American Matchmaker
Amerikaner Shadkhn

USA, 1940, 87 minutes, B&W
Yiddish with English subtitles
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer

with new English Subtitles by
The National Center for Jewish Film

Buy Now

Public Exhibition Formats: Beta, 16MM, 35MM



Leo Fuchs, known on Second Avenue as “the Yiddish Fred Astaire,” plays an elegant and eligible bachelor who can never seem to close the marriage deal. Edgar G. Ulmer’s last Yiddish movie was also his most modern, an art deco romantic comedy about male ambivalence and Jewish assimilation. With its urbane, neurotic hero, American Matchmaker looks ahead to the films of Woody Allen.

DVD includes bonus short I Want to Be A Boarder starring Fuchs comically paired with Yetta Zwerling, directed by Joseph Seiden.

Selected Screenings

Washington Jewish Film Festival (2015)
Special Selection: Best of Festival over 25 Years
Neues Kino Theater, Basel Switzerland (2013)
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival (2012)
Edgar G. Ulmer Retrospective, Cinémathèque Française, Paris (2012)
International Yiddish Theatre Festival of Montreal (2009)
Edgar G. Ulmer Retrospective, Filmhouse Cinema, UK (2009)
Cape Town/ Johannesburg Yiddish Film Festival (2008)
Miami Jewish Film Festival (2006)
Phoenix Jewish Film Festival (2005)
UC Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley California (2005)
Montreal Jewish Film Festival (2005)
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival (2005)
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (2005)
Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York (2004)
British Film Institution (2004)
Musee d’Art de Histoire de Judaisme, Paris (2002)
Haifa Jewish Film Festival (2005)
Brooklyn Jewish Film Festival (2002)

Critical Acclaim

“As in the best Yiddish theater traditions, there is a successful combination of humor and schmaltz with the sentimentality at the end well-earned by the comic insights along the way... None is more charming than American Matchmaker. The title says it all – a clash between the urbane, slick manners of the new country and the old, busybody communal ways of the shtetl.”
Films, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

NCJF Film Restoration

Special thanks to Shirley Ulmer and Arianne Ulmer Cipes

Preservation and restoration in memory of Gladys and Saul Gwirtzman by the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Foundation.

With Support from The National Endowment for the Arts, Brandeis University, The Massachusetts Cultural Council and The Righteous Persons Foundation.

1998 Restoration © The National Center for Jewish Film
Executive Director Sharon Pucker Rivo
Associate Director Miriam Saul Krant
Technical Director Rich Pontius
Translator Moshe Waldoks
Educational Consultant Sylvia Fuks Fried
Title Animation Frame Shop
Laboratory Cinema Arts, Inc.
On-line Editing Context Media


Director Edgar G. Ulmer
Assistant Directors William Mercur & Anna Guskin
Original Story G. Heimo
Screenplay S. Castle
Dialogue B. Ressler
Director of Photography J. Burgi Contner, A.S.C.
Camera E. Hyland
Sound D. Cole
Art Director W. Saulter
Interior Decoration W. Mack
Editor Hans E. Mandl
Gowns E. Rosenthal & Mme. Berthe
Musical Score Composed and Conducted by Sam Morgenstern
Lyrics by William Mercur
English Titles by S. Rubinstein
Production Manager Gustav Horowitz
Originally released by Fame-Pictures

Leo Fuchs (Nat Silver)
Judith Abarbanel (Judith Aarons)
Judel Dubinksy (Maurice)
Anna Guskin (Elvie Silver)
Celia Boodkin (Nat's Mother)
Rosetta Bialis (Mrs. Aarons)
Abraham Lax (Simon P. Schwalbenrock)
with E. Adler, M. Henig, H. Appel, S. Krohner, I. Arco, M. Lerner, M. Boodkin, V. Luboff, Ch. Cohen, W. Mercur, B. Gailing, J. Mestel, S. Gold, M. Schwartz, A. Gross, A. Winters, M. Grossman, A. Ulmer

Purchase the Film

Home Use DVD: $29.95

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information


Classroom/Library Use DVD: $250

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us

Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us

Arrange a screening - Contact us

Special Offer

Save when you purchase this DVD as part of the Edgar Ulmer Collection! More

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