Jolly Paupers
Freylekhe Kabtsonim

Poland, 1937, 62 minutes, B&W
Yiddish with new English subtitles
Directed by Leon Jeannot & Zygmunt Turkow

with complete new English subtitles by
The National Center for Jewish Film

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Public Exhibition Formats: 35mm, 16mm


"The film has its charm, especially in delightful comic sequence when the pair are declared insane.... It's all silly fun."

"A low-budget satire of shtetl mores, Jolly Paupers is the closest the screen came to a Yiddish cabaret sensibililty: irreverent, mordant, and consciously theatrical."
- J. Hoberman, Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds


Jolly Paupers combines the rare talents of the Warsaw Art Players under the leadership of Zygmunt Turkow. In this musical comedy, the famous comic duo Dzigan and Shumacher play two small town "entrepreneurs" who believe they have struck oil in a local field. The whole town finds out and thus begins a comedy of errors, including millionaire investors, Amercian schemers, and insane asylums (not to mention a little matchmaking on the side). Yet in the face of setbacks, these two simpletons are relentless in their efforts to escape their misery and achieve fame and fortune and refuse to give in to despair.

During the last years preceding the outbreak of World War II, the Dzigan and Shumacher comedy revue theatre gained immense popularity. Their satirical monologues and skits provided Jewish audiences with an escape and a rare opportunity to laugh.

Selected Screenings

Haverford College Yiddish Cultural Festival (2016)
Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw (2015)
Pacific Film Archive (2009)
Filmmuseum of Munich (2009)
Cape Town/ Johannesburg Yiddish Film Festival (2008)
Toronto Jewish Film Festival (2006)
Barbican Center for the Arts, London (1996)
Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival (1994)

NCJF Film Restoration

Preservation and restoration was made possible by Arnold & Ruth Picker and Henry & Edith Everett with additional support from Brandeis University, American Jewish Historical Society, American Film Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities (Now the Massachusetts Cultural Council), and Library of Congress


Directors Leon Jeannot & Zygmunt Turkow
Producers Shaul Goskind, Wincenty Tennenbaum
Screenplay Moshe Broderson
Photography Adolf Forbert
Music Henoch Kon
Sound Jerzy Bock
Sets Wincenty Brauner, C.Z. Piaskowski
Make-up W. Skrzpkowski
Staging/ Continuity I.M. Naiman

1985 Restoration © The National Center for Jewish Film
Executive Director Sharon Pucker Rivo
Associate Director Miriam Saul Krant
Research Consultant Sylvia Fulks Fried
Technical Director Nina Weisberg
Translator Sylvia Fulks Fried
Production Assistant Arlene Miller
Laboratory John E. Allen, Inc.
Titles Title Works

Shimon Dzigan
Israel Shumacher
F. Garbarg
Ruth Turkov
Anna Appel
Chana Levin
F. Lavic
Menash Oppenheim
Shmuel Goldstein
Jennie Lovitch

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

Also with Shimon Dzigan & Israel Schumacher

Our Children

Without a Home

Also with Zygmunt Turkow

The Jester

A Vilna Legend

The Vow


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