LE pawnbroker (1964) is the seventh feature film by the american director Sidney Lumet, who passed away 3 years ago as a result of a lymphoma. It focuses on the character of Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger), a survivor of the Holocaust who had emigrated to the United States and opened a shop, pawnbroking in the heart of Harlem. The Second World War was an experience that was all the more terrible for this old professor saw that his wife and children had not had the chance to survive.
If he has lost his family in Auschwitz, Sol Nazerman has also left his humanity. It is today a lonely man, taciturn and closed in on itself, which is shown as cold with her similar as ruthless in business. It may be unpleasant, this character unsympathetic aims to hide this deep trauma that consumes him from the inside and that has never left.
In fact, it has the force of wanting at any price to overshadow his memory of this dark period, the latter takes a malicious pleasure to re-surface, which does not help the state of our protagonist. The fences of the basketball reminds him of the barbed wire of the concentration camps, the subway reminds him of the trains to be crowded where he and the other Jews were deported, a prostitute naked makes him remember that his wife has used sex object to the soldiers and the nazis… . As if to underline that these painful memories continue to buzz the spirit of Sol Nazerman, Lumet opts for a very quick assembly, revealing the almost-subliminal images of the concentration camps before revealing completely these flashbacks, absolutely poignant.
“Amazing, heartbreaking, and genuine, THE pawnshop is a tragedy in the shattering that is striking in its technical mastery, beauty of sound, the quality of interpretation and especially the intelligence of the words. Great movie !”
Locked up in his shop and dark mesh or even dominated by the foundations of stately Harlem, Sol Nazerman feels at every moment the weight of the guilt, the guilt of having survived, the shame of being a survivor as her family and friends, they remained there. The negative aura it gives off is such a vengeance that he would have taken against the life he to take away everything close to her heart. In the role of the moneylender there is a Rod Steiger imperial, an interpretation that is impeccable, where the actor manages to entertain us, tease us and of course we are upset. It evolves in a changing environment where people are again placed in boxes. Harlem sounds like a resonance with his past given the fact that this place has often in the past been described as a ghetto, populated by the African-american community.
Between the desperate clients of not being able to hold a conversation with him, and those who do not see him as a poor Jew being stingy, it is clear that his behavior is rude will not leave anyone indifferent. Despite its dating to say the least, questionable, its young and dynamic employee Jesus Ortiz (Jaime Sanchez) is still very attached to his boss that he sees it as a real teacher and tries all the while to identify why Nazerman behaves that way. The pawnshop attracts all the attention of Marilyn Birchfield (Geraldine Fitzgerald), a listening ear that Soil will suppress in a first time. It is also found in casting the actor Brock Peters (SILENCE AND SHADOWS) as well as a certain… Morgan Freeman ! He seemingly makes an appearance in the film as a passerby, in contrast to what is seen that is another story. Terrific, heartbreaking and authentic, THE pawnshop is a tragedy in the shattering that is striking in its technical mastery, beauty of sound, the quality of interpretation and especially the intelligence of the words. Great movie !
• Achievement : Sidney Lumet
• Screenplay : Morton S. Fine, David Friedkin
• Main actors : Rod Steiger, Jaime Sanchez, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters
• Country of origin : United States
• Released : July 9, 2014 (resumption)
• Duration : 1h56
• Distributor : Swashbuckler Films
• Synopsis : A survivor of the nazi concentration camps became the owner of a store pawnbroking must both confront the nightmares of her past and the hostile environment of the ghetto new yorker in which he lives