|SALLAH (director/writer: Ephraim Kishon; screenwriter: story by Kishon; cinematographer: Floyd Crosby; editors: Roberto Cinquini/Denny Schick; music: Yohanan Zarai; cast: Chaim Topol (Sallah Shabati), Geula Noni (Habbubah Shabati), Gila Almagor (Bathsheva Sosialit), Arik Einstein (Ziggi), Esther Greenberg (Sallah's wife), Shraga Friedman (Neuman), Shaika Levy (Shimon Shabati), Nathan Meisler (Mr. Goldberg); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Menahem Golan; SISU Home Entertainment Inc. (Palisades International); 1964-Israel-in Hebrew with English subtitles)|
meandering ethnic sitcom comedy."
by Dennis Schwartz
Kishon ("Ervinka"/"The Policeman")
directs and writes this pleasant but meandering ethnic
sitcom comedy, that's shot in b/w. The flawed film has
value for giving us a look at the newly created State
of Israel. It also gives us a chance to see the great
Topol act early on in his career. Though he's hammy,
he gives a winning folksy performance.
Shabati (Chaim Topol, the stage actor
convincingly plays a man who is 25 years older) is
an amiable but lazy Oriental Jew, who in 1948
arrives in Israel with his wife (Esther
Greenberg) and seven children. Housed in
a ramshackle one-room hut in a
temporary transit camp near a kibbutz, Sallah is
upset it's not the luxury apartment he was promised
and is prepared to do battle with the authorities
who put him in this bind.
Sallah's son Shimon ( Shaika
Levy) and his daughter Habbubah
each are romantically involved with a kibbutz
resident. Questions about the dowry arise for the
impoverished Sallah, since he can't keep a job and
has no means to carry out the traditional marriage.
Sallah tries to adjust to life
in his new country, he successfully
fights the bureaucracy and
resorts to cunning schemes that out-wit the
REVIEWED ON 10/23/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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