Jewish Image in American Film” Part II with Arthur Aldridge
Emigration from Eastern Europe reached a peak at the same time the American motion picture industry was in its infancy. Newly-arrived Jews, with their Old World clothes and appearance were appealing subjects for movie-makers like Thomas Edison and D.W. Griffith. Their early movies helped establish and reinforce negative stereotypes. The movie image changed slowly as the emigrants acculturated and the second generation struggled to break free of traditions and join the mainstream of American society.
These films in Part 2 portray the transition: The Jazz Singer, Counsellor at Law, Marjorie Morningstar and Gentleman’s Agreement.