The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz Ted Kotcheff

The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz Ted Kotcheff
When Mordecai Richler’s classic novel about a working-class Jewish kid from Montreal hustling his way to success but losing his soul was turned into a movie in 1974, hopes were high that the struggling Canadian film industry had finally scored a hit. After all, the producers landed Richard Dreyfuss, who was hot off American Graffitti and was about to go mega with Jaws. They also enlisted a strong supporting cast of (foreign) stars: Jack Warden, Randy Quaid and Denholm Elliott. Blessed with a decent budget, a solid screenplay adaptation by Lionel Chetwynd and high production values, Kravitz opened strongly in Montreal and Toronto. It went on to secure American distribution from a Hollywood studio, which was a feat in itself. Meanwhile, across the ocean, Kravitz won the Golden Bear at Berlin. Alas, Paramount Pictures would never push Kravitz as hoped, and the Canadian film industry would continue to struggle, but the film endures. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz remains a sharp comedy and poignant "coming of age” drama. Credit goes to Dreyfuss, who is perfect as charming weasel Kravitz, and Warden as Kravitz’s layabout father. The film successfully dramatises the schism between working-class and bourgeois Jews, which Kravitz desperately tries to cross, winding up betraying a friend. Unfortunately, there’s nothing on this DVD to explain the history behind this Canadian classic, nothing to announce its cultural importance. This DVD is crying for a commentary by a film critic or historian. This is supposed to be the director’s cut but the running time is the same as the original release, and doesn’t look any different from memories of the original. To add insult to injury, this DVD is presented in 4:3 full-screen when the film was shot in beautiful 2:35 widescreen. The DVD market is so competitive these days that it isn’t good enough to release a movie without any extra features, especially one this historically important. (Alliance)