stein says:

My uncle will cry if “The Frisco Kid” isn’t in the top 10.

I too vote for Frisco kid in the top ten.

And also The Chosen, Crossing Delancey, Shoah,….

The stoned Bar Mitzvah scene in the Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man” surely earns it a spot on the list.

Steve Stein says:

Is Mel Brooks’s “Frankenstein” a Jewish movie?
Is “Spaceballs”? (No question!)
How about “Blazing Saddles”? (Zeit nicht meshugge!)

I guess all Brooks films would qualify.

Steve Stein says:

I love this list (does it show)?
“A Stranger Among Us”
“When Harry Met Sally”, “Princess Bride” and just about any Billy Crystal movie

Is there any way we can claim “The Godfather”? :-)

Steve Stein says:

Oh, another one – “The Great Dictator”

Let’s face it – there are too many Jewish movies. (Is every MGM movie “Jewish”?)

What’s the best LEAST Jewish movie (made in America)? My best answer – “Witness”

Dan Klein says:

The Great Dictator! The Jazz Singer! The first two X-men movies! Night of the Living Dead! Debbie Does Dallas!

Steve Stein says:

Would it be kosher to keep track of each film’s Bacon number?
(Debbie Does Dallas? Wait, what?)

Steve Stein says:

Oh, another couple.
“Exodus” of course.
“Sophie’s Choice”

David’s right. The stoned Bar Mitzvah scene in “A Serious Man” was priceless.

Everything is Illuminated was a fine movie.


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A List of Our Own

Tablet Magazine’s ‘100 Greatest Jewish Films’ premieres Monday

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