Never a decent portrayal in any of the films

May 12, 2009
Anyone notice that the Strauses are always either shown as completely "Yiddish" (see "A Night to Remember" and "Telephone Time") or completely WASPed/Aryanized (see the Nazi version and the 1953 film.)

Why is it hard to portray regular people who just happen to be Jewish? (Save for the Nazi version, that was a bit obvious why they were turned into a saintly Bavarian couple, LOL!)

Jim Kalafus

Dec 3, 2000
>Why is it hard to portray regular people who just happen to be Jewish?

Because his German/ Yiddish accent, with presumed American Southernisms and cadence, (he was from Talboton, Georgia, by way of Germany) would sound odd onscreen.

She was also German.

And, neither of them just "happened" to be Jewish in 1912. They lived on West End Avenue partly because they could not live on Park Avenue due to deed restrictions against Jews. They could not get their grandson into private school because, as the rejection letter made clear, his presense would cause parents to withdraw their children. There were hotels and restaurants to which they could not go when they ventured outside of New York. Resorts would not book them. At BEST, what they could hope for is what Mary Chesnut described as "Favorite Jew" status in her diary..."We normally don't like Jews but YOU are DIFFERENT"

Subsequently, Jews tended to live in enclaves, no matter how wealthy they got. They went to Jewish schools, and retained a VERY strong sense of ethnic identity.

It would be insulting and dishonest to portray the Strauses as being "just like everyone else," because they weren't. Probably half by choice and half because they weren't allowed to be. Had they miraculously reanimated, they STILL could not have lived on Park Avenue, sent their grandchildren to Anglo private schools, bought a summer home in Greenwich...etc.
May 27, 2007
Hi Evgueni,

no I have never noticed but you make a good point on the accents. I think they were a bit more pronounced in the movies then they would of been in real life. although I don't think the film makers did this maliciously. They just weren't being as savvy as you in your films. Shameless plug, yes, but I loved Christmas Of '45.

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