Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, The (Film)
In Montréal in 1948, 19-year-old Duddy Kravitz meets his father Max (a cab driver) at a local café. Max is singing the praises of Jerry Dingleman, the local "Boy Wonder" who escaped Montréal's Jewish ghetto and became rich. Duddy listens intently and dreams of being a somebody like Dingleman. Shortly thereafter, his grandfather tells him that "a man without land is nobody," and Duddy decides that someday he will buy the lake near the Jewish summer resort which employs him. While at the resort he falls in love with co-worker Yvette and soon involves her in his restless search and endless schemes to raise money. To finance his dream, Duddy starts a film production company, becomes a distributor of pinball machines, and eventually forges the signature of his disabled employee to secure a bank loan. Yvette leaves him, and although he succeeds in purchasing the land, his underhanded methods have disappointed or driven away most of the people he loves, including his beloved grandfather.
Watch an excerpt from the Canadian movie classic The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. From YouTube.
Based on Mordecai RICHLER's screen adaptation of his own novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz occupies an unusual place in Canadian film history. Voted by critics in 1984 and 1996 as one of Canadian cinema's "Ten Best," the film has, oddly enough, largely been ignored in Canadian film criticism. While praised upon its release in April 1974 as an excellent example of adaptation and for its convincing portrait of postwar Montréal, the production was also harshly criticized for its casting of American actors in principal roles (Richard Dreyfuss, Randy Quaid, Jack Warden) and for its decidedly Hollywood commercial style. Indeed, like its ambitious protagonist, the film was undeniably successful, but it was also shunned by many critics for the compromised nature of its success. Debates about cultural politics aside, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz remains an often engaging and occasionally complex film and contains one of the most devastatingly funny parodies of Canadian cinema's documentary tradition.
Duddy Kravitz Still from the film The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, directed by Ted Kotcheff (courtesy Toronto International Film Festival Group).
Links to Other Sites The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
Click on the "Videos" tab to view clips from the classic Canadian film "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz." From the Festival de Cannes website.
Mordecai Richler's homecoming
Watch a 1975 CBC Television interview with Canadian author Mordecai Richler, who discusses his life, work, and affection for his old Montréal neighbourhood. See also additional radio and television clips on Richler. From the CBC Digital Archives.
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