Joan Micklin Silver (screenwriter, director) HESTER STREET (Jun 1, 1973) Revised draft film script


Np: Midwest Films, 1973. Vintage original film script, 11 x 8 1/2″ (28 x 22 cm.), under working title The Discovery of America. Red titled wrappers, brad bound, title page present dated June 1, 1973, with credits for screenwriter Joan Silver and author Abraham Cahan. 113 leaves, with last page of text numbered 108. Mechanical duplication, with pink revision pages throughout, dated variously between August 8, 1973 and August 23, 1973. Pages very good+, wrapper very good+. 

This script belonged to actress Doris Roberts, who portrayed Mrs. Kavarsky in the film, with her annotations, changes, additions and translations heavily notated in manuscript ink and pencil. Laid in is one page notated in manuscript pencil.

Based on the 1896 novella Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto by Abraham Cahan. The tale of Yankel Bogovnik’s immigration to America, where he has settled on the Lower East Side, like so many other Jews from Russia and the Pale of Settlement.

An accurate depiction of the Jewish immigrant experience at the turn of the twentieth century, including the degradation of traditions and assimilation into American culture, though the struggle between the past and future is still reflected even in the film, when the characters themselves are speaking either English or Yiddish, depending on their audience. Indeed, this screenplay is heavily notated in Yiddish translations for the English dialogue.

Nominated for an Academy Award.

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