Starring:Ester-Rokhl Kaminska, Ida Kaminska, Zygmund Turkow
A Vilna Legend (Dem Rebns Koyekh,reissue of Tkies Kaf/The Vow, 1924) USA 1933
60 minutes B&W Yiddish narration with English subtitles 1924
Credits: Director: Zygmund Turkow
Producer: Leo Forbert
Screenplay: Henrik Bojm. Based on a pay by Peretz Hirshbein
Cinematographer: Sweryn Steinwurzel
Cast: Ester-Rokhl Kaminska, Ida Kaminska, Zygmund Turkow
1933 Credits:Director: George Roland
Screenplay: Jacob Mestel
Narrator: Joseph Buloff
Few reminders are left of the vibrant Yiddish theatrical world that flourished in Warsaw, Poland, in the 1920s. This film is one of them. Jewish producers were preeminent in the interwar Polish film industry but, due to the pervasive antisemitism of the early 1920s, they shied away from films dealing with Jewish themes.
It was not until 1924 that amateurs, Henryk Bojm and Leo Forbert, adapted a Peretz Hirshbein play for the screen. Ambitiously mounted, professionally cast, it was one of the most successful Jewish cinematic efforts undertaken up to that time. In 1933, a group of New York Yiddish actors decided to give the original 1924 gem a new lease on life. They added anarration and several new scenes (those in the tavern) which gave dramatic justification to the narrative form.
A precursor to the 1937 classic, The Dybbuk, A Vilna Legend features the same classic tale of frustrated love and destiny and the breaking/fulfillment of vows. A yeshiva student and an orphan girl who are deeply in love face eternal separation even though their parents promised them to each other before birth. Only the prophet Elijahs miraculous intervention allows their parents to fulfill their vow and the couple their love.
Please note: These classical Yiddish Movies have been electronically enhanced to get the best possible video and sound quality. Due to the age and condition of the original movies, it was not always possible to have perfect results.