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GANGSTERS, GONIFFS & GOONS, a Talk on Zoom About Jewish Hoods in the Cinema

February 27, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 8:15 pm EST

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Join us as we discuss the well-known Jewish bad boys of cinema who have terrorized audiences over the past 100 years.

There have been a whole lot of nice Jewish boys in the movies—just as there have been a number of nasty ones! Join us as we survey the well-known Hebrew hoods of cinema who have terrorized audiences as well as their on-screen rivals over the past 100 years. Meet a rogues’ gallery that includes such real-life gangsters as Bugsy Siegel, Dutch Schultz, Meyer Lansky and Louis Lepke, portrayed by the likes of Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Kingsley, Tony Curtis and others. We also look at the careers of tough-guy Jewish actors like Edward G. Robinson, Paul Muni, John Garfield and Eli Wallach, as well as a line-up of fictional but still-menacing mobsters like Moe Green and Hyman Roth from the Godfather films and Ace Rothstein from Casino!

This presentation will be given by film historians Irv Slifkin and Laurence Lerman, the founders of FilmShul, which focuses on the history and role of Jews involved in the field of entertainment – since much of the industry’s success can be attributed to their association with it since its earliest days. The role of FilmShul is to reflect on and relate to the American Jewish experience, allowing attendees to be informed, entertained, as well as recognize the valuable contributions made by entertainment innovators of the Jewish faith.

This presentation will last approximately 75 minutes followed by time for Q & A.

If you want to hear this program, you must do so live. There will NOT be a chance to obtain a link to the recording.


February 27, 2023
7:00 pm – 8:15 pm EST
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Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy
(212) 374-4100
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