The Juggler (1953)

84 or 86 mins | Drama | June 1953

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Producer:

Stanley Kramer

Cinematographer:

J. Roy Hunt

Editor:

Aaron Stell

Production Designer:

Robert Peterson

Production Company:

Stanley Kramer Co., Inc.
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HISTORY

As noted in a Feb 1952 DV item, producer Stanley Kramer originally assigned author Michael Blankfort to direct the adaptation of his novel The Juggler . According to a May 1952 DV news item, Blankfort was refused a passport for travel to Israel by the United States State Department because of testimony by Louis Budenz before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) that Blankfort had been a Communist many years earlier. Kramer reassigned the film to Edward Dmytryk, one of a group of filmmakers who became known as "The Hollywood Ten." Dmytryk served nearly a year in prison in 1948 after being convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to divulge his political affiliations. After his release from prison, Dmytryk moved to England where he directed two films ( Give Us This Day and The Hidden Room ). In 1951, Dmytryk returned to the U.S. and gave testimony in the second round of HUAC hearings and, as a result, was removed from the industry "blacklist."
       The Juggler marked Italian actress Milly Vitale's American film debut. A HR news item indicates that Harold Gordon was cast in the film, but his appearance in the finished film has not been confirmed. Although Kramer intended to shoot the entire picture in Israel, due to inadequate facilities there, the interiors were filmed in ... More Less

As noted in a Feb 1952 DV item, producer Stanley Kramer originally assigned author Michael Blankfort to direct the adaptation of his novel The Juggler . According to a May 1952 DV news item, Blankfort was refused a passport for travel to Israel by the United States State Department because of testimony by Louis Budenz before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) that Blankfort had been a Communist many years earlier. Kramer reassigned the film to Edward Dmytryk, one of a group of filmmakers who became known as "The Hollywood Ten." Dmytryk served nearly a year in prison in 1948 after being convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to divulge his political affiliations. After his release from prison, Dmytryk moved to England where he directed two films ( Give Us This Day and The Hidden Room ). In 1951, Dmytryk returned to the U.S. and gave testimony in the second round of HUAC hearings and, as a result, was removed from the industry "blacklist."
       The Juggler marked Italian actress Milly Vitale's American film debut. A HR news item indicates that Harold Gordon was cast in the film, but his appearance in the finished film has not been confirmed. Although Kramer intended to shoot the entire picture in Israel, due to inadequate facilities there, the interiors were filmed in Hollywood. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 May 1953.
---
Daily Variety
11 Nov 1951.
---
Daily Variety
29 Feb 1952.
---
Daily Variety
7 May 1952.
---
Daily Variety
15 May 1952
p. 9, 11.
Daily Variety
1 May 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 May 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 1952
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 1952
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 1952
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Sep 1952
p. 6, 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 1952
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 1952
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 53
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
21 Nov 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 May 53
p. 1821.
New York Times
17 Aug 1952.
---
New York Times
5 May 53
p. 35.
New York Times
6 May 53
p. 39.
Variety
6 May 53
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Stanley Kramer Company Prod.
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Ed supv
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prod des
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Tech adv
Sketch artist
Scr supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Juggler by Michael Blankfort (Boston, 1952).
DETAILS
Release Date:
June 1953
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 5 May 1953
Production Date:
5 September--25 October 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Stanley Kramer Co., Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 April 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2506
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84 or 86
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16222
SYNOPSIS

In 1949, Jewish refugees from all parts of post-war Europe arrive in Israel via the port of Haifa. At the King David camp, German refugee and former world-renowned vaudevillian and juggler Hans Muller soothes Susy, a young girl distressed by the camp’s rough surroundings. Hans is unnerved by a woman speaking German to her children and mistakes them for his dead wife and daughters. An acquaintance, Willy Schmidt, calms Hans, but later, the juggler grows despondent when he realizes that he has no practical skills to offer the flourishing camp. Willy asks Dr. Traube to see Hans, who angrily rejects the physician’s suggestion that he consult a psychiatrist to help him adjust to his war-time experiences and the loss of his family. Agitated, Hans leaves the camp for downtown Haifa, but panics when innocently questioned by police officer Kogan. When Kogan persists, Hans calls him a Nazi, beats him severely and flees as bystander Emile Halevy accuses him of murder. The following day, police detective Karni interviews Halevy and a search for Hans starts. Asleep in a park, Hans is awakened by some boys playing soccer and tells them that he is an American. One of the boys, Yehoshua Bresler, offers to guide Hans to Nazareth. Nervous about the army patrol, Hans agrees, dubbing Yehoshua “Josh.” At a newsstand later that day, Hans learns that Kogan is alive, but in serious condition, and that his attacker is being sought. Led to the immigration camp by information provided by Kogan, Karni interviews Traube and later, in Jerusalem, speaks with Willy and gets a photograph of Hans, ... +


In 1949, Jewish refugees from all parts of post-war Europe arrive in Israel via the port of Haifa. At the King David camp, German refugee and former world-renowned vaudevillian and juggler Hans Muller soothes Susy, a young girl distressed by the camp’s rough surroundings. Hans is unnerved by a woman speaking German to her children and mistakes them for his dead wife and daughters. An acquaintance, Willy Schmidt, calms Hans, but later, the juggler grows despondent when he realizes that he has no practical skills to offer the flourishing camp. Willy asks Dr. Traube to see Hans, who angrily rejects the physician’s suggestion that he consult a psychiatrist to help him adjust to his war-time experiences and the loss of his family. Agitated, Hans leaves the camp for downtown Haifa, but panics when innocently questioned by police officer Kogan. When Kogan persists, Hans calls him a Nazi, beats him severely and flees as bystander Emile Halevy accuses him of murder. The following day, police detective Karni interviews Halevy and a search for Hans starts. Asleep in a park, Hans is awakened by some boys playing soccer and tells them that he is an American. One of the boys, Yehoshua Bresler, offers to guide Hans to Nazareth. Nervous about the army patrol, Hans agrees, dubbing Yehoshua “Josh.” At a newsstand later that day, Hans learns that Kogan is alive, but in serious condition, and that his attacker is being sought. Led to the immigration camp by information provided by Kogan, Karni interviews Traube and later, in Jerusalem, speaks with Willy and gets a photograph of Hans, which Hans had given to Susy. On their trek, Josh informs Hans that he lost his parents in the war and is proud of being a “Sabrah,” an Israeli native, hardened and strong. Josh is impressed by Hans’s juggling skill and Hans agrees to teach him the trade. Near the Hill of Galilee kibbutz, Hans and Josh ignore a warning bell and inadvertently stumble into an active mine field, where Josh is injured when a mine detonates. Waiting to learn of Josh’s condition, Hans accepts the hospitality of a single young woman, Ya’El, who explains the workings of the cooperative community which, without electricity, remains entirely isolated yet self-sufficient. Kibbutz leader Mordecai invites Hans to remain in the community, but upon learning that Josh has only suffered a broken leg, Hans plans to depart, despite the boy’s emotional protest. Ya’El agrees to lead Hans to the nearest bus stop along the Syrian border, but warns Hans of the danger in the area. On their hike to the bus stop the following day, Ya’El notes the concentration camp tattoo on Hans’s arm and asks him about his experience. Hans reveals that his family perished in the camp and admits that he believed that being a famous German would save him. He also describes his terrible guilt for having survived. When Ya’El and Hans spot the Syrian army patrol, Hans grabs Ya’El’s rifle, but she prevents him from firing. Sensing Hans’s great inner torment, Ya’El suggests that he remain at the kibbutz to try and regain some inner peace. Hans warns Ya’El of his instability, but promises to stay as long as he is able. Back at the kibbutz, a supply truck brings newspapers, and Hans distracts Mordecai from reading about his attack on Kogan. Meanwhile, Karni continues to track Hans and Josh’s movements and nears Galilee. Hans attempts to settle into the kibbutz, which is in the midst of a large seasonal celebration, but the juggler admits to Ya’El that despite his growing affection for her, he still feels he must move on. Ya’El returns Hans’s feelings and pleads with him to remain. Hans again reluctantly agrees and continues to teach juggling to the recovering Josh. On the night that Hans and Josh agree to participate in a show for the community, Karni and other policemen arrive. Panicked, Hans flees and when others in the community give chase, the juggler hides in Ya’El’s cabin with a gun. Terrified by being surrounded, Hans refuses to come out and threatens suicide. Ya’El asks Karni to allow her to help and she beseeches Hans to give himself up. Hans eventually comes out of the house, brandishing the rifle before collapsing in Ya’El’s embrace and appealing for help. +

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

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