In 1870s Poland, 17-year-old Yentl (Barbra Streisand) leaves her community and disguises herself as a boy in order to be allowed as a student at a yeshiva… but there are complications. Isaac Bashevis Singer was unhappy with this musical adaptation of his story, but making it was a decade-long dream for Streisand who made sure to completely dominate the project. Never entirely convincing as a 17-year-old boy, she still does a good job as a filmmaker, presenting the story in a way that’s engaging, even complex at times. Authentic-looking locations; the song score is uneven, but Streisand’s singing compensates.
1983-U.S. 134 min. Color. Produced by Barbra Streisand, Rusty Lemorande. Directed by Barbra Streisand. Screenplay: Barbra Streisand, Jack Rosenthal. Story: Isaac Bashevis Singer (“Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy”). Songs: “The Way He Makes Me Feel”, “This Is One of Those Moments”, “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” (Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman). Cast: Barbra Streisand (Yentl), Mandy Patinkin (Avigdor), Amy Irving (Hadass), Nehemiah Persoff, Steven Hill.
Trivia: Diane Lane was allegedly considered for the part of Hadass.
Oscar: Best Original Song Score. Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical), Director.