Barbra Streisand made her directorial debut with this 1983 adaptation of the Isaac Bashevis Singer story about a young Eastern European woman (Streisand) who disguises herself as a male at the turn of the century in order to get an education. Except for an excessive musical score with too many songs and Streisand's tiresome tendency to play characters who suppress their beauty, the film is crisp and engaging, and the gender-bending love story complications are fun, if gimmicky. Streisand gives a smart, vulnerable performance and gets fresh work from costars Mandy Patinkin and Amy Irving. --Tom Keogh
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: What is this world coming to?!?!?!?! Comment: I have been waiting over 2yrs for this movie to be on DVD. But no!!! this is more than a classic film this is an iconic film for me and i am sure a lot of people out there. seriously what is the hold up?!?!?!?! Customer Rating: Summary: Where is the DVD ? Comment: I saw "Yentl" back in 1983 with my neice and fell in love with it. Streisand is at her very best in this film. But can someone tell me "Where" is the DVD version available for the USA ? Customer Rating: Summary: one of the best films of Barbra Streisand's career..... Comment: It took me many, many years to see YENTL and I am so glad that I finally did. What an amazing accomplishment for Barbra Streisand, in this, her directorial debut. YENTL went on to win a well-deserved Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. This is the film adaptation of the story written by Isaac Bashevis Singer. It takes a look at the determination of one young woman, Yentl, and her quest for education in 1904 Eastern Europe, when young women in her village were forbidden to become literate. Raised by a Rabbi father (Nehemiah Persoff), the young girl learns the sacred text of the Telmud in secret, when the shades are drawn, and under his watchful eye. Yentl is headstrong and fiercely determined to learn at any cost, in the face of the values imposed on women by a male dominated society. When her father passes away, Yentl decides to cut her hair, don trousers in the guise of a young boy, in order to finally have a chance at the education she hungers for. On the way, she encounters Avigdor (Mandy Patinkin), a fellow classmate, and his beautiful fiancee, Hadass (Amy Irving, who received a well-earned Oscar nomination for the role).
This film is filled with beautiful music (this includes the ever popular "Papa, Can You Hear Me"), strong and engaging acting and beautiful artistic direction. My only complaint is that this hasn't been released and distributed more widely on DVD in the United States. This film is worthy of preservation and carries a great message about the triumph of the human spirit and the emancipation of women in the face of great obstacles and social oppression. We are truly privileged that Ms. Streisand brought YENTL to the screen with such success. Highly reccomended. Customer Rating: Summary: One of my favorites! Comment: This is one of my favorite movies. I have seen it many times since it first came out. The story is creative and the soundtrack is just beautiful! Whatever you may think of Barbra Streisand personally, she is incredibly talented and one of the best artists of my generation (I'm 49).
I certainly don't understand why Ms. Streisand's movies take years and years to come out on DVD. We waited three long years to get "A Star Is Born" even after Amazone said it was going to be released! We'd given up hope of ever receiving it, although we finally did.
I highly recommend this movie! Customer Rating: Summary: Barbra Streisand's Dream Movie Comment: You may love her or hate but the truth should be admitted - Streisand is an extremely talented artist. "Yentl' is her baby of directing, producing, co-writing and starring as a girl who wants to study and become a rabbi and who has to disguise herself as a boy to be accepted in a college. Streisand had fought the studio for 15 years to get it made, and she put her heart into this. Barbra is a gifted director, and the film is beautifully shot. I liked her acting - I thought she was convincing and touching when her character started to fall in love with a fellow student (very appealing Mandy Patinkin, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father: prepare to die" of "The Princess Bride") and had to hide her feelings. I also like her singing and I think that the songs belong to the film and can not be taken out of the context.