Enemies, A Love Story (1989)

R | 114 mins | Comedy-drama | 13 December 1989

Director:

Paul Mazursky

Producer:

Paul Mazursky

Cinematographer:

Fred Murphy

Editor:

Stuart Pappé

Production Designer:

Pato Guzman

Production Company:

Morgan Creek Productions
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HISTORY

       Enemies, A Love Story is based on a novel by Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer, that first appeared serially in the Jewish Daily Forward in 1966 under its original Yiddish title Sonim, di Geshichte fun a Liebe. It was translated into English and published as a novel by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1972. It was the first of Singer’s novels to be set in the United States.
       A 24 Oct 1986 HR news item reported that actor Richard Dreyfuss was cast to play “Herman Broder” and that principal photography was scheduled to start in Mar 1987.
       Principal photography finally began on 18 May 1989 according to a 22 May 1989 HR news brief. Production was completed in Jul 1989 as reported in a 31 Jul 1989 DV.
       As stated in a 30 Jul 1989 NYT article, all exterior scenes were filmed in New York City’s lower East Side. To save money, all interior scenes were shot in Montreal, Canada. New York locations included Leibel Bistritsky’s Kosher Gourmet Foods on Essex, between Grand and Hester, as wells as Antique Judaica Store at 45 Essex Street.
       The 30 Jul 1989 NYT stated that director Paul Mazursky read the English version of the novel in 1972 and wanted to adapt it to film; however, the film rights were not available at that time. He reread the novel in 1986, acquired the rights, and convinced Walt Disney Productions to pay for the screenwriting costs. Mazursky hired Roger L. Simon, creator of the “Moses Wine” detective novels, ... More Less

       Enemies, A Love Story is based on a novel by Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer, that first appeared serially in the Jewish Daily Forward in 1966 under its original Yiddish title Sonim, di Geshichte fun a Liebe. It was translated into English and published as a novel by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1972. It was the first of Singer’s novels to be set in the United States.
       A 24 Oct 1986 HR news item reported that actor Richard Dreyfuss was cast to play “Herman Broder” and that principal photography was scheduled to start in Mar 1987.
       Principal photography finally began on 18 May 1989 according to a 22 May 1989 HR news brief. Production was completed in Jul 1989 as reported in a 31 Jul 1989 DV.
       As stated in a 30 Jul 1989 NYT article, all exterior scenes were filmed in New York City’s lower East Side. To save money, all interior scenes were shot in Montreal, Canada. New York locations included Leibel Bistritsky’s Kosher Gourmet Foods on Essex, between Grand and Hester, as wells as Antique Judaica Store at 45 Essex Street.
       The 30 Jul 1989 NYT stated that director Paul Mazursky read the English version of the novel in 1972 and wanted to adapt it to film; however, the film rights were not available at that time. He reread the novel in 1986, acquired the rights, and convinced Walt Disney Productions to pay for the screenwriting costs. Mazursky hired Roger L. Simon, creator of the “Moses Wine” detective novels, to write the screenplay. Disney later passed on the project, as did every major Hollywood studio. Mazursky claimed they found the story "too Jewish.” Executive producer Joe Roth read the script and brought it to Morgan Creek Pictures with a budget of $9.5 million and convinced Twentieth Century Fox to distribute it.
       To make 1989 Manhattan look like 1949 Manhattan, the crew had to remove television antennas and modern street lamps. Fire escapes were covered with vintage clothing that was less colorful than the current fashion.

      The following statement appears in end credits: “Special thanks to Joel Moss and Stephan R. Goldman, For Score Productions; Bens of Montreal, World Renown Delicatessen; Nathan’s Famous; Mel Hoppenheim; Deno’s Wonderland Park; Pat Scot and the New York City Film Office; New York City Transit Authority; Madeliene Bonin and Sogic; Ken Korrall and the Montreal Film Office.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
31 Jul 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Dec 1989
p. 1.
New York Times
30 Jul 1989
p. 11, 18.
New York Times
13 Dec 1989
p. 22.
Variety
13 Dec 1989
p. 31.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
James G. Robinson and Joe Roth present
a Morgan Creek production
a Paul Mazursky film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir, New York
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Asst. co-prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Based on a novel by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy grip
2nd cam - DOP
2nd cam - DOP
Steadicam op
Steadicam op
Video asst op
Focus puller
Focus puller
Remote control cam
Supplemental elec
Supplemental elec
Supplemental elec
Video playback op
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Generator op
Pre-rig grip
Pre-rig grip
Pre-rig grip
1st asst cam, New York
Gaffer, new York
2d asst cam, New York
Key grip, New York
Best boy, New York
Dolly grip, New York
Best boy grip, New York
Still photog, New York
Steadicam op, New York
Steadicam asst, New York
Elec, New York
Elec, New York
Elec, New York
Elec, New York
Elec, New York
Elec, New York
Elec, New York
Grip, New York
Grip, New York
Grip, New York
Grip, New York
Riggging gaffer, New York
Rigging grip, New York
Cam prod asst, New York
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept coord
Graphic artist
Asst art dir, New York
Graphic artist, New York
Storyboard artist, New York
Art dept intern, New York
Art dept intern, New York
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
Apprentice ed, New York
Asst ed, New York
SET DECORATORS
Key set dresser
Const coord
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Set dresser
Set dresser
Key prop buyer
Asst set dresser
Carpenter
Carpenter
Asst prop buyer
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Set dec, New York
Prop master, New York
Asst prop master, New York
Lead set dresser, New York
Set dresser, New York
Set dresser, New York
Set dresser, New York
Set dresser, New York
Master scenic artist, New York
Scenic artist, New York
Stand-by scenic, New York
Const coord, New York
Key set builder, New York
Set builder, New York
Set builder, New York
Set builder, New York
Set builder, New York
3d prop asst, New York
Prop buyer, New York
Shop prod asst, New York
Const prod asst, New York
COSTUMES
Cost des
Assoc cost des
Asst cost des
Ward master
Key ward dresser
Ward dresser
Extras ward dresser
Ward dresser
Seamstress
Seamstress
Seamstress
Women's ward supv, New York
Men's ward supv, New York
Asst ward, New York
Asst ward, New York
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Asst mus ed
Mus contractor/Coord
Mus rec by
Featured soloist, Clarinet
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR ed
Asst ADR ed
Asst ADR ed
Post prod dial
2d ADR ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Foley
Foley mixer
Asst rec eng
Asst rec eng
Foley rec
Sd mixer, New York
Boom man, New York
Sd utility, New York
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff asst
Title des by
Spec eff coord, New York
Spec eff, New York
Spec eff, New York
Spec eff, New York
MAKEUP
Key Hairstylist
Key makeup artist
Asst to Mr. Mazursky
Hairstylist
Makeup artist
Asst hairstylist
Asst hairstylist
Asst hairstylist
Asst makeup artist
Asst makeup artist
Asst makeup artist
Addl hair, New York
Addl hair, New York
Addl hair, New York
Hairstylist, New York
Makeup artist, New York
Addl makeup, New York
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Loc mgr
Unit mgr
Scr supv
Post prod supv/Morgan Creek
Prod controller/Morgan Creek
Auditor
Asst to Mr. Mazursky
Asst to co-producers
Asst to Ms. Huston
Key prod asst
Admin/Morgan Creek
Prod accountant
Asst to prod mgr
Picture vehicle coord
Asst prod accountant
Asst to James G. Robinson
Asst to Joe Roth
Dialect coach
Asst loc mgr
Asst unit mgr
Prod secy
Office clerk
Office clerk
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Driver
Driver
Mr. Mazursky's driver
Chauffer
Honeywagon driver
Craft services
Craft services
Craft services
Asst to Maurice Jarre
Voice casting
Post prod services
Loc mgr, New York
Scr supv, New York
Prod accountant, New York
Extras casting, New York
Casting asst, New York
Asst accountant, New York
Prod coord, New York
Loc coord, new York
Loc asst, New York
Loc asst, New York
Key prod asst, New York
Transportation coord, New York
Teamster captain, New York
Parking coord, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Driver, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Office prod asst, New York
Office prod asst, New York
Shop prod asst, New York
STAND INS
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in for Mr. Silver, New York
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Enemies, A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer (New York, 1972).
SONGS
"Sunny Side Of The Street," words by Dorothy Fields, music by Jimmy McHugh, published by Songwriters Guild of America/Shapiro, Bernstein, Inc., ASCAP, performed by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, courtesy of RCA Records
"Love Is Here To Stay," words by Ira Gershwin, music by George Gershwin, published by Chappell Music Corp., ASCAP, performed by Billie Holliday, courtesy of MCA Records
"Joseph! Joseph!" words by S. Cahn and S. Chaplin, music by N. Casman and S. Steinberg, published by Harms, Inc., ASCAP, performed by The Andrew Sisters, courtesy of MCA Records
+
SONGS
"Sunny Side Of The Street," words by Dorothy Fields, music by Jimmy McHugh, published by Songwriters Guild of America/Shapiro, Bernstein, Inc., ASCAP, performed by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, courtesy of RCA Records
"Love Is Here To Stay," words by Ira Gershwin, music by George Gershwin, published by Chappell Music Corp., ASCAP, performed by Billie Holliday, courtesy of MCA Records
"Joseph! Joseph!" words by S. Cahn and S. Chaplin, music by N. Casman and S. Steinberg, published by Harms, Inc., ASCAP, performed by The Andrew Sisters, courtesy of MCA Records
"Happy Talk," words by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Richard Rodgers, published by Williamson Music, ASCAP, performed by Juanita Hall, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Dept.
"Leap Frog," music by Joe Garland and Les Brown, published by Leeds Music Corp., ASCAP, peformed by Les Brown and His Band of Renown, courtesy of MCA Records
"Mona Lisa," words and music by J. Livingston and R. Evans, published by Famous Music Corp., ASCAP, performed by Leo Parker, courtesy of Fantasy Records
"Palestina (Lena From Palesteena)," music by Con Conrad and J. Russel Robinson, published by Warner Bros. Music/J. R. Robinson, ASCAP, performed by the Klezmer Conservatory Band, courtesy of Vanguard Records
"Di Zilberne Khasene," traditional, performed by The Klezmorim, courtesy of Arhoolie Records
"Kol Nidre," traditional, performed by Cantor Burny Lieberman
"Song of Songs," traditional, performed by Cantor Nathaniel Katzman
"Hashem Molokh," traditional, performed by Cantor Gershon Sirota.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 December 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 13 December 1989
Production Date:
18 May--July 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Morgan Creek Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 January 1990
Copyright Number:
PA443144
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stero in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
114
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30096
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1949, Herman Broder wakes from a nightmare about being captured by Nazis. He looks outside his window and sees the Coney Island Ferris Wheel. His wife, Yadwiga, a Polish peasant who hid him from the Nazis, announces she has shined his slippers. Kissing her on the forehead, Herman reminds her she is no longer his servant. After breakfast, Herman tells Yadwiga he is leaving on a business trip to sell books in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Instead, he goes to Manhattan and is greeted by Rabbi Lembeck, for whom he is ghostwriting a book. Lembeck demands Herman get a telephone so Lembeck can reach him, but Herman claims his “roommate,” a Holocaust survivor, is afraid of the sound of bells. Lembeck jokes that Herman is hiding a wife and tells him it is about time his roommate stopped thinking of the past and started to live a normal life. Herman visits Masha, a beautiful mistress, and also a Holocaust survivor. As Herman smothers her breast with kisses, her mother comes in, shakes Herman’s hands and complains that Masha should have let her die in the camps. Masha asks Herman about his wife and argues he should write his own books. When Herman insists on being a ghostwriter, Masha tells him he is still hiding in the barn. After making love, Masha asks Herman if he thinks of his first wife, Tamara. He simply declares she is dead. Masha asks if she committed suicide would Herman mourn her, then swears if Herman died she would never take another man. The next day, Herman takes Yadwiga to ... +


In 1949, Herman Broder wakes from a nightmare about being captured by Nazis. He looks outside his window and sees the Coney Island Ferris Wheel. His wife, Yadwiga, a Polish peasant who hid him from the Nazis, announces she has shined his slippers. Kissing her on the forehead, Herman reminds her she is no longer his servant. After breakfast, Herman tells Yadwiga he is leaving on a business trip to sell books in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Instead, he goes to Manhattan and is greeted by Rabbi Lembeck, for whom he is ghostwriting a book. Lembeck demands Herman get a telephone so Lembeck can reach him, but Herman claims his “roommate,” a Holocaust survivor, is afraid of the sound of bells. Lembeck jokes that Herman is hiding a wife and tells him it is about time his roommate stopped thinking of the past and started to live a normal life. Herman visits Masha, a beautiful mistress, and also a Holocaust survivor. As Herman smothers her breast with kisses, her mother comes in, shakes Herman’s hands and complains that Masha should have let her die in the camps. Masha asks Herman about his wife and argues he should write his own books. When Herman insists on being a ghostwriter, Masha tells him he is still hiding in the barn. After making love, Masha asks Herman if he thinks of his first wife, Tamara. He simply declares she is dead. Masha asks if she committed suicide would Herman mourn her, then swears if Herman died she would never take another man. The next day, Herman takes Yadwiga to Coney Island boardwalk where she announces she wants to become a Jew and bear Herman’s children. The next morning, Masha’s mother shows Herman a newspaper with a classified advertisement seeking him. He goes to an apartment in the lower eastside and discovers his first wife, Tamara, is alive. Tamara explains she survived being shot and left for dead. Although she escaped to Russia, a bullet is still lodged in her hip, causing her to limp. After the war, her uncle brought her to the United States. Herman tells her about Yadwiga, who was their servant before the war. Tamara asks if Herman wants a divorce, but he leaves promising to call her. Herman meets Masha at a diner and explains Tamara is alive. She refuses to believe him, throws tea in his face, screams he has another mistress and runs outside. Herman catches her and claims he was late for their date because he went to see a cousin before agreeing to accompany her on a vacation in the Catskills. Herman keeps seeing both Masha and Tamara without Yadwiga’s knowledge. When Tamara insists he divorce her or Yadwiga, Herman tells her about Masha. He confesses he loves Masha, but her husband refuses to grant her a divorce. Tamara kisses him and tells him to go spend Shabbat with his wife. The next day, Herman pretends he is going to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a week, but instead takes Masha to a resort in the Catskills. There, Masha informs him she is pregnant and wants Herman to marry her in a Jewish ceremony. She states he can keep Yadwiga also and it will not be a sin as he married Yadwiga in a civil wedding. If he refuses, she threatens to abort the child. Upon returning to the city, Herman visits Tamara who congratulates him on having three wives. That night, she allows him to crawl into her bed and they talk about their two children who died in the camps. Tamara claims she had lovers during their separation. Aroused, Herman calls her a whore and they have sex. Later, Tamara admits she lied, explaining every time a man tried to get close to her, she saw the faces of her dead children. On Yom Kippur, Yadwiga nags Herman to go to the temple. He loses his temper and slaps her, causing her to burst into tears and wail that she saved him from the Nazis. Contrite, Herman apologizes, telling her to go the service. When she leaves, he stares at a photograph of his dead children. Later, Herman meets Masha’s husband at a restaurant, who informs Herman that Masha slept with him in order for him to agree to give her a divorce. Infuriated, Herman returns to his apartment and tells Yadwiga he will talk to the Rabbi about her converting to Judaism so they can have a child. That night, Masha telephones to insist she was not unfaithful, swearing her innocence on the life of her unborn child. Weeks later, Masha and Herman marry in a temple. However, he continues to live with Yadwiga, who has also become pregnant. One day Herman receives a call that Masha is sick. He tells Yadwiga he needs to see his cousin. When she accuses him of having a mistress, he confesses. At Masha’s, Herman is told by a visiting doctor that Masha had a hemorrhage and that the pregnancy was psychosomatic. The doctor assures Masha’s mother that Masha will be able to have a child in a year, but the old woman cries she will not live that long. Herman returns home to find Yadwiga has made his favorite meal. They sit down to eat when a tipsy Tamara arrives, causing Yadwiga to believe she is seeing a ghost. Once she determines Tamara is alive, Yadwiga declares Herman must return to his first wife and she will be their servant, but Tamara tells the girl she is not interested in getting Herman back. Another knock on the door sends Yadwiga screaming into the bathroom. At the door is Mr. Pesheles, president of the Jewish Comfort League, who is interested in Herman’s writing. Herman receives a telephone call from Rabbi Lembeck. After discovering Herman’s address and phone number, the Rabbi insists on coming over so Herman can rewrite a few passages before their book goes to the printer. Herman convinces him that he really lives at Masha’s apartment and agrees to meet him there, and declines Pesheles’s invitation to dinner. Before he goes, the old man asks Tamara her name. Herman explains they are cousins and share the name Broder. As Herman walks Tamara to the subway, he tells her he dreams of his father berating him for making so many people’s lives miserable. When he asks for her forgiveness, she informs him she is going into the hospital to have the bullet removed from her hip. Herman arrives at Masha’s, to find Lembeck and Masha celebrating Herman's and her wedding. Lembeck insists Herman bring Masha to a party he is giving. A week later, Herman is at Rabbi Lembeck’s party when he runs into Mr. Pesheles who insists on meeting the Polish servant girl who converted to Judaism. When he meets Masha, he realizes this is not Yadwiga, and tells Herman that when he saw Tamara at the hospital under anesthesia, she also claimed to be Herman’s wife. Shocked that Tamara really is alive, Masha demands to know how many wives Herman has and says if Herman hears she is dead, not to come to her funeral. Herman runs away to meet Tamara at a diner. She tells him he is a “lost man,” someone who cannot make decisions. She talks him into returning to Yadwiga and taking a job with her uncle. Yadwiga welcomes Tamara’s help and the three celebrate Passover together. One night, Herman meets Masha at a hotel, where she begs him to flee to California with her. The next day, Herman tells Tamara he is leaving. He arrives at Masha’s apartment to find it ransacked and Marsha’s mother beaten by thieves. After her mother dies, Masha suggests they commit suicide and Herman, the “lost man,” agrees. Before taking poison, they decide to tell the truth. Herman admits he slept with Tamara and Masha confesses she had sex so her ex-husband would grant a divorce. Herman tells her now that the truth is out, there is no reason to kill themselves, but Masha declares she does not want to be buried with strangers. Herman tells her she will be buried next to him, but Masha replies that Herman is a stranger and insists Herman must not abandon his child. After he leaves, Masha swallows the poison. Herman is nowhere to be found when Yadwiga gives birth. Months later, she receives an envelope with a twenty dollar bill and no return address. As she folds the money, Tamara arrives and the two women play with Herman’s daughter, Masha. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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