Olive Films releases one of the landmarks of American cinema, The Pawnbroker on Blu-ray™ and DVD April 22nd. Directed by Academy-Award®-winner (Honorary Award 2005) Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon) and released in 1964, it was the first cinematic exploration of the darkest memories and feelings of a Holocaust survivor. Filmed in stark black and white, it was also the first film approved by the Production Code that contained nudity. Newly remastered in HD for this release, The Pawnbroker is also being honored with a special screening as part of the 2014 TCM Film Festival. SRP is $29.95 for the Blu-ray™, and $19.95 for the DVD.
Rod Steiger (In the Heat of the Night) earned a 1965 Best Actor Oscar® nomination for his stunning performance as Sol Nazerman, a survivor of a WWII Nazi death camp where his wife, parents and children were murdered. His soul robbed of hope, he takes refuge in misery and a bitter condemnation of humanity while managing a Harlem pawnshop subjected to an endless parade of prostitutes, pimps and thieves. Jamie Sanchez (The Wild Bunch) plays Ortiz, Sol’s underprivileged and idealistic assistant who dreams of a better life. The Pawnbroker features evocative black-and-white cinematography by the great Boris Kaufman (On the Waterfront), a memorable jazz-influenced score by the legendary composer/producer Quincy Jones and a stellar supporting cast also including Geraldine Fitzgerald (Wuthering Heights), Brock Peters (To Kill a Mockingbird), Raymond St. Jacques (Cotton Comes to Harlem) as well as the debut of a very young Morgan Freeman.
Steiger received rave reviews for his performance as the cynical Nazerman and the actor would cite that role as a stand-out among his impressive body of work. The film went on to be selected in 2008 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Fifty years after its initial release, The Pawnbroker still stands as a truly historic piece of filmmaking whose influence and compassion is still felt today.
About Olive Films
Olive Films was founded in 2003 by Farhad Arshad as a boutique theatrical and distribution label. Currently located in Chicago, Illinois, its catalog boasts over 500 titles cultivated from the libraries of Paramount, Republic, Warner and HBO and includes such Hollywood classics as the Oscar® winners High Noon starring Gary Cooper and John Ford’s The Quiet Man starring John Wayne, the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring Kevin McCarthy, Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 starring Robert DeNiro, the John Wayne classics Rio Grande, McLintock! and Sands of Iwo Jima, along with such contemporary classics as Stephen King’s Cujo, the Wachowski’s Bound, The Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ironweed starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.