The Chosen (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Chosen (1981)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The overemphatic acting of Robby Benson was something of an endurance test to certain critics of the 1980s, but even these carpers were impressed by Benson's outstanding performance in The Chosen. Set in the Brooklyn of the 1940s, the film elucidates the friendship between two young Jews of differing factions. Benson is Hassidic, while Barry Miller is a Zionist. Though separated ideologically, the boys find a common bond through their love of stickball. Rod Steiger costars as Benson's rabbi father, delivering a performance virtually devoid of the mannered stridency that has marred many of his more recent film work. Based on a novel by Chaim Potok, The Chosen has become an annual Hannukah-season TV attraction in many cities; years after its release, the film served as the basis for a short-lived Broadway musical.

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Robby Benson
as Danny Saunders
Barry Miller
as Reuven Malter
Maximilian Schell
as Professor David Malter
Rod Steiger
as Reb Saunders
Hildy Brooks
as Mrs. Saunders
Ron Rifkin
as Baseball coach
Val Avery
as Teacher
Laura Delano
as Party Guest
Carol Levy
as Party Guest
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Critic Reviews for The Chosen

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

The Chosen never came alive for me. I respected what the filmmakers were trying to do, and I admired the ambitious period production, but I never really cared about these people.

May 8, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Jeremy Paul Kagan's The Chosen is singularly brilliant, an impressive achievement that puts it in the select company of the best films of the year.

April 27, 2018 | Full Review…

A dedicated team of faithful adapters created a wonderfully rich movie version of the book in 1981, and the emotion and intellectual depths of the story resonate through the decades.

March 28, 2008 | Full Review…

A worthy but irretrievably dull homily.

February 9, 2006

Certainly, this is a gently evocative movie, with its glimpses of a strict and self-contained culture, and its memories of a time gone by.

August 30, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

An engaging family drama religious film that explores the ideological differences between two teenage Jewish friends.

September 27, 2012 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

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