Brooklyn 1944. Despite being the same age, having grown up within blocks of each other, and both being Jewish, late teens Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter don't really know each other - knowing each other only by name and by sight - as Orthodox Danny stays largely within his own Hasidic community, which is just fine in Reuven's mind. An incident between the two which on the surface threatens to tear them even further apart instead blossoms into a friendship between the two. They begin to learn more and more about the other and their lives, which for Danny includes becoming a rabbi, solely as it is a several generations old family calling. In Reb Saunders' mind, he who rules his family by strict Hasidic traditions, Danny becoming the next rabbi in the family is not even a question, despite Danny, deep in his heart, wanting other secular pursuits which he has not told his father. Conversely, Reuven has modern sensibilities, being raised in a two-person household by his widowed academic ...
Did You Know?
Maximilien Schell and Rod Steiger apparently swapped roles just before production begun. See more
While Danny and Reuvan discuss the Ba'al Shem Tov, he is referred to as "Master of the Good Word." "Shem" is Hebrew for name. The Ba'al Shem Tov's name is "Master of the Good Name" - not Master of the Good Word. See more
A heart I need for a son. A soul I need for a son. Compassion and mercy I need from a son. And strength to carry pain I need from a son... self-pride, feeling of superiority, indifference, began to fade away. He learned through the wisdom and the pain of silence that a mind without a heart is nothing... My Daniel is a tzadik. And the world needs a righteous man.
That Old Black Magic
Music by Harold Arlen
The song is playing when Reuven is sitting at the soda counter with his friends See more