Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974)

Academy Awards, USA 1975

Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material
Mordecai Richler
Lionel Chetwynd

Paramount Pictures
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 4

Richard Dreyfuss, fresh out of high school, gets a job as a waiter at a Canadian resort where he clashes with his rich coworkers and falls in love with a waitress. Following the advice of his elderly uncle, he schemes to buy up all of the land at a nearby lake. He decides money is in movies, and he hires an eccentric, drunk director to film  the bar mitzvahs of rich relatives. It eventually leads to bankruptcy. He decides to forge a check and steal money from a "friend" to buy up the last lots near the lake, losing everything else in the process. A cautionary tale of greed that confronts Jewish stereotypes with both drama and comedy, but it is hard to like Dreyfuss's character or care about his fate.

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