Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto (2004)


After World War II when vacationing facilities changed from farm houses and bungalow villages to boarding houses and large hotels, Catskill vacationers who were fleeing the long hot summer of New York City started demanding more recreational activities. To answer this need and to stimulate business, the resort owners were obliged to move into the entertainment business.

A Jewish resort hotel celebrates a pair of longtime customers' fiftieth wedding anniversary by staging an old-fashioned Borscht Belt show replete with singers, dancers, comedians, and impressionists. Filmed on location at Young's Gap Hotel in Parksville, New York the film includes glimpses of the golf course, tennis matches, calisthenics classes and sunbathers. True to the Catskill entertainment routines of that time, the cast includes an attractive young male star to enthrall the young ladies and a beautiful female star to beguile the male audience.

Released in 1949, one year after the founding of the state of Israel the climax of the film occurs with the last sketch. The final act "Songs of Israel" hails the new state with fervor and joy. The film is a period piece providing an interesting glimpse of the legendary Catskills and Borscht Belt.


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Classroom/Library Use DVD: $200

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Catskill Honeymoon

USA, 1949, 93 minutes, B&W English and Yiddish (no subtitles)
Directed by Josef Berne

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Public Exhibition 16MM, Beta Rental also available





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