The Angel Levine

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The Angel Levine
Directed by Ján Kadár
Produced by Chiz Schultz
Screenplay by Bill Gunn
Ronald Ribman
Story by Bernard Malamud
Starring Zero Mostel
Harry Belafonte
Ida Kaminska
Milo O'Shea
Gloria Foster
Music by Zdenek Liska
Cinematography Richard C. Kratina
Edited by Carl Lerner
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates 1970
Running time 126 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Angel Levine is a 1970 U.S. film directed by Jan Kadar and based on a short story by Bernard Malamud about an impoverished New York City tailor (played by Zero Mostel) unable to work due to health problems, creating a financial strain since his wife (Ida Kaminska) is seriously ill. The tailor's faith is challenged when a man calling himself Alexander Levine (Harry Belafonte) comes into his life, claiming to be his guardian angel. The angel is concerned that he must make the tailor believe in his mission, or else he will be unable to earn his angelic wings.[1][2]

The Angel Levine was poorly received when it was first released, with Roger Greenspun of the New York Times stating that "given the reputations of the talents involved, [the film is] a failure of major proportions. I have seen worse movies. But I cannot remember having seen a movie so nervously at odds with itself, so timid in its impulses, and so mistaken in its choices."[3] When the film was released on DVD in 2002, Glenn Erickson of DVD Talk commented: "The Angel Levine is one of dozens of interesting movies in the United Artists library that seem to have been created for the purpose of being obscure.”[1]

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