Green Fields (film)

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Green Fields
Directed by Jacob Ben-Ami
Edgar G. Ulmer
Produced by Collective Film Producers
Written by Peretz Hirschbein
Starring Michael Goldstein
Helen Beverley
Isidore Cashier
Anna Appel
Max Vodnoy
Music by Vladimir Heifetz
Distributed by New Star Film Company
Release date(s) October 11, 1937
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States[1]
Language Yiddish and Hebrew with English subtitles

Green Fields (Yiddish: Grine Felder or Grune Felder) is a 1937 American comedy-drama directed by Jacob Ben-Ami and Edgar G. Ulmer and written by Peretz Hirschbein.[2] A film adaptation of Hirschbein's 1916 play of the same name,[3] the low-budget movie was filmed in New Jersey.[4] The National Center of Jewish Cinema has praised Green Fields saying that the film "heralded the Golden Age of Yiddish cinema."[5]


Levy Yitzchok (Michael Goldstein), an orphaned student, leaves his yeshiva to search for "true Jews". He meets a family of Jewish peasants living on a farm in the shtetl. The family accept him as a boarder, and Yitzchok tutors their children.

Reception and screenings[edit]

According to the Los Angeles Times, the film is told in a "leisurely fashion".[6] J. Hoberman wrote that the film was "sunlit and air-filled, yet suffused with yearning".[7] In 1938, the moviegoers who watched Green Fields in the Warner Grand Theatre would not leave the movie theater until "the last foot of film was unreeled".[6] The film received rave reviews and was a financial success.[4]

In 1938, Green Fields won the "Best Foreign Award" in France.[8]

In 2000, Jane Sumner of The Dallas Morning News praised the film for being a "slow but charming celebration of Jewish village life in Eastern Europe before the turn of 20th century".[4]

Green Fields has been shown at a number of film festivals and screenings. In 2004, it was shown at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, Museum of Jewish Heritage. In 2005, it was screened at the Haifa Jewish Film Festival and Toronto Jewish Film Festival.[7]


  1. ^ Shepard, Richard F. (1989-09-10). "Film; 'The Dybbuk' Rises From the Ruins". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Archived from the original on 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  2. ^ "Varied Fare Promised by Federals". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). 1938-04-16. Retrieved 2009-04-24. ""Green Fields," a Yiddish corn edy-drama. opened an engage- ment of one week yesterday at the Esquire Theater. Leading roles are enacted by players from the Artef and Yid- dish Art Theaters, including Michael Goldstein." 
  3. ^ Nugent, Frank S. (1937-10-12). "The Screen; The Squire Theatre Jots a Pastoral Note in Yiddish With 'Green Fields,' Directed by Jacob Ben-Ami". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Archived from the original on 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  4. ^ a b c Sumner, Jane (200-09-08). "Jewish Film Fest opens Saturday: Green Fields". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Actress Helen Beverley dies at 94". Variety. 2011-07-23. Archived from the original on 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  6. ^ a b "Yiddish Film Opens at Grand". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). 1938-02-12. Retrieved April 24, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Green Fields". National Center for Jewish Film. Archived from the original on 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  8. ^ Smith, Madeline C.; Eaton, Richard (2005). Eugene O'Neill production personnel. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 29. ISBN 0-7864-2180-0. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 

External links[edit]