The Chosen

A worthy but irretrievably dull homily (based on the novel by Chaim Potok) about the conflict between adolescent friendship - two Jewish boys, one orthodox and Zionist, the other a Hasidic - and filial devotion within the demands of the faith. This is post-war New York, and The Issue is the founding of the Jewish state in Palestine, a little-known piece of history but here uncomfortably yoked to a story of heartfelt human relationships, and topped off by Steiger's most mannered performance ever as the Hasidic rabbi. Whispering into his patriarch's beard and rolling his eyes heavenward, Steiger milks the role you suspect he has longed for ever since The Pawnbroker, and director Kagan makes little attempt to hold the ham in check.

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jeremy Paul Kagan
Screenwriter: Edwin Gordon
Cast: Maximilian Schell
Rod Steiger
Robby Benson
Barry Miller
Hildy Brooks
Val Avery
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